Saturday, December 29, 2007
Your friend is back!
He (she) , your friend -- the cartoon character, fictional literary figure or nursery rhyme star -- has come back over to show you all the rest of his presents, the stuff he got after he left your place. Now he needs your help with something. It's almost New Year's Day. Can you help your friend to come up with a fitting new year's resolution? It's okay if you didn't post on the first one, or if you want to pick a new friend....
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
What time did you get up?
I am guessing the answer will be more than one or two words (for example, getting up & staying up are two different things.... or maybe someone wouldn't let you GET up, but you were wide awake....)
So we'd love to hear your response! And then, go on back and enjoy your family.
May your Chistmas Day be blessed by the One whose birth we celebrate, and may He be honored in all we do today.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Okay, step one: Think of a cartoon character, fictional literary figure, or nursery rhyme star. Tell us your choice (you might want to read ahead before you choose) .
Step two: The character you've chosen has just called you, and he/she is going to spend Christmas Day at your house! Planning for the day, and desiring to make him / her feel completely at home, you want to come up with :
a) Something yummy (entree, dessert, etc. ) your friend would love to sit at your table and share,
b) A fitting gift,
c) A great game to play while he /she is there.
Think hard.... I can't wait to hear your great ideas!
Monday, December 10, 2007
An exercise bike.
A combination lock.
A picture frame.
A beluga whale.
Okay, ready? Here is your challenge. Pick 2 of the above. You may not pick the same pair someone else has picked, but you may choose one that's been chosen, just not the same combination.
Now, tell us what you have chosen, and then list 5-10 things that those two things have in common. If you are feeling particularly clever, you may also list one or two (or more!) important differences.
Okay, got your thinking cap on?
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Ha Ha, that must have not been a great idea.... I started a couple of times myself and didn't manage to get it done!
Ready for another challenge? (Bet you thought I'd retired from this job, huh?)
Well, the season is upon us.... or the interim between seasons, maybe, between Thanksgiving and Christmas. A good time for your opinion. Which holiday do you like best? And why?
Is it Thanksgiving, Christmas, or even Easter? Or maybe there is another you prefer. We'd love to hear.
And let's see, we need a twist. Well, if I've counted correctly, today there are 26 days until Christmas, so how about making your answer 26 words? Yep. Exactly. Have fun!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
....when I was very young, I loved to listen as my mother read to me from a big red book of fairy tales, which was Number One in a ten-volume encyclopedia-type set called Collier something (if I remember it right). Eventually I learned to read the books myself, and Red Number One became the most worn volume. I can still remember the old-fashioned, whimsical illustrations in The Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs, and The Three Billy Goats Gruff. What was it about threes?
Here's your mission (should you decide to accept it) :
Come up with a new fairy tale (nope, it doesn't have to have fairies or magic in it), titling it something like The Three _______ or The Adventures of the Three ___________.
Your "three" can be animals, but they don't have to be.
Wait, wait.... let me get my jammies and my teddy bear....
Okay, now I'm ready to listen.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
"Happy Home Recipe"
Mary H. Knopinski
4 c. Love
6 c. Understanding
2 c. Loyalty
5 T. Hope
3 c. Forgiveness
2 T. Tenderness
1 c. Friendship
4 c. Faith
6 c. Kindness
1/2 c. Laughter
Mix Love and Loyalty thoroughly with Faith. Blend in Tenderness, Kindness, and Understanding. Add remaining ingredients and sprinkle generously with Laughter. Bake in sunshine and serve daily.Okay, I (briefly) searched the internet and found the above "recipe." You've seen them, plaques or needlepoint samplers on the walls of homes, or maybe on throw pillows, with "recipes" for happy homes, happy kitchens, etc. And the ones I've seen really make pretty good sense.
So it's your turn. Please compose your own. It might be a recipe for friendship, a recipe for a boring day, a recipe for a healthy family, a recipe for a good book, a recipe for grandparents (or grandchildren), a recipe for a great pet (no, we're not cooking the pet!), a recipe for getting older (or staying younger), a recipe for success, a recipe for failure, a recipe for misery, a recipe for a great marriage, a recipe for a perfect afternoon, a recipe for -- oh, why not? -- mudpies.
Or a recipe for something else entirely.
Use your imagination..... what "recipe(s)" can you share? And no - in case you find the example somewhat, uh, mushy for your taste - yours doesn't have to be. It can be sweet; it can be tongue-in-cheek; it can be witty. Make yourself at home.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Today, I want you to write a short comparison / contrast piece. Think about 2 pets, 2 uncles, 2 trees in your yard, 2 books you've read, 2 ways you've schooled, 2 outfits, 2 books you've read, 2 of ANYTHING. But choose your topic, and as with any writing task, you've done the hardest part. Next, think about ways those 2 _________s are alike, and how they are different. And tell us. Use 5 - 10 sentences. Don't stress over it, just give it a try and see what happens. Waiting to read!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Rules are: In ten sentences or less, you are to tell the three places in the WORLD you'd love to visit - and WHY - or WHAT you'd love to do or see there . . . . and if you win, VOILA! -- "they" will hand you the airplane tickets (for yourself and ten or twenty others that you'd like to bring).
