by Lauren Vandervelden, Grade 8
The clear liquid slowly digs through the ground,
pulling itself forwards
across the thin layer of speckled sediment below it
with small clusters of sticks occasionally blocking its grip,
sticks that flow out of the stream
forming a myriad of piled wood
that lays like forever-restless animals,
just as the trees stand pointed to light,
frozen in time,
capturing the musty air
and holding in the green life that is glued
to the ground,
catching only a glimpse of an emaciated
version of the sun,
which flies away once nightfall comes,
It seems that all forms of writing, even a whimsical piece of free verse poetry, requires structure. The teaching-writers at the Cabin Camps create entertaining activities that allow young writers to build their stories and poems. Teaching-writer Genna Kohlhardt took her Cabin Writers, grades 5-6, to the small garden in Pioneer Village next to the Idaho State Historical Museum. In the garden the writers were encouraged to discover their own building blocks of writing.
The small garden is filled with flowers, a small pond, and fuzzy bees. Kohlhardt introduced her students to the poem A Tree Within by Octavio Paz. After discussing the poem the writers moved freely through the garden crafting descriptions of the colors they saw.
Inspired by Octavio Paz's poem the writers imagined something inside of them. Combining their colorful descriptions and imagination the writers created poetry.
By: Kaisa Peterson, Grade 5
I have a grizzly bear
roaming inside of me.
His eyes are like the sky at midnight
his body as dark as wet dirt.
Sometimes I can feel his paws
padding softly inside my arms or legs.
When you hear my stomach rumble it is him
roaring and growling angrily.
He is protecting me from thoughts as dark as ash black
or things that might scare me.
When he is not protecting me he is shy and gentle like sunrise orange.
His sharp teeth shine like sliver.
He eats germs and swallows my sadness.
I am well and happy with this animal protector.
I love this grizzly bear roaming inside of me.
by Autumn Kuhn, Grade 6
Johnny will sometimes laugh and play,
But mostly he just cries all day.
His diapers are grossly always filled,
And when he eats cereal, it sometimes gets spilled.
My parents are miserable, they are very tired,
My dad came in late, so he got fired.
Now please if you will, just listen to me,
Please give him away, it’s very free.
You’ll get all your sleep, you won’t have to grieve,
I’m the good kid, but make Johnny leave.
The Snake Story
Written by William Watts, a fifth grader, in Guisela Bahruth's Writing Wild Class grades 4-6 .
After a night of the worst dreams, I awoke to the sight of my room, I guess. Everything looks blurry, but I can smell my mom cooking from all the way upstairs. It smelled good so I decided to get out of my bunk bed but when I tried to climb down the ladder, I just fell. When I fell on the carpet I felt it on my belly. When I went in the hallway I got stuck on the glass floor. I tried to call my brother for help but I couldn’t speak. The only sounds I heard were hissing noises. He screamed and called for mom. Phew, I thought, he is getting help. I was wrong… My mom came up looking directly at me and yelled snake! I was horror struck, I AM A SNAKE!
Idaho Writing Camps still have a lot of scholarships to give away! Just fill our the scholarship form (attached) and return it to the Cabin along with the registration form and your partial payment. If you have any questions just give us a call! 331-8000.
Teaching-Writer Guisela Bahruth took her Cabin Writers grades 5-6 on an exploration to Mars. They saw the cold red landscape and the lifestyle of metallic-skinned Martians at the Boise Art Museum.
The writers created stories or poems about the pictures of Mars and the Martians on display in the exhibit.
Writing from new or foreign perspectives seems to be a reoccurring theme in the Cabin's camps, but the teaching-writers do not need to take their students all the way to Mars to introduce them to new perspectives.
The Cabin Writers explored the Greenbelt with their senses, and wrote poetry about what they observed. It seemed that the students found more inspiration on the Greenbelt. They could immerse themselves into nature, hear the river and the birds, feel the grass and the leaves, and see things without the restricting edge of a canvas.
Quiet River, Fallen Trees Cloud
by: Riley Noland, Grade 5 by: Autumn Stark, Grade 5
Quiet rivers, fallen trees I see clouds as white as angels
Nature what is it? And sing with the wind.
