Friday, October 31, 2014

Poetry and Face Painting Friday

Turning Back by Sara Holbrook

October light
turns in by six
and night
comes early in the forest,

This weekend we will turn back the clocks. Halloween is a turning back for the teens in my classes--the holiday provides good cover for kids that want to turn back into kids, if just for a little while.

Teenagers can be quite serious. So serious that it's easy to forget that they like to be kids too.

Today we are writing for the Yes Magazine essay contest. The contest prompt asks students how they combat world suck with awesome digitally or otherwise. The prompt extends from an article about empathy, teens, the Green brothers and Nerdfighteria featured on the Yes Magazine site.

To prepare for writing we read and discussed the article. We watched the Nerdfighter F.A.Q. video. We brainstormed how we build strength and support in real life and online and we've planned how we could use a variety of details to shape our pieces.

I wrote with students this morning and I began my essay with an anecdote about painting a little girl's face at Give Kids the World Village.

After I wrote my lead I remembered that I had my face painting kit in the classroom. I usually paint students faces for our homecoming football game, but I didn't get a chance to do that this year. I was at a conference on that Friday. So after writing, I broke out the face paints and said I'd paint some Halloween cheer. Students were so cute. 

"Is it free?"
"Does it cost money?"
"You're going to what?"

They were delighted and the first boy that sat down. Well, he decided he wanted me to recreate the unicorn dolphin. 

I love working with teenagers. 

Have a Spooktacular Halloween!

Lee Ann

Sara Holbrook's feature poem for October "Turning Back" is on her website. Zoom on over there to read the entire piece.


  1. Lee Ann, the poem is a perfect entrance into what we need to do this weekend: turn back our clocks. I am impressed by your face painting skills and the excitement you have created for teenagers who want to savor childhood. Enjoy your Halloween with your adolescents.

    BTW: Are you planning to write a piece for the Finding Fall Gallery (I hope so)? Perhaps, you can persuade a student to submit also.

  2. I featured a Sara Holbrook poem on my post today, too! What a fun activity - love the face painting pics! Happy Halloween!

  3. My daughter (as a volunteer mom) face-painted at our school, in the primary classes today. I'll send this to her, Lee Ann. I love that you got to do it for Halloween with your "old" kids, & it looks as if they loved it. We find our 8th grade kids sometimes feel forced to be so grown up already, but they still love Halloween & dress up beautifully, maybe for the final time. Thanks for the poem. Ah-hard to say goodbye to October. Thanks for all!

  4. Unicorn-dolphin = love...on so many levels. Thanks for sharing, Lee Ann.