This is the kind of gift I buy for myself. What word lover wouldn't love a "Magnetic Poetry Kit?" I bought it when I was still teaching school, thinking my fifth graders would have fun playing with the magnetic words. Besides, I found this in a bargain basket, marked down for clearance.
"EW! GROSS! Mrs. J., how come they put nasty words in the box? Should we throw them away?"
While the words inside the hinged tin box raised the eyebrows of some inquisitive 11-year-olds, they led to some interesting conversations about words like nude and naked.
I explained that context, and the way words are spoken determine their true meaning, and that poets love using words in fresh ways in metaphors. I admitted to them that I've been known to use the words nude and naked to describe bare-limbed trees at the end of fall, or in the dead of winter. It's hard to rattle on old teacher, but goodness knows fifth graders try.
While unpacking, and putting things away in my "new" old house, I discovered the forgotten tin, and having the day to myself, I played with them at the kitchen table until I found a few poems of my own.
Here's a glimpse of the poetry I cooked up in the kitchen that day.