MYPerspectives

EFFECTIVE EXPRESSION

Writing to Sources In Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson tells stories in poem form about specific moments from her childhood. In each poem, she also shares her thoughts and feelings about the moment she describes. The separate poems work together to tell the story of Woodson’s childhood. Assignment Write a brief poem in which you use Woodson’s memoir as inspiration. Follow these steps: • Choose a single moment on which to focus. It can be something small or seemingly unimportant. For example, you might write about what you see from your window in the morning, or about eating lunch at school. Then, write a regular prose paragraph in which you describe the moment. Include details that show what the moment looked and felt like. • Change your paragraph into a poem by applying elements of poetry such as the ones Woodson uses. For example, break up sentences to make poetic lines. Consider repeating important words or setting them on their own lines. You may even play with incomplete sentences or fragments. Try to make the moment you described in your paragraph even more vivid as a poem. • Once your poem is organized, consider adding dialogue or more

from BROWN GIRL DREAMING

descriptive details. Alternatively, you may need to cut some details. Work to make your poem capture the moment and make it fresh and alive for readers.

Vocabulary Connection  Consider using several of the concept vocabulary words in your writing.

squish

twist

shushes

humming

twirl

feathery

  STANDARDS Writing

• Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well- structured event sequences. b. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters. d. Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to convey experiences and events. • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. a. Apply grade 6 Reading standards to literature.

Reflect on Your Writing After you have written your poem, answer the following questions. 1. What was the most challenging part of the assignment?

2. What poetic and narrative techniques did you use in your writing? How did they help you bring your ideas to life?

3. Why These Words?  The words you choose make a difference in your writing. Which words did you choose to create a vivid picture for your readers?

24  UNIT 1 • CHILDHOOD

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