Friday, November 9, 2012

Playing Around: Those Rhymes!

The other week in class, we worked on ways to get unstuck in our writing.  Years ago I had a social studies assignment that completely unstuck my grandparents' memories.  We were asked to call the oldest coherent generation that we could and ask them about a jingle that they remembered from an old advertisement.

Now, we don't have to remember a jingle per se, but remembering the songs and rhymes of your childhood can unlock floods of memories.

Begin by dredging up a rhyme from your past:
  • How did you select "it?" Did you use "Eenie-meenie-mynie-moe" or "Ocka-bocka-soda-crocka?"
  • What did you say when you skipped rope?  "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear?"  "Cinderella, Dressed in Yella?"
  • How did you tease one another?  "I see London.  I see France?"  "Johnny and Mary sitting in a tree?"
Sometimes the song is enough to pull you into a moment right there, but if it isn't, dig further.
  • Who generally said the rhyme with you?
  • When did you use it?
  • Why did you resort to it?
 Once you are in the moment, be sure to bring us with you:
  • How does it sound and smell?
  • What are your feelings and how were they expressed in your body?
  • What were your interactions with your playmates?  How did their responses reveal their personalities?
After you are in the moment and are bringing us along, don't forget to continue to play.  Allow your sentences to mimic the jingle if you want.  Allow your rhythm to mimic your breathing.  Are you panting?  Use short staccato sentences.  Are you racing?  Give us a long, long sentence that leaves us rushing and gasping at the end.

I look forward to your responses!

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