I used to love getting letters from my friends especially in middle school. I remember sending letters to friends at sleep away camp and to friends that moved. There’s just something so special about opening an envelope that’s so much more exciting then pressing the inbox tab on your e-mail account.

This year, I am doing penpals with an old co-worker from my school in NYC. I told my students last week and they were super excited about having penpals with students in NYC. One of my students said why don’t we just e-mail them…I told them it would be much cooler to get actual letters even though it takes longer. In addition to their letters, we made a book with pictures of our school, so they could see what our school and environment looks like. I mailed the letters and now we are anxiously waiting for a reply!

The more I teach writing and write on my own, the more I realize the importance in having an authentic audience. It makes the writing much more meaningful for myself if I know other people will actually read what I write. Just some food for thought!

Some photos that my students took for the book we made:

poetry while you wait

typewriter, poetry and washingtonsquare park

It’s hard to not love NYC when you can find people ready to write you a poem for a small monetary contribution. This was actually the second person I came across on this lovely summer Saturday ready to write a poem with a typewriter for people. I knew I had to get a poem from him. When he asked me to choose a theme for the poem, I didn’t know what to say. The first thing that came to my mind was summer. After 10 minutes or so, I had an original poem from him! I actually like it a lot. I ended up giving him $10 for the poem.

Maybe I can use this somehow in my poetry unit this year.  Maybe I will make them have a poetry stand where they have to write poems for people on the spot! It could be a fundraising idea?! I’ll have to think more about it.