List

Who doesn’t love a list? So write one! Top five slices of pizza in your town, ten reasons disco will never die, the three secrets to happiness – go silly or go deep, just go list-y.

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Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Floating Lanterns XII
On August sixth every year
the seven rivers of Hiroshima
are filled with lanterns
Painted with the names of the
fathers, mothers, and sisters
they float on their way to the sea

Almost there, pushed back
flame snuffed out
Darkly coming back in pieces
Tossed by ocean waves

That time, years past
these same rivers were filled
With the corpses of those
fathers, mothers, and sisters
— Poem by Iri Maruki and Toshi Maruki
Translated by Nancy Hunter and Yasuo Ishikawa

Research the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by answering these questions:

  • What led to the decision to drop the atomic bombs?
  • What was the strategic objective of these actions?
  • What judgements have historians made about these events?
  • What other questions do you have about Hiroshima or Nagasaki?

Find descriptions, photos, or videos clips of the aftermath of the bombings. Using the information you have researched, write your own poem about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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Intensity

Describe the last time you were surprised by the intensity of a feeling you had about something, or were surprised at how strongly you reacted to something you thought wouldn’t be a big deal.

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Environmental Disaster

Write about an environmental disaster that you have either witnessed or heard about recently in the news.

First jot down notes on a blank page under three headings: “Land,” “Air,” and “Water.” Now draw on these notes to classify, in an essay, the effects of the disaster in each of your three categories. Do not withhold frightening or gross information, for it will show the reader the importance of your subject. In your second draft add more sense images and sharpen your transitions. Read your final draft aloud to someone keeping enough eye contact to judge which passages have the strongest effect.

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Walls

What do you display on the walls of your home – photos, posters, artwork, nothing? How do you choose what to display? What mood are you trying to create?

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