Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Writing is Magnetic

Why Speed Scrabble is good for writers...

Every Tuesday,
I visit the classroom
and play "literacy sort" with six and seven year-olds.

We cut words from paper 
and shuffle them around 
to find out how they are similar or different. 

Most of the kids are okay with this sorting game, 
but one of my new friends 
is traumatized. 

He wants his little word scraps to stay in one place, 
straight as soldiers, unsullied by battle.

As a writer enamored with my first drafts, I sympathize. 

It's painful to step back from your work. 

A good pair of pruning shears can help.
 Or a few rounds of Speed Scrabble. 


It's great for practicing revisions:
Learning to improvise,
To scribble 
your heart out, 
and start again.

How do you step back from your work?
Are you open to change?
Do you improvise?

To fuel my Scrabble fire, 
we made alphabet rock magnets, 
inspired by this.




Magnets and Glue.


Let the refrigerator games begin!

A Speed Scrabble how-to for novices:

Speed Scrabble is like "miracle-gro" for writers in revision.

The idea is that you play sans game board, creating a personal network of connecting words with your first handful of letter tiles. 
Every time you draw a new letter, you scramble your previous words to make room for it.  
Even if you adore that you made "quixotic," you are willing to sacrifice it to make a new bundle of connecting words. You're done when you can't figure out where to go next, or you've used up all of the tiles. It can be played alone or in competition, depending on your personality. 

Don't you feel your improvising juices sloshing around already?


Jan Morrison said...

oh my, this is great. My friends and I play speed scrabble, also a scrabble game where we up and move around the board - or move the letters around (hmmm...too complicated to explain - it is very zany and there may have been intoxicants involved). We also play pick-two - which is very like your speed scrabble - you need lots of players and much yelling happens. I love games.

Jan Morrison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate Higgins said...

Now that I have a grand daughter, I'm stocking up on great ideas...this is definitely one of them!

Faith Pray said...

Jan, the intoxicated scrabble game sounds enticing! Maybe someday we'll meet in person and can shuffle letters around together!
Kate, Congratulations on your grand baby! For the record, they may be better for preschoolers and up. I had to confiscate them from our fridge because my one year-old kept popping them in her mouth.

Stacy Post said...

Love the rock magnets! We play bananagrams a lot as a family, which sounds similar? Another lovely glimpse into your world. Thanks for sharing!

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Coolest talking rocks I ever saw. And that blackboard drawing has Rembrandt, Picasso, and Klimpt wrtten all over it. Where would we be without woids? There would be a lot more finger pointing and gesturing, that's for sure.


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