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Personification Contributor: Emma Lunbeck To introduce students to point of view; to practice personification; to deepen students’ understanding of metaphor. Optional Free Write Topic: Write about a gift you have received.

Object Questions Display an array of 15-25 objects of varying textures, shapes, and functions, some ordinary (salt-shaker, ribbon, marble, cheese-grater), some extraordinary (conch shell, compass, bungee cord). Avoid objects that look like people or animals, such as figurines, puppets, or anything that suggests arms and a head.


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Step One: (just for fun) bring your students up to the table with the objects, which

at the beginning of class should be covered with a large sheet. Reveal the objects and tell the students to closely observe what they see—give them a minute or two. Cover the objects again and ask students to write down as many objects as they can remember from the table. Give a small prize to the student who remembers the most; ties can be broken by asking detailed questions about the objects. (What color was the marble? What suit was the playing card?)

Step Two: (the important part) ask students to come up to the table and pick an object.

Using timed writings, about two to three minutes each, give students the following brief writing assignments involving the objects: 1. Describe your object. Include as many of the five senses as possible. 2. What is your object normally used for? What other uses might it have? For example, a paper-clip can serve as a hair-curler, picklock, fingernail cleaner, necklace, toy, hole puncher, bookmark … 3. Your object saved somebody’s life. How? (Alternative prompt: Your object caused a tragedy. What happened?) 4. Your object can talk. What does it say?

Between assignments, ask students to exchange objects and, if you have time, you may ask for volunteers to read their responses.

The Cure for IDK  

The Cure for IDK isn't a typical lesson book. It is frank, funny, and full of lessons that are simultaneously entertaining and challenging....