Sharing Early Literacy Learning Journeys

Posts tagged ‘Words’

Weekly Photo Challenge: One

‘One travels more usefully when alone because he reflects more,’
said Thomas Jefferson.


What is this hitch-hiker thinking
as he heads towards Missoula, Montana?

Is he feeling loneliness or solitude in light of Paul Tillich’s words:
Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone
and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.’

And, is he a solitary person as in Paul Theroux’s statement:
‘Solitary people make the best travellers’


And, as we all know…
‘The one thing that matters is the effort,’

(Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
as we ‘…climb every mountain!’

For more interpretations of ‘One’ see here.

The sea is galloping…

I feel like Christopher at the beach today,
in A.A.Milne’s ‘Sand-between-the-toes’…


with the shouting sea…

and the galloping sea…

with sand in the hair…

and sand between the toes…

and nobody else is out!

It is a super dooper poem to read with children
and with thanks to All Poetry, here it is:


I went down to the shouting sea,
Taking Christopher down with me,
For Nurse had given us sixpence each-
And down we went to the beach.

We had sand in the eyes and the ears and the nose,
And sand in the hair, and sand-between-the-toes.
Whenever a good nor’wester blows,
Christopher is certain of

The sea was galloping grey and white;
Christopher clutched his sixpence tight;
We clambered over the humping sand-
And Christopher held my hand.

We had sand in the eyes and the ears and the nose,
And sand in the hair, and sand-between-the-toes.
Whenever a good nor’wester blows,
Christopher is certain of

There was a roaring in the sky;
The sea-gulls cried as they blew by;
We tried to talk, but had to shout-
Nobody else was out.

When we got home, we had sand in the hair,
In the eyes and the ears and everywhere;
Whenever a good nor’wester blows,
Christopher is found with

© A.A. Milne.  All rights reserved

After the rain No. 2

After the rain…


the eloquent Iris is dripping and  flagging…


whilst the crystal, clear raindrops magnify the ‘lines’ on her long, lissome leaf.

Did you know…

the name Iris means rainbow?
Iris is the flower of the Greek goddess Iris who is the messenger of Love?
in the language of flowers Iris symbolizes eloquence?

With thanks to ‘the flower expert’

Trawling for ‘t’ words?


Two tall tulips


Two turtles talking, on a tyre

Snow Pellets and Raindrops: how words feed and groom our thoughts

“Snow pellets on my jacket are like raindrops on the roof,” I said to my husband.

Coral shovelling snow PM edit small
I had come inside after shovelling overnight snow off the driveway. But, the snow  falling this morning was different from any snow I’d seen before. The snow I knew was like big, soft flakes. This snow was like hard, tiny pellets.
“Snow pellets aren’t like raindrops,” he remarked with a grin.
“Okay. The sound of snow pellets on my jacket are like raindrops falling on the roof,” I replied.
“What if it’s a wool jacket?” he asked.

“You’re right. I can make it better. ‘The sound of small, snow pellets on my polyester jacket remind me of the raindrops falling on the tin roof when I was little.’

Or better still. ‘The sound of tiny, crusty snow pellets bouncing off the crisp, polyester shell of my jacket reminds me of the raindrops dancing on the tin roof when I was a little girl in the old mallee farmhouse.’ Yes that’s it, that will do.”

Our conversation continued…

“You know what this is like?” I realised, “It’s like talking about  being specific and adding details with my Year Ones when we are doing Shared Writing. I remember…”

Martha brought her toy bunny to school and wrote in her Journal: 
I have a bunny.
It is white.
It has a pink ribbon.

After our Shared Writing about ‘being specific’ and ‘adding details’ she said, “I could write like that about my bunny.”
“What do you mean Martha?”
“The details. I’ll do it and show you,” she said and went off to write in her Journal.
She shared her writing with the class. She read: “I have a soft, white, toy bunny. She has a bright, pink ribbon round her neck.”

But my favourite example of ‘adding detail’ was from Suzy. One day, completely out of the blue, she wrote in her Journal: “I brought my adventurous, big, brown bear and he got into lots of trouble…”. Sometimes it takes a while for new ideas to become a part of children’s thinking. And it’s a wonderful surprise when it all comes together.

But back to the snow pellets… “I think that crusty, pellet-type snow is called corn snow. It’s a term I haven’t heard for years,” he reminisced.

Corn snow on Boxwood PM edit small
Snow pellets/corn snow on Boxwood

Corn snow on Coral's wool hat PM edit small

Tiny snow pellets, or corn snow, on my wool hat

The more we talked, the more our words “handsomely groomed and fed” the thoughts in my head (O’Neill)…

“What’s also interesting is the contrast,” I mused. “The sound of raindrops dancing on the tin roof above my bedroom when I was a little girl put me to sleep, but here, the sound of the crusty, snow pellets bouncing on the crisp, polyester of the snow jacket wakens my senses. I stopped shovelling and put my arm out so I could see the snow pellets bouncing off the sleeve of my jacket and hear them pinging and singing as they bounced off my sleeve.”

The last four lines of Mary O’Neill’s (1966) delightful poem, ‘The Wonderful Words’, came to mind…

But only words can free a thought
From its prison behind your eyes.
Maybe your mind is holding now
A marvellous new surprise!

Come to think of it…

O’Neill’s words would make a great poster to inspire budding writers in the classroom!

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