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Summer SAVY Session 6, Day 1, Writing with Fire

Posted by on Monday, July 24, 2023 in blog, SAVY.

We had a phenomenal day today as we began to “write with fire!” After introducing themselves and each other, students began tackling their first poem: “Mrs. Ribeiro” by Sarah Kay. This poem encouraged students to think about their own experiences with their favorite teachers. We then transitioned from a discussion to time for writing. While some students had trouble at first, everyone showed remarkable perseverance and came up with first drafts of a poem they can be proud of.


After our lunch breaks, we dived into our first book of the week: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. This National Book Award-winner tells the story of the author’s upbringing in South Carolina and New York in the 1960s and 1970s as she learns to see herself as a writer. Students were eager to read aloud, analyze the poems, and, eventually, write their own versions of Woodson’s “How to Listen” haiku.


For their final projects, students will be compiling these and the other poems they write into a revised, “verse memoir.” Though some students protested they did not have enough “exciting” stories for a memoir, I am looking forward to showing them, through Woodson and our other authors, that no feeling or memory is too small to make for an amazing piece of writing.