Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hello there! Welcome to our Creative Writing blog. This space is in the process of being revised, but, for now, you can get a sense of this unique online forum for Periods 3, 5, and 9. Stay tuned for updates! See you in 215, Ms. Strout

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Updates and Reminders

Hi there, Periods 1, 2, and 7,


2. By Wednesday, please let me know if you will be participating in this year's March/April/May Madness of Poetry! It's going to be an inspiring competition.

3. Period 1, great job so far on your group teaching units. Your lessons have been thoughtful and... I admit... I do plan on stealing many of your great ideas for future classes. :)

4. Periods 2 and 7, I will be collecting three final drafts from you on Friday after our reading. Be sure you know what is due!

That's all for now, everybody. Thanks for making my days brighter. :)
See you in 215,
Ms. Strout

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Post-Midterm Post (Heh, heh...)

Dear Periods 1, 2, and 7,

(Why the grapefruit, you ask?) ... ... (Well, I can't just TELL you. That would ruin all the fun!)

Congratulations! We are officially in the second half of our year together. Thank you for all the sincere efforts you made to fulfill your midterm responsibilities.


Period 1, we are beginning our unit on ~LOVE.~ Have no fear: it will not involve pink bunnies or awful love poetry. It will, however, involve SECRET CUPID! That's right! Why should Secret SANTA get all the attention? Please be thoughtful of your partners and take this opportunity to connect with a classmate.

Here are some due dates and reminders: Pen pal letters - due on Wednesday, February 8; final drafts for family/generations unit - due on Friday, February 10; reading day - Friday, February 10; WN entries - next installment (12 entries) due on March 1.


Okay, Periods 2 and 7, it's your turn now!

Nice work with renga, everyone's favorite poetry party game! (And the crowd from medieval Japan goes wild! :)

Here are some of my favorite lines (written by YOU) from some of the class poems:

The thoughts of a writer
the pen working its way on paper:
open-minded, filled with speech.


Love is like a beautiful day -
but some people don't go outside.


Quiet tree stands alone.
It is aware that no one would miss it
if it were to fall.


Pictures were scattered
all over the bedroom floor.
No one dared to sleep there anymore.


And what better place to hide
than this room of kindness?


A welcoming kiss from the air,
clean and alive...


On Thursday, we will focus on HAIKU. Friday will be our Winter Haiku Challenge! Bring your completed haiku, bring your best reading presence, and get ready to win some (fabulous) prizes!

Here are some due dates and reminders: Final drafts of personification -OR- perspective poems - due on Monday, February 6; example of a favorite prose piece (with some textual highlights) also due on Monday, February 6; WN entries (6) due on Tuesday, February 7.

That's all for now, everyone.

Thanks for being great students.

See you in 215,
Ms. Strout

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Midterm Madness!

Dear Periods 1, 2, and 7,

As of today, you have all been briefed on your midterm exam responsibilities.

CWW, your exam will take place on Friday, January 20.

CW Period 2, your exam will take place on Tuesday, January 24.

CW Period 7, your exam will take place on Thursday, January 26.

Please use your handouts, ask questions, budget your time, and do an awesome job on this assignment.

I can't wait to see your work!

See you in 215 (or the lab, as the case may be),
Ms. Strout

PS - Calliope is EVERY Tuesday now! Hopefully, we will see you soon at a meeting!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Art, Music, Calliope!

Dear Periods 2 and 7,

Today and tomorrow (T/W), we will be in Room 316 for the following purposes:
1. Work on final drafts of art and music poems. You will be handing in ONE final draft related to music and ONE final draft related to art (2 final drafts in all).
2. Finalize and print clean copies of work for Calliope. Hand your submissions to me and I will see to it that they arrive safely to our meeting today.
3. Update your blog pages and post comments to your peers' pages (in Periods 2, 7, and 1).
4. Go to for a sneak preview of our upcoming magnetic poetry unit! (Be careful: it's addictive. :)


Period 2, our reading day is Thursday; our Taboo!/Secret Santa day is Friday!
Period 7, our Taboo!/Secret Santa day is Thursday!

And now, for Period 1 updates: Your Taboo!/Secret Santa day is Friday!

Keep working on those mix CDs - and be sure to check out all the awesome poems in the hallway (thank you, Period 1!).

Yours truly,
Ms. Strout

Friday, November 18, 2011


Save the date:

Friday, December 2


Wantage Library

FREE Open Mic Night!

Bring yourself and your poetry and your original music!

Bring your friends!

Get ready for a great night of music and writing!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

For Period ONE

Dear Period One,

Below, please find the nature-related prompts that I mentioned to you in class. You can use them to fuel some fantastic new rough drafts and/or some Writer's Notebook entries. Happy writing; I hope you get a lot out of them!

*Five Details from the Dirt
*Seven Lessons from the Soil
*Natural Disaster
*Thoreau Wept
*Thoreau Rejoiced
*Title = significant natural location (Camp Site #17, Sunrise Mountain, etc.) - then, bring it to life!
*We Are All Suncatchers
*Water: Moving and Still
*Write a piece modeled after Mark Doty's crab shell (see the packet of poems I gave you earlier in the unit); the title should be the object and each stanza should be a snapshot of a different element of the object. End the poem in a more universal fashion, though, that goes beyond the mere physicality of the object.
*Choose a natural location. Study it during the morning, afternoon, and evening. Record some observations and build a piece of writing from the language you gather.
*If you visit my backyard, you will notice...
*Woman (or Man) Addresses Snake
*Man (or Woman) Addresses Mountain
*Man (or Woman) Addresses Pavement
*The History of Stars
*Is that Your Natural Color?
*A Human Constellation