WORD MAGIC by Charleen Whisnant


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After a few preliminary pages about developing creative language use in preschoolers, this consists entirely of suggested topics for classroom ""creative writing"" projects, along with examples of the children's work (mostly poems) thus inspired. Proceeding in dead earnest as though Kenneth Koch or even Myra Cohn Livingston had never broached the subject, Whisnant herself exhibits so impoverished a hand-me-down imagination that we can only admire those few poets included here whose natural vitality seems to have survived her assignments. In her own words then, ""you might take a short walk outside of the school building. . .or bring many different kinds of hats into the room. . .Should any interesting weather be happening, use it!...Writing letters to famous people often captures the imagination ('Dear Neal Armstrong, How did it feel when you stepped on the moon?'). . .Protest is an especially captivating topic. . .Religion is an important subject for poems. . ."" and for high school students assigned to write on smells, ""incense or spray cans of room freshener can stimulate poems."" To justify the project Whisnant assures us that ""creative writing is good for everyone"" -- but any ""poet teacher"" (her intended audience) who can't do better than this on his own has no business trying.

Pub Date: April 26th, 1974
Publisher: Doubleday