Poetry about our moments in history — Kids’ Writing Workshop

Book Inspiration

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

We read the poem “second daughter’s second day on earth” which contains many references to the various events going on around the country at the time that Jacqueline Woodson was born. Then, we used a timeline to learn about the historical events that happened in the years 2004 to 2009 when the kids in our group were born.

We used a template to write poems in the style of Woodson’s. Kids filled in the lines with events from our timeline. Here are a few of the kids’ finished works:

Template You Can Download

Things to Remember for Next Time

Looking back at this, it wasn’t as suitable for the age group as I thought. The book is aimed more at an older tween audience (10-12). And my timeline may have been too dreary, full of natural disasters and terrorist attacks. I wish I had included more pop culture events and stuff of interest to younger kids in my timeline. I think this particular workshop might have worked better with older tweens or teens. Future workshops for this age group should really be more lighthearted.

Upcoming Workshops

Anyway, our next meeting on February 24th at 4:30 pm will have a much broader, more fun appeal. The focus will be on writing stories about traveling, to prepare entries for our One City One Story Writing Contest! This writing contest has grown substantially in popularity each year, so you might want to start thinking about your travel stories now. They can be any genre, just have to be about going from one place to another. I’ll update this post with a flyer and a link to the entry form soon. For more info you can always call us at 626-744-4066 option 4.

AnnMarie Kolakowski

I'm a youth services librarian working in the Children's Room at the Pasadena Central Library. I purchase juvenile nonfiction books for all sites, juvenile Spanish books for all sites, and juvenile DVDs for the Central Library. I do a lot of programs with school-age kids, including Lucha Libros, writing workshops, and STEAM/science programs. I also do 16 weeks of Infant/Toddler Storytimes each year. I love what I do, working with kids of all ages to inspire them to learn and use their curiosity and imaginations. Outside of my work at the library, I am also the author of a book on creative writing activities for kids.

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