The Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1st, 1863. Other than our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, there is no more important primary document in our nation’s history. It effectively ended slavery in the U.S. The Thirteenth Amendment to our Constitution made the abolishment of slavery official, but President Lincoln’s Proclamation made the Constitutional change possible. I’ve prepared common core activities that will open this document for young people and posted them for free on TPT. Teacher friends and colleagues, you’ll find the full text of the Proclamation, vocabulary building, directed reading, reciprocal teaching questions and a poster assignment to help involve students with this crucial primary document. Please let me know how all this works with your students!
I like to speculate on what might be just around the corner. I did so in my story “Make My Day” and the Saturday Writers fiction contest judges found my speculations (an app for your smart phone that offers classic movie lines?) interesting enough to award it first place in this year’s competition. You’ll have to wait until November or so for the story to be published, but my interview in the Saturday Writers newsletter is here: http://www.saturdaywriters.org/newsletter.html
Photo by Ed Haskell
I recently discovered a great poem by Andrew Hudgins: At Chancellorsville. As most of you know by now, the Civil War is an abiding interest of mine. I’ve found that the personal moments, the insignificant details truly bring home the horror and tragedy of the War. At Chancellorsville offers such details, such moments. I’ve prepared common core activities that I hope will open this poem for young people. I’ve provided directed reading, scripted reading, reciprocal teaching, research questions and a poster assignment to help involve students with Hudgins’ words and with the turbulent times in which he lived.
I recently sat in my place beside the Tuolumne River at dawn while son Jon slumbered in the tent. I wrote a modest poem that paired up well with a Yosemite photo of his from some years back. The kid helps me get published! Thanks to editor Lorette Luzajic of the Ekphrastic Review! Here’s the link: http://www.ekphrastic.net/ekphrastic/yosemite-tryst-by-robert-walton
Friend and Colleague John Miller recruited me to contribute to his teaching unit on Medieval Japan a couple of years ago. One of the tanka I wrote as an example for the students was included in the Tanka Journal # 3. Another was just published in Tanka Journal #4. A print edition is available from Prolific Press. Here’s a link to the online journal:
Photo by Wayne Thompson
Poet and writer Hardeep Sabharwal recently interviewed me for his blog. It was a good conversation. His questions spurred me to think more deeply than I usually do about our shared craft. Take a peek and please comment if you wish!