Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wild Thing

If you were given the opportunity to build your wild self, what would you look like? I asked myself the same question when I visited the New York City Zoo's Build Your Wild Self website.

I gave myself some appendages that would help me with my everyday human struggles:

Notice my octopus arms and legs. I would love to be a master juggler with all of those sticky limbs. I'd be able to do the work of a mom, a teacher, a friend, a daughter, and a wife with the greatest of octopus ease.

Check out my elephant ears! These are the better to hear you with, my dears. I would use them not only to physically hear (which is getting more difficult as I get older), but for the even more important operation of listening. I mean being in the moment; not thinking about a response nor going on any mental vacations. I mean listening with my big old pachyderm