Students Write the Darndest Things–Poetry and the Monkey’s Paw

So excited news:
Yesterday I was able to hear the heartbeat of my baby and see it wiggle its arms!
In other news: 
All of my students are working on an essay answering the question, “What is courage?” They just finished their outlines today, and they were absolutely the best outlines I’ve seen all year! Yaaay for student progress in writing!
Without further ado, another installment of 
My 8th graders finished their short stories before Christmas break. It was so interesting to read all their different stories and seeing their imaginations.
However, one student had a plagiarism problem with their short story. Now the thing is that I didn’t catch it earlier in the process. This student never actually finished any prewriting activities or rough drafts. So, when I read the entire final draft, the characters, the setting, and the events seemed pretty familiar. I knew that this students loved anime, and her story seemed vaguely reminiscent of an anime I’ve watched before…so I took a leap and googled this anime. The characters had the same names, the events just like in the anime…Black Butler. Now, I’ve only seen a few episodes, so I don’t know if it was plagiarism of a specific episode or more of a fan-fiction. But, either way, she didn’t follow the assignment parameters (which I specifically mentioned no fan-fiction), so I had her redo it.
My 9th graders finished their Jekyll and Hyde compare and contrast essays. I was blown away every step of the way–they are some gosh darn good writers! Most of the final drafts were better quality than higher classmen in high school!
The 7th graders finished reading “The Monkey’s Paw” today, so I had them write 3 wishes they’d want to make, then tell me how they could possibly go wrong, or turn out differently than expected:
– no homework–it’s pretty self explanatory. something that could go wrong is i might get dumb .
– 30 yoga monkeys that could not harm, hurt, or cause sorrow. 
– to be a time lord. to have a TARDIS that goes back in time.
– my own monkey. a monkey will rip your face off.
My 9th graders are participating in something called Poetry Out Loud. They have to memorize a poem from this website and compete in a competition. I allowed them to chose the poem and then I would teach them about the poem, so they’d have a deeper understanding about it.
Today, we studied Question and I Am Offering This Poem. They are both post-modern poems and it was very interesting to analyze them with my students. I asked them to write a reflection saying which one they preferred:
– Quite frankly, my poem is confusing
– i like question the best. it i about a flea. it wasted useless time as we tried to crack the code. i can’t believe people got as morbid as death with nowhere to hide. it is just insane. but honestly, i don’t care. (I guess he was having a bad day)
– The two poems are interesting. They are post-modern. This makes them strange poems.
I’ve very excited to see the other reflections after studying more poems of my students’ choice!

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

  • Congratulations on hearing and seeing the new baby!! YAY!!!

    On other news….I hate Monkey's Paw…and yes…a monkey WILL rip your face off. I hate monkeys!! 🙂

    Laura @ Mice In The Kitchen

  • Congratulations! So exciting!