Each year Authors Take Action, founded by Padma Venkatraman, organizes a community activity for educators, readers, and writers. This April, poet and novelist Laura Shovan hosts the 2023 #AuthorsTakeAction month-long event. Laura invited fellow children’s book authors to create prompts for students to engage in poetry with this year’s theme CLIMATE.
Just last week my kid and I discovered an article about cities of the future. After reading the article, we talked about the way water acts as both saint and sinner, too much—a flood! Too little—drought! We each came to appreciate the work of architects and activists in the article looking to build cities that embrace both floods and droughts. You might agree, read here.
So much in nature is this way—high highs (floods) and low lows (droughts). Perhaps this is why we talk so much about balance when it comes to nature? Seeking balance when we can, so that we can learn to coexist within the high highs and low lows.
I encourage you to read the article and look at the natural inspirations for the cities designed to work within the high highs and the low lows of water and climate, then try this poetry prompt!
CLIMATE Prompt for #AuthorsTakeAction
- Start with a list—what in nature fits this idea of high highs and low lows? (Water– floods/drought; Polar caps—frozen/melt) It can be anything in nature- animal behavior, weather, cycles, human interactions and reactions…
2. Reread your list—what topic do you think matches with the idea of “coexisting in high highs and low lows”?
3. Use this topic to spin up a poem. Here’s some examples:
Write a two-line, single stanza opposite poem:
Sometimes water washes,
Sometimes she screams.
Write an active diamante poem:
Setting, Blowing, Chattering
Ice, Snow Disaster, Flood
Burning, Steaming, Boiling
Write a palindrome poem (read it from top to bottom, and bottom to top):
Climate is warning
Rise and Reverse;
Reverse and Rise
Warning is Climate.
Alison Green Myers is writer and educator. She served as a classroom teacher, literacy coach, curriculum writer, and school director. She is the program director for the Highlights Foundation. She is a National Writing Fellow and a Bethel Woods Teaching Artist. Her novel A BIRD WILL SOAR is the recipient of the 2022 Schneider Family Book Award from the American Library Association, as well as the 2022 winner of the Carolyn W. Field award presented by the Pennsylvania State Library Association. Learn more at alisongreenmyers.com.