Monday, September 7, 2015

Back to School with BALLOONS Lit. Journal

In August, I was very pleased to see my poems, “The Math Beast” and “Thunder” featured in Issue 2 of a new online publication called BALLOONS Lit. Journal.

After reading the journal in its entirety, I would like to recommend this rich resource to teachers and young readers everywhere. BALLOONS Lit. Journal features work from both established and young writers from all around the world. It also includes work appropriate for a wide age range of students.

The inclusion of work by young people makes this a wonderful model for young writers. Share the poem, “Rain,”by ten-year-old Sage as an excellent example of using descriptive details and then ask students to write their own weather poems.

Two fiction stories in this issue are told from the viewpoint of inanimate objects. “Knight Errant” is a clever chess story set in medieval times with a twist ending.

“Carnival Balloons” follows the worried thoughts of a balloon watching over a lost child.

Both of these stories could be used as models for writing from an object’s viewpoint, particularly a toy or game.

The art in Balloons Lit. Journal is utterly delightful. “The Earth—A Miracle” by Hyonju (Karen) Ahn could inspire writing about the earth, the solar system, and/or ecology.

Ahn’s “City Lights” could make a terrific writing prompt and discussion for sensory details. Project the art on a smart board screen and brainstorm descriptive words for the busy sights and sounds depicted. Ask your students to describe a visit to the city or write a story about someone who is experiencing New York City for the first time.  

Attractively designed and available for free to educators, BALLOONS Lit. Journal, should be on your back-to-school list for writing workshop ideas. Check it out at 

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