Collecting Souvenirs

by Lisa Bullard

Author's snow globeNot all writ­ers can claim the vast and var­ied assort­ment of sou­venir snow globes I’ve acquired on my trav­els. But most writ­ers I know are con­stant­ly col­lect­ing oth­er things: sto­ries, words, images, emo­tions, quirky char­ac­ters, new expe­ri­ences, and odd­ball facts. These “writ­ing chachkas” clut­ter the rooms of our imag­i­na­tions until we need inspi­ra­tion

Then we pick one up, shake it, and watch to see what lands in our writ­ing.

A big part of the writ­ing act is seden­tary — soon­er or lat­er, you have to set your butt in a chair and focus on a page or a screen. But move­ment is cru­cial too: you have to get out into the world and find new sou­venirs to add to the mix, or your imag­i­na­tion can quick­ly grow stale. Even a sim­ple “road trip” to a coffee shop or the park can pro­vide fresh mate­r­i­al or a new per­spec­tive on old mate­r­i­al.  I’ve learned to val­ue these times away from my writ­ing chair as an impor­tant part of my writ­ing process.

I’ve met many kines­thet­ic learn­ers who hate writ­ing because they hate to sit still. And even stu­dents who have a knack for sit­ting qui­et­ly can benefit from a change in per­spec­tive.  So I’ve worked hard to build move­ment into my writ­ing ses­sions with stu­dents.  One of the most pop­u­lar activ­i­ties is a sim­ple poet­ry-writ­ing Trea­sure Hunt.  (Down­load a descrip­tion here.)

Why not get your stu­dents start­ed on col­lect­ing their own word sou­venirs by sim­ply send­ing them on a writ­ing road trip across the land­scape of your class­room?


No comments yet.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.