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
But the thoughts of fall and its impending arrival have made me think. And now I want to make you think.
Tell us: What is your favorite season? And why? And just for fun, use exactly twenty-eight words.
Waiting to hear!
Monday, September 3, 2007
They'd say things like, "Why use a ten cent word, when you can use a five dollar word? " Meaning, make it visual, make your writing come to life, liven it up!
For example, which of these sentences is more fun?
(a) They danced all night.
(b) The lively young couple, lost in the thrill of newfound love, frolicked and bounded all over the busy, dusty barn floor until the sun peeped through the little rough-cut windows, when they collapsed in laughter on the perimeter of golden hay.
(Silly, I know. I don't spend much time on these, but you get the idea.)
So.... ready? I will give you one measly boring sentence (like "a" above), and you turn it into a "b." You can go many directions with this, so I am only giving out one "a" and hoping to receive a a lot of "b's" for it. You are only limited by your imagination (and your very good taste).
(a) The bird went away.
Okay, "b's," anyone?
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Let's suppose you've just gotten a letter from the powers-that-be at Emerald Pointe Wet & Wild, and they (having heard about your great imagination and intelligence) have requested that you design and develop a new ride, slide or attraction for their already cool water park. They need for you to put your idea into words and mail it back to them right away. (You also might wish to draw a sketch or two, for your personal files, to help you visualize your new masterpiece.)
So tell us, what will we all be lining up for next year??
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
New assignment: Write about someone you admire. Tell us who, and why.
RULES : (Please read carefully!)
1. It cannot be your mom or dad. Hopefully you do admire them, but maybe you can do that one privately sometime and give it to your parent(s) if you wish. Or save it and write a book about them when you're grown (if you ever have the time to spare :)
2. It can be anyone else, present day, past, someone you know, someone you wish you knew, someone real (not fictional).
3. It can be as many sentences as you want, but it must be 31 words. Nope, not "at least 31." Or "no more than 31." THIRTY- ONE. Exactly. ( Why 31? Because challenges are fun!)
4. If you can't narrow it down to one person, you can do as many entries as you want. 31 words. Each. Go for it!
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
What kind of sound would it make, or how many teeth would it have?
How many legs, wings or trunks? What would it eat? Would it be cuddly, or ferocious? (And if you had one for a pet, what would you name it? What games would you play with it?) Would it make a helpful contribution to the world, or to your life?
You don't have to answer all these questions; just help us get to know your fictional creature.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Where'd you go?
It's time for another poem...
Please use these guidelines as you fashion your lovely verse:
2 stanzas, 4 lines each. That means 8 lines.
Which only means that, in each part, the first & third line rhyme, and the second and fourth lines rhyme.
And write it about someone. It can be about the Lord, or it can be about your mom or your
brother or, okay, a pet.
It can be mushy-sweet, tearfully sad, or burst-out-laughing-funny. Or it can be cute. You decide. You can give it a title. Or not. You can make it like a letter to someone, or a
description of someone.
Just make it yours. Okay, wow me!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Okay, let's try something new. This will take some courage, so if you are a shy writer, YOU CAN DO THIS.
I want you to brush off your palette of great words, and paint me a word picture - of a color.
But don't say the color. At least don't say its common name. Just make us see that color, and just maybe you can give us a hint or two, to make that color come to mind.
For example, I'll draw you a picture of a less basic color, just so you know what I mean:
Stranded on the desert island, they found an old, still-corked bottle of vintage which had washed up just after them. It was wrapped in Victorian Christmas ribbons, which they ripped off, pouring out its contents to write an impassioned SOS in the white sand.
Okay, that wasn't a work of art, and it isn't too chock-full of examples, but what color did it make you think of? There were two or three pictures I tried to draw of the color (you'll think of more with primary colors), and one play on words. You can use other words for your color, instead of its well-known name. Just try not to be too obvious. Make us work a little, or at least make yourself work to paint us a picture.
Before you begin, see who can guess my color. Then we'll guess each other's colors (if that works..... we'll see : )
Hint: there may be more than one name for this color, but only one is the answer and fits the two examples and the play on words.
So try it! Guess mine, and then try your hand at painting with words.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Those of you who know what a typewriter is probably remember typing, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." I knew that it was a sentence using all letters of the alphabet, but I just learned that it is a pangram, which is: a phrase using all the letters of the alphabet.
