Teacher Talk: Middle School Students Journal About Watching Paint Dry

April 13, 2015

DSC_8758They say that if you can ski the East, you can ski anywhere. The icy conditions and cold weather breed hardened skiers that can take on challenges that would make other bluebird-powder skiers head for the lodge after a few runs. MCS English classes bring the same mentality to our writing. Daily journaling is the bread and butter of our writing curriculum. We know that the best way to improve writing is to work at it routinely, and while we usually provide students with enjoyable and thought provoking topics, every once in a while we throw in an East coast prompt. A prompt that would make unseasoned writers give up and drop their pens after a few lines. Thoughts change from I don’t know what to write about and this is boring to if I can write about this, I can write about anything. When asked to write about watching paint dry, students were able to write a page or more and even had a few gems like the one below:

Dashed upon a hazy page,
Its gentle red clashing with the background grey.
Boldly shimmering from fluorescent light,
It’s sweet and simple powerful ways
Of filling up those boring days.
– Claire A.

Patrick Welsch
Middle School English Teacher