Saturday, March 2, 2013

This is just to say... (Slice of Life 2)

This post is a part of the Slice of Life challenge which is hosted on the Two Writing Teachers blog.  The month of March the challenge is to write a blog post a day.

    Lately I have been tossing around the idea of having my students write false apology poems.  I ordered Forgive Me, I Meant to do It by Gail Carson Levine and absolutely love that book for introducing this type of poem.  Today, I thought I would try my hand at copying the form of the famous William Carlos Williams poem.  

This first one is inspired by a recent episode with my dog:

This is Just to Say

I have destroyed 
your new card
the bank

you were probably 
planning to use
that card 
in the near future

Forgive me
the plastic smelled good
and so fun
to chew

And another one inspired by my daily challenges (middle school mindsets):

This is Just to Say

I have decided
not to 
any work

You probably wanted
to teach me

Forgive me
no offense
but your class 
is boring

I didn't mean for that last one to come out so negative.  I absolutely do not believe that students are lazy.  I just often hear the "boring" excuse which is middle school language for challenge that they are resistant to try.  Many of my students are really entrenched in the fixed mindset way of looking at learning and this causes challenges.  We are working on changing to growth mindsets.  

One more that speaks to my book nerdiness:

This is Just to Say

I have read 
all afternoon
and ignored
my chores

You wanted
me to clean
the house 
and cook dinner

Forgive me
this book 
is too exciting
to put down

There you have a few false apologies.  I enjoyed trying the different perspectives.  I think when I do this with my students I will try to make sure they do one poem that personifies something.  It was most fun writing from my dog's point of view.  Happy Saturday!


  1. These must have been fun to write because they were fun to read. I like the ironic nature of these false apology poems. I didn't think your middle one was negative. I think you captured it just right but I love that you are striving to break that mindset.

  2. I often have students write the false apology poems. They turn out great--even for students who think they can't write poetry. My husband would think that I wrote the last one. It happens every once in awhile!

  3. I just read these out loud to my daughters and they loved them, too. The one from the dog's perspective is hysterical. Gail Carson Levine's book has been on my list for a while, especially because saying sorry is a skill that one of my girls has yet to master with consistency and authenticity. We try to keep this a source of humor in our house, as opposed to a source of rage. Your poems definitely help!

  4. These are five-star awesome! A great activity for kids, too, because the structure makes the idea of putting together a poem less daunting; very easy to personalize as well. Sweet!!

  5. I love it. They are witty and would work awesome with students. I think I might try this with my tardy ones-- instead of saying sorry, they have to write a poem!

  6. I absolutely love these! What a fun exercise and great results.

  7. I think my Young 5's students are practicing for that assignment! Love the dog! The kitchen chair I'm sitting on was once a chew toy

  8. Great job! I really love the poem from the dog's perspective. Don't miss Joyce Sidman's book of apology poems, This Is Just To Say.