So, got any more? Can you write a pangram? I'd prefer that you make it a complete sentence, but just make sure it is a pangram, and that you make it up. (Don't just go searching for them on the computer. We want ORIGINAL here.)
(And the uniforms were pretty cute. Maybe we should plan a fashion show and model them.)
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Okay, guys, it's like pulling teeth with some of you! Well, maybe this week's assignment will be more your .....ah .... style.
Which is exactly the week's topic. Style.
Imagine, if you will, that you pick up your newspaper tomorrow morning and see the following news article:
NEW LAW FOR HOME SCHOOLS
A new law has been passed that all home schoolers must now wear uniforms.
Each home school may have its own attire (or even one for each day of the week, or
seasonal uniforms). The uniforms may be chosen or designed by anyone who attends
the school or teaches there.
Well? Consider yourself chosen. What'll it be for your school? (And if you've already graduated, what would you have chosen when you were still home schooling ?) What uniform(s) would you choose or design for your beloved school?
Friday, June 29, 2007
For this week's assignment, think hard and remember the halls of your high school. What's that you say? You're home schooled?? You're (take your pick) not in high school, already finished with high school, a home school mom, or ..... the halls of your home school are covered with hand prints? Great, just the audience I thought I was addressing.
So, think of that dear school; try hard to remember it. Close your eyes if you need to (or open them and look around if you are still there!).....and this week, try your hand at writing an alma mater for your beloved school.
Alma mater ..... that would be very loosely translated : school song. (The phrase can also refer to your beloved school.) If several of you share the same school, you have several options. You can put your heads together to come up with a good song, you can each write a verse, or you can each write a song. You can put it to music if you like, although you'll have to figure out a way to share the tune with us. You can still write it if you've already graduated (or, uh, flunked out). If by chance you want to write one for a non-home school you've attended (college or any other school), even if they already have one, you can make up one of your own. If you've already written one for your school, we'd love to hear it! Or maybe you want to save that for a time when you can spend more time to make it perfect. No problem, just come up with a fun one for now.
Your song can be serious or silly, but make it something that shows the special-ness of your school. It can be long or short. This is not meant to be an act of worship for your school, but it is a kind of tribute, through which you can bring tears to the eyes of the singer.... or make them giggle as they remember. Whatever. It's your song.
(By the way, any home school teachers reading this post, you don't have to go back through the halls of time and write about the school you went to - unless you want to. You can work on one - alone or with help - for the place where you teach, or have taught. And if everyone in your family prefers to work alone, it's perfectly all right if we end up with 5 alma maters for the Podunk Home Academy of Flexible Learning. Or whatever your school is called.)
As an example, I researched alma maters & found a web site where some people were discussing writing them.
Here's a clip -- and someone called Southport Jim's brief and rather cute attempt. Please excuse his use of the "s" word below ; it's pretty much a no-no at our house : )
Conrats!! :D My high school had a terribly stupid alma mater . . .
High school Alma Maters are SUPPOSED to be terribly stupid...it's an incentive to graduate and go off to college so you never have to hear it again!
Worked pretty well for me...
"All hail to thee our high school,
Our hats are off to thee,
Forever you will find us,
Deedle de de deedle dee!"
Go BULLDAWGS! ;-)
If you want, you can also research some real ones to get a feel for them. But remember to make it yours. Make it something that brings your school -- or the people who attend/teach/ live there -- to mind.
Happy singing..... I'd better go find my Kleen-ex box.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Thanks for the beautiful psalms you posted. I was very blessed.
Okay, time for something easy. Time to try your hand at making a sentence that uses a word (or something that sounds like the word) in more than one way. A little like our recent puns, but not exactly. Personally, I get very confused by the whole homophone / homonym thing, but you can use words that are spelled the same - or not. They just have to sound alike. You can post as many times as you want, and seek to be original or interesting. You can write a sentence, a poem, a song if you like. Use two or more words that sound the same. You might even have 3 pairs of words in your sentence.
But think along these lines:
I blew that silly balloon until my face was blue!
How I long for the long days of summer.
Now, surprise us with how original you can be!
Saturday, June 9, 2007
My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. - Psalm 45 : 1
So this week, let's do that. I would love to see you write a psalm. No, it won't be Scripture. Scripture is God's Word, alive and sacred. But, do you think you could write a psalm from your own perspective?
If you don't know where to begin, you might choose a specific chapter (or part of a chapter) from Psalms, and use its structure to write your own "psalm." You might want to reflect its excitement, reassurance or faith, with utmost reverence, but from a slightly new environment.
For example, just as David used the analogy of a shepherd caring for his sheep, you might express how God cares for you sort of like you care for your _______. Tell about praising Him with musical instruments you know, or how he protects you from different enemies than the Old Testament Psalmist faced. You decide. If you elect to use a particular Psalm as a model, please let us know which Psalm (or verses) you are using, so that we can read it and see what inspired you.
Our entries will be "psalms," or songs of praise, colored a bit by our culture, but we'll never presume that they are Scripture themselves!
So, hoping the assignment is clear, I look forward to your "composition concerning the King." May He be honored in all we do.
Saturday, June 2, 2007
New category: I had thought about asking you to rewrite or add to some nursery rhyme for your new challenge, but I've decided that is too broad. Instead, I'm providing the rhyme.
Remember this one?
Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet
Eating her curds and whey.
Along came a spider
That sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
Well, here is your chance to be the next Mother Goose (or Father Gander)! You may rewrite the above verse in any way you want. You may change her name, the name of whatever in the world she's sitting on, her visitor, you name it. Or you may use the poem just as it is an add a second verse to follow it up. So pull up a tuffet, scratch your head, and jot something down! You don't need an example this time. Maybe I'll add one in later....
Friday, May 25, 2007
So here is your new challenge. Think back on your driving history (or your history as a passenger, cyclist or pedestrian). Can you come up with a new traffic sign(or 5 or 6)? Maybe you've had a mishap that just the right sign might have prevented, or maybe you just think the world needs a few new signs. Have fun, and if you are really sure about your suggestion, maybe you need to let the North Carolina DMV people know (but be careful which person you approach; many of them don't seem to have a sense of humor......)
Example: Watch Out for Falling Acorns
Friday, May 18, 2007
So here is your new assignment (Please read the rules carefully) : You are to create such a work (it can be 1 - 5 sentences). It can be a statement, an observation, a story, a poem, or a song, whatever! But use alliteration. And guess what? Not just any alliteration. You must use the beginning letter(or sound) of your first name (or whatever name you go by) as your repeated sound. Now if your name is, say, Brenda, you might choose to use "b" or you might choose to use "br." It's up to you.
So here's a quick example:
Daphne delighted in dancing with David daily, but she dreaded the day that Dave dipped her too deeply and dropped her to her death.
If you really have fun with this, you might want to do another with your same letter, or with the beginning of your middle or last name. But do the name you are known by first.
I'm ready to read!
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
"GET OUT!"... but the lizard just didn't wanna.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Time for another challenge. Thanks so much for all your entries on the last post. It was such fun to read your reflections!
Okay, it had to happen. A continuous story.
But to keep it lively and to keep it from launching into oblivious silliness, I am setting up a few rules. PLEASE READ THEM CAREFULLY.
1. I get to start it.
2. Try to keep it unified. Let's keep characters to a few, and events well coordinated (in other words, try to keep the story following some logical sequence). Having said that, you can still surprise us, it can take twists and turns, and it can definitely be funny!
3. Unique handicap: (This is a rule.) You can only add one sentence at a time (but you can add a short exclamation such as Oh! along with your sentence), and your sentence must start with the letter the last person's sentence ended with.
4. You can post as many times as you want, but you cannot post just after your last addition. You have to let there be 2 sentences in between each of your turns.
5. I guess it needs an end, so we'll set this deadline to end the story: Thursday, the 26th. If you really, really want to have the final word, you may have to stay up late, because on the 27th the party's over.
So I am taking a deep breath and trying to trust you guys on this!
For the story's original sentence, something not at all original. I am borrowing from Snoopy (or whoever Charles Schultz borrowed from):
It was a dark and stormy night.
Okay, your turn.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Easter is just past, and spring has sort of sprung (don't worry, it''ll be back), so let's mark the moment. How are you at ..... haikus??
In case your memory needs refreshing, here's some information I found in trying to nail down an official definition:
....."a seventeen syllable Japanese Poem three lines long with the form of five syllables in the first and third line and seven syllables in the [second]"...."they often attempt to capture a mood or a feeling"...
Okay, just in case you need an example, I'll give you one, on a possibly remote topic so I don't steal your best idea:
Squirming in gardens,
Swimming in scummy puddles...
Glad I'm a late bird.
So, what'll it be, Spring, Easter, or something else close to your heart (or your funnybone) ?
Can't wait to read what you'll come up with!
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Ready for a new challenge? Hope so!
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Enter the longest word you can think of, in which the letters are in alphabetical order. No fair just combing through the dictionary.... you have to think. If you already have a word in mind, you can check for spelling. Everyone enter something; it doesn't have to be the longest one entered so far.... write one down even if it isn't as long as the last guy's. If you are only 6, feel free to write something like "at." (And because this is a multi-age, multi-level forum, if an assignment, including this one, is too hard for you to understand or to complete on your own, it's fine to enlist some help.) But let's see how many words we end up with, and what the longest word is......
How old do I have to be? Not an issue. Go for it.