The fresh smell of cottonwood So sweet so sound.
Or the song of birds? And when it rains.
It is a wonderful thing! They cry for everyone
The quiet rivers so gentle and calming That is about to die.
Fallen trees a home for small animals But then they sing a song for all to hear
and tiny bugs Telling a storm is near.
Thank you for giving us a miracle
The Fairies and the Lion
by: Emma Redford, Grade 5
Once there were four fairies. They were all friends. They lived in the forest. It was morning time. They went out to the thick part of the forest to collect nuts and berries. At this time a slight breeze blew. It was very peaceful. They thought they were safe. Just then the breeze stopped abruptly. There was a deathly stillness. Then a deafening roar shook the forest. A big lion came into their area.
“Yikes,” said Silver, one of the fairies.
“Lets go,” said Daisy, another fairy.
She tried to escape but she wasn’t fast enough. She was eaten by the lion. The others saw what had happened.
The next day the fairies were to scared about seeing the lion. They did not go out to collect food. But suddenly the lion was right behind them. It sneezed. The fairies got startled and turned around. A lion costume came off. It was just another fairy with a tape recorder. It had turned out that Daisy had just gotten put inside the costume. It was just a joke. She was okay!
Pencils were continuously writing when the Word Play students (grades 3-4) of Adrien Kien went to the Boise Zoo. Armed with small notebooks and pencils the students traveled as a group through the different exhibits. They watched the leopard spin and pounce in his cage, and marveled at a massive vulture drying his wings in the morning sunlight. Like explores in a new world they wrote about the antics of the animals they encountered.
No safari adventure is complete without a wild escape from hungry lions on the prowl. . .
But a well feed lion is very tranquil and a perfect companion for writing a story.
Fort Hall's Idaho Writing Camp partnered with the Cabin's Youth Education Program for a two week writing camp. The camp was open to young writers of all ages, and guided by professional writers. "[There] mission is to inspire and celebrate a love of reading, writing and creative discourse throughout Idaho and the region. . .As a community of writers, they embark on journeys of inspiration and imagination." Bellow are some of the works created by the students in the Fort Hall Camp.
The Big Tree
One day, a little girl went on a journey. She climbed a tree. The biggest tree. The branches broke. All she saw was dark brown bark. She felt nothing. She was numb. All she smelled was rotten leaves. All she remembered was her pet cat. At the top, a sunset appeared. It was beautiful.
A story by: Kiah Hood
The house looks haunted. It is brown with no windows. The weeds are surrounding the building. I think an old man lived here. New, the color would be blue. Inside would be an old man watching TV. The old man would have chairs outside to sit on. He would remember his wife. It would smell like oranges. Everyone would be scared to go in. He would have the TV on even though he would be asleep.
The Girl and the Bird
One day a young girl
saw a Giant Blue Bird
so she jumped on it.
The Girl and the Bird went up in the air
All she heard was the whistle of the wind
All she saw was clouds in the air
All she felt was the Bird's feathers in between
All she tasted was her dry tongue
All she smelled was roses in the air
She remembered the Bird calling her name
On the ground, she saw an old woman in the window
But the old woman saw that it was her
Poet and Pulitzer Prize winner N. Scott Momaday grew up with creative parents. They taught classes on several different Indian Reservations. His mother wrote and his father painted. His father told him stories from the Kiowa Indians, and those stories served as writing inspiration.
"The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee"
I am a feather on the bright sky
I am the blue horse that runs in the plain
I am the fish that rolls, shining, in the water
I am the shadow that follows a child. . .
- N. Scott Momaday
The Writing Wild students of Torin Jensen were encouraged to create their own 'I am. . .' poems. Using colors, animals, interesting times of day (like when the sun turns the sea orange), and action verbs the writers built 'I am' poems. The strength of the voice and style of each student was evident. They were not afraid to conquer the ugly animals not often featured in poems. Worms, cockroaches, and spiders transformed into beautiful images. I am amazed by their abilities.