Ralph Fletcher – a great writing mentor!

The summer of 2013 I got to hear Ralph Fletcher speak at TC. That day he shared this poem with us:

The Good Old Times  by Ralph Fletcher
Sometimes I remember
the good old days,
sitting on the kitchen floor
with my brothers and sister,
each on our own square
of cool linoleum.
I’m fresh from the bath,
wearing baseball pajamas.
Mom gives us a cup of milk,
two cookies, a kiss goodnight,
I still can’t imagine

anything better than that.

Click HERE to go to my Notes about Ralph’s August 2013 Keynote

That day he told us to pick our own moment, one we remember well and write a poem about it. He suggested to get started, we use HIS first two lines and HIS last two lines.

Amazingly, that day, I wrote a poem quickly!! Since that day, I have shared his poetry writing tip every year with the teachers I help to teach writing and with the students I teach.

This year and days after Veteran’s Day, I was sharing Ralph’s poem with my 3rd graders. Afterwards, I was moved to wrote this poem:

Sometimes I remember
the good old days
Our guest arrived just before 3pm
to the Atmosphere Studio Classrooms
including Ryan’s dad in his official Navy uniform
On cue, we sang “Anchors Away”
and all the military songs with gusto.
So many moms, dads, grandpas, grandmas, and friends
came to celebrate with the 3rd graders
Honoring ALL the Veterans who keep us free
I still can’t imagine
anything better than that.


Thanks, Ralph Fletcher! You are a wonderful writing mentor!
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13 thoughts on “Ralph Fletcher – a great writing mentor!

  1. Ms. Victor says:

    Wow- lucky you, to have met Ralph Fletcher. I love this format and imagine it would prompt some great writing and I love your poem. We should connect our third graders (maybe during March for the Slice of Life Challenge?).

    Like

  2. Ms. Victor says:

    Wow- lucky you, to have met Ralph Fletcher. I love this format and imagine it would prompt some great writing and I love your poem. We should connect our third graders (maybe during March for the Slice of Life Challenge?).

    Like

  3. Linda B says:

    I've seen Ralph Fletcher share this too, and thank you for reminding me, Sally. Your poem catches a wonderful memory. Don't you wonder how many he has touched with this poem, and how many memories he has brought forth. Lovely.

    Like

  4. Fran says:

    Thanks so much for the poem. So nice to “borrow/lift” part of the poem from his . . . it feels like “jumpstarting” as one is beginning to form in my mind!

    Like

  5. Fran says:

    Thanks so much for the poem. So nice to “borrow/lift” part of the poem from his . . . it feels like “jumpstarting” as one is beginning to form in my mind!

    Like

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