Saturday, July 10, 2010

Babies, Teen Authors, and More

  Lullaby and Good Night

        Some people believe that junior and senior high school boys wouldn't be interested in writing about babies. But that's not true. In fact, there's nothing like a baby to turn even the most macho member of a high school or junior high school football team into a bowl of pudding.
       What's more, girls won't fail to respond enthusiastically to these two little cuties from Cynthia Staples' blog,
         The possibilities for using these two photos and others like them to inspire writing at any level are limitless. If, for example, babies could speak, what would these two infants say to each other if they were to meet? How would they respond to people, places, and things? How would their environments affect their lives? What will their lives be like as they mature?
           After viewing the photos, some students may want  to comment on and write about the problems one or both of these babies will encounter as they grow up. Others will be inspired to reflect on the problems of teenage pregnancy. Still others will want to write about the birth of a sibling and how that birth affected them.
            If you or any of your students follow up on this topic--or any other for that matter--I'd love to hear from you. I'd be very interested in publishing samples of photo-inspired writing on this electronic page.
Here's More About Publishing Student Writing

          I was delighted when Cynthia Staples (above) alerted me to a teen magazine that publishes writing by teenagers. Teen Voices covers a multitude of topics including  bullying, sex trafficking, online do's and dont's, writing college essays, and more. This magazine even  invites teenagers to serve as editors!
           Best of all, Teen Voices provides opportunities for teenagers to see their writing in print while reaching a nationwide audience. "If you're a girl between the ages of 13 and 19," writes editor Jessica Moore, "you can submit your writing and artwork for publication in Teen Voices! If you are changing the world in some way, we also want to hear your story for our Girls in Action feature."
          For more information, visit

What If...?

     What if the sky suddenly turned black during the daytime? Would the people inside this building respond calmly, or would they panic? What if aliens were directing a powerful death ray at the structure? Could enemy forces have released a gas that poisons the air and threatens to kill everyone?
       In the photo shown at the right we see a negative image of a girl wearing glasses in which something is reflected. Students will want to speculate as to what the reflected images are.What's more, they'll be eager comment on the expression on the girl's face, and they'll want to explain what she might look like as a positive image. What color is her hair? Is she screaming or laughing? Does the negative image lead to a discussion of dreams?
       For greater impact, click on the images to enlarge them. And to see more images you can use in your classroom for free, visit
       By the way, you'll find  more photographs and ideas in my ten-part series on using photos to inspire writing when you visit
       Finally, if you have photo-related writing activities you'd like to share, please contact me at hankpix(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Coming Soon 

Guest Blog by Molly Childers
Enigmatic Photo by Paul Stubbs
Student Photo Contest by Stephanie Smith, PhD

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