Sunday, November 10, 2013

Poem Prompt To Elicit Introspection about Friendship

I asked students to read a poem titled "Pen Pal," about a best friend whose identity is revealed at the end to be paper itself. We discussed the traits of an ideal friend, and how to show these traits via examples, not mere labels. (The full lesson is available on One of the exercises calls for students to write a mock “Wanted” advertisement, describing in as few specific words as possible, the best friend they seek. I told them not to use trait words, such as “compassionate,” but rather, to SHOW the traits they seek with examples (such as, “She always makes room for me when I need to express my feelings”). I also told them to make every word count, practicing the “economy of words” in their ads or poems. This was one of my favorites:

By K.E., age 12

*A person with an open mind, open heart, and open arms
*A person able to pick me up in my most shattered state
*A person who can glue me back together with kind, reassuring words
*A person who can accept any and all of my differences and can love them
*A person who will support me when doing the right thing, but argue against me when doing wrong
*A person who can see the worst part of me and never tell a soul
*A person who can sit down with me when I’m crying and weep next to me, even without knowing what’s happened
*A person who would be able to put everything down to rush to my side

If found, please contact me at 1-800-Find-Plz

Please tell K.E. which of her lines moved you most by leaving a comment below.