Every month, Ethical ELA hosts a five-day “Open Write” and invites English Language Arts teachers to join in! ELA is broadly defined to include active and retired K-12 and college/university teachers as well as teachers of English and language arts in a variety of settings. The Open Write is five days of poetry writing developed by different educators with 30 to 100 of teachers participating at various times and thousands observing and borrowing resources. Founded by Sarah Donovan in 2005, this remains a free and ad-free event. I personally participate in this event and look forward to it every month! Some months I miss, sometimes I miss a poem or two, and I know some who visit each month for the prompts but never post them to the site, and that’s okay – however you choose to approach it.
Sarah offers these simple guidelines for first-timers:
- Go to ethicalela.com each day from July 16-20 [Check the site for a monthly schedule of dates if you can’t make it this month]. Stop by any time of the day or night. Click on the box that says “join the open write” or click on the menu item “open write.”
- Read the prompt, which we call inspiration, and then the process and mentor text. These are intended as ideas you can adapt for instruction or to get you started in your own poem.
- Write a poem. You can draft this in a notebook or word processing document or just type directly into the comment section. You will see examples from other teachers. You will also notice that you do not have to follow the prompt but can write whatever you need, however the poem can serve you that day.
- Check back throughout the day to see responses to your poem.
- Read and respond to at least 3 other poems. We respond like mirrors, which means we do not offer critique but rather simply tell the poet how we understand and appreciate their poem.
I hope to see you there!