A Chapter Book Writing Lesson from WritingFix
Focus Trait: VOICE Support Trait: IDEA DEVELOPMENT

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Death Personified
(or Life, Have a Seat...
We Need to Talk

creating an original poem based on a creative dialogue with an abstract idea or object


Student Writer Instructions:

In life, you have plenty of things to say to people, and most of you do not hesitate to say them. Whether it is telling your mom, “That’s not fair!” or your best friend, “What were you thinking?” or even the person in the car next to you, “Where did you learn to drive,” we have all kinds of things that we feel we need to say to human beings and even pets.

But often times non-living things need to be questioned, lectured, complimented or scolded as well. Just what would you say to Love, Time, the Future or the Mirror? And how would you say it? Would it be a kind and gentle tone or would your voice crack and your fists shake as you yelled it? Would your words be driven by annoyance, fondness, fear or humor? And what might that object say back? Are you sure you have personified these objects accurately?

After jotting down some things you would like to say to an abstract idea or object and how you might say them, you will read and analyze John Donne’s poem, “Death Be Not Proud,” in which he talks to Death in a direct and condescending tone. What words let us know how he feels about death? What details tell us his mood towards death?

Then it will be your turn to write a poem in which you choose an object or idea and say what needs to be said in the necessary tone, as well as a poem from your object in response. If you have trouble thinking of an object, idea or tone, use the interactive buttons below to help generate ideas. Remember the focus trait is voice so the mood or tone you choose should be clearly conveyed. The support trait is idea development so you must choose unique, quality details to drive your message.

Interactive Choices for Writing:

If you're struggling to start, click the buttons below for some ideas that might inspire you to launch your piece of writing.


Objects or Abstractions to Write a Poem to...:

(It's okay to think up your own objects/abstractions, if you can't find one you like here.)

Tones or Moods to use in your Poem:

(It's okay to think up your own tones/moods, if you can't find one you like here.)


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