220. Good Bones: Maggie Smith

What makes something go viral? It's a good question to ask your students.  If you ask them about "Literature with a capital 'L'" they won't know what you're talking about.  Classics?  Old books?  Books librarians shove in your hand, that have gold seals on them and are not good but good for you?  Personally, I... Continue Reading →


156. Our Lady of Perpetual Help: April Lindner

A poetry pairing. This is from a section of the New York Times called "The Learning Network". There is some good stuff here, although the Times' lesson plans are a bit hit-or-miss. You can see the original, and access other lessons, here. Of Linder's poem, poet Ted Kooser writes, "I am especially fond of what... Continue Reading →

128. Snow Day: Billy Collins

Tomorrow is a snow day here. The snow on the map stretches from Arizona to here in Vermont. Our superintendent called it at three in the afternoon today. After two years without a snow day, here we are. Yeah. Someone should write a poem about the schools in the south that cancel with an inch... Continue Reading →

81. Solitude: Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The drama of adolescence. Is this not over-the-top enough to count as hyperbole? Brain development at this point is interesting. In adolescence, the human brain moves from thinking only of itself (what do I want) to realizing that other people have thoughts, too (I want ice cream; everyone must want ice cream). Unfortunately, the adolescent... Continue Reading →

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