Monday, January 2, 2012

We Have a Winner!

It wasn't easy, but we were finally able to select the winner of our Great American Reflections Photo Contest. A student in Timnah Steinman's class at the Park Day School Oakland, California, thirteen-year-old Sarah Marlin walked off with the honors for her poem, "Reflections on the Water's Surface."
     Consisting of just twenty lines, the poem describes the image created when a pebble disturbs the surface of the water. "You wave," she writes, "and your reflection waves back./ The person you see in the water is/Distorted/Changed."
     We've amended the working title of our manuscript to reflect the title of Sarah's poem, and we've placed the poem on the first page of the work, which will be published by PRUFROCK PRESS.
     We won't be publishing Sarah's poem here until the book sees the light of day, but we have included the photo that accompanies it. Perhaps the photo will inspire your students to create their own works of poetry or prose.

Don't Be a Bully!

I don't think you'll ever find a sign identical to the one shown here. That's because after I photographed the "Do Not Enter" sign, I used  Arc Soft Photo Studio to add the words BULLYING ZONE to the image.
      I think that the possibilities for using this image to inspire writing in your classroom are almost limitless. That's because it's almost a sure thing that one or more of your students either is or has been harassed by a bully.
     Here's a suggestion. Download the photo and use it as a trigger to inspire your students to express their feelings about bullying in writing, either as  poetry or prose. Point out that their writings will be voluntary and anonymous, and that they may not use names in their compositions. You'll probably be surprised at some of the responses your receive. Obviously, you won't assign a grade for this activity.


      Published by Cottonwood Press in 2009, Write What You See: 99 Photos To Inspire Writing by Hank Kellner is now marketed by Prufrock Press. Please visit now to order this fine book. This thought-provoking collection contains photographs and a wide variety of inventive writing prompts to motivate students.
     Written by a veteran of the Korean War and retired educator who has served as an English Department supervisor and adjunct associate professor of English at the community college level, Write What you See includes a CD-Rom and a special section telling how teachers nationwide use photos to inspire writing. 118 pages, 8 1/2 X 11, Softbound, ISBN 978-1-877673-83-2, Grades 7-12, $24.95

Copyright © 2012 Hank Kellner  

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