Friday, 23 January 2009

And 'The Booker Prize' goes to...Jack the dog!

The storm kettle has arrived!!

Jack seems to think we've bought him a new dog toy.

(And no, I don't normally keep camping equipment on the lounge floor)

Are you wondering why my blogging has suddenly become more frequent? Displacement activity of course...still haven't done my homework from last term's writing course (er, yeah, the one that was meant to be in several weeks before Christmas).

I can do the week-to-week writing stuff, cos that's fun, but can't seem to summon up enough mental energy to complete anything longer. Besides, with my short attention span, it's far more fun to start something and ditch it for something new the following week, than to persevere and stick to it. Ho hum..sounds scarily like my attitude to home educating.

We did something in a class the other week that was fun. We took a piece of writing that each of us had been working on, printed it out, cut it up into its separate words and then rearranged it to make interesting sentences. Here are some of the ones I came up with:

'Who am I? I rise with unfamiliar legs, waffle-dusting the fluff with each of my functional toes.'

'Coordinated clouds weave wooden skylarks in A minor'

'I notice that a metal head can strangle the line of aesthetic'

I quite like the idea of waffle-dusting with my toes, particularly if they are functional. I'm not sure how difficult waffle-dusting would be if you didn't have functional toes.

The original piece was a descriptive essay about 3 different beds. Most of the sentences were far improved in the muddled around product. Ok, so it was a bit dodgy in places where I had to try and make a sentence out of the leftover words (3 'and' s and 4 'bed' s and 1 'duvet'- not a great combination for exciting writing). But it's a fun technique to give 'added value' to writing - a bit like turning boring old potatoes into a pack of fab cheese and onion flavour crisps. And yeah, I write alot of potatoes...

So I now feel inspired to do something similar with the children (no, I don't mean cutting them up with scissors and rearranging their parts, though there are days when that might be tempting). I thought I might take some poems or song lyrics, preferably ones that they know fairly well, and get them to chop them up and rearrange them into something else. Of course I haven't told the kids that I'm going to do that.

Hmm...I'm not quite sure how to approach it with the kids. I have to totally not emphasise the possible educational slant (a guaranteed put-off). Though if I just leave some printed poems with a pair of scissors on the table, in the hope that a child might get the urge to cut it up and rearrange it, I'm not sure they would tune into my subtle approach. And of course the dog might just go and eat it. Or maybe (thinking really abstractly) the dog might tear up the piece of paper - scissors are kinda tricky without opposable thumbs - scatter it on the floor in a really artistic manner and make his own marvellous contribution to world of literature.

I need to get out more...

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Yes, far too frequent and putting me to shame!!!! I seem to have the opposite problem to you...if there is stuff stressing me, I find it completely impossible to blog, despite doing some really great stuff worth blogging about. Ugh.
I want a storm kettle!!!!!