One of my dad’s greatest satisfactions in life is identifying an alternate driving route. His eyes shine as he describes the intricate twists and turns that will lead me along whatever course is his newest discovery. He’ll urge me to change the path I am comfortable with, even if it will only save me mere seconds, despite knowing that I still routinely get lost even after living in the same city for almost thirty years now.
At different times over the last several years, I’ve been grappling with a family member’s medical issues, and that has forced me to “change routes” as well. I’ve been feeling a little lost as the regular patterns of my work and social life are disrupted.
But it’s also caused me to notice and appreciate things I might otherwise overlook: bouncy winter holidays songs on the long drives to doctor visits and treatments; my cat’s gentle snore as she waits for me to shut down the computer after a middle-of-the-night work session; the dandelion-ﬂuﬀ softness of my blanket when I ﬁnally curl into my nighttime nest.
So, in that spirit of thankfulness for the little things that oﬀer comfort, here’s a “list poem” activity for Thanksgiving. It will encourage your young writers to make sure to use all ﬁve senses in their work, which is a sure route to making their writing shine.