Why 4th graders are better poets than you (and me)….

If you haven’t yet figured out, I have a preoccupation with childhood and art.  It is my believe that most of us are naturally artists but as we grow, we are conditioned to lose this.

I stumbled upon an article about fourth grade poets that you should read on the topic.

Let it inspire you. Forget what you know or what you are taught and write, write, write.

I learned a trick from Lynda Barry, about the process of unlearning for art. (This is a short explanation of the writing process, check out her work for a much better explained and more detailed process)

  1. Pick a topic to write about
  2. Set two alarms, one for a minute and another for six.
  3. For the first minute doodle a circle on a piece of paper, concentrate on your circles.
  4. Once the first alarm sounds, start writing and don’t stop until the second alarm rings
  5. If you can’t think of what to write, write the abc’s or numbers until it comes to you (repeat every time you run out of things to write.)
  6. When the alarm sounds, set aside your piece for at least 24 hrs before editing.

Its amazing what comes of it.

We are all artist, don’t let society teach you otherwise!

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15 comments on “Why 4th graders are better poets than you (and me)….

  1. I don’t think we’re conditioned to lose our creativity. I believe that many teachers, and some parents, crush it 😦 Combine that with allowing ourselves to become crushed under Life’s difficulties and it’s no wonder so many lose the spark…

  2. I remember writing up a storm when I was younger. I would fill notebooks! I wrote train of thought poetry without rhymes and I remember loving it. There are days when I wish I was that inspired and uninhibited. I just wrote to write. I miss that!

  3. Ask a high schooler “how many things can you do with a paper clip?” and they’ll give you around 15-20 answers. Ask a fourth grader, they’ll ask you “how big is the paper clip? What’s it made of?” and can get somewhere up to 100 answers. This is the type of creativity that absolutely needs to be kept instead of pushed out in school.(referencing a Time Magazine Education article)

  4. This is fantastic! I will have to remember this. We do all kinds of 7-minute “quick writes” where I work, but I’ve never seen this method.

  5. As a writer, you are always coming across exercises and techniques to improve your writing and unleash your creativity, but this one simply makes sense (you should see my goofy circles.) And who would ever argue with a cartoonist? Thank you!

  6. Pingback: Why 4th graders are better poets than you (and me)…. | Mumbling Words

  7. Pingback: “Let’s be-say”: What we can learn from children as natural poets | The Curious People

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