Tuesday and Thursday are Quick-Write days at Teachers Write, so our guest authors will be coming by with some writing prompts to try out. Do as much or as little as you’d like with each mini-assignment, and feel free to bookmark those you’d like to use with students later on. Teachers Write posts don’t go anywhere after the summer ends. They’re always here for you to use and share with student writers.
Our guest author today is Traci Sorell, who writes poems as well as fiction and nonfiction works for children—the type of books she sought out in her school and public libraries as a child. Her debut picture book, We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, focuses on the universal spirit of gratitude in contemporary Cherokee culture across the four seasons. Illustrated by Frané Lessac and published by Charlesbridge Publishing, the book shares Cherokee celebrations, history and experiences beginning with the new year in fall and ending at the tribe’s National Holiday in late summer. Traci is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and grew up in northeastern Oklahoma, where her tribe is located.
My debut picture book focuses on Cherokee people expressing gratitude in every season, not just when something good happens or when something asked for has been provided. In Cherokee culture and many others worldwide, cultivating gratitude for both the blessings and struggles experienced is critical to maintaining balance and perspective on life’s journey. It is an intentional practice and a muscle to be strengthened daily.
Your Assignment: Take a moment, close your eyes and reflect on recent blessings and struggles experienced this spring or so far this summer. Sketch or write those down.
Now review what you’ve remembered. Place a star next to the one that speaks most to you. Use this as the basis of a poem, short story, free-write, sketch, picture book, song, etc. Select the method that best resonates with your experience and create! Feel free to share some of your work in the comments if you’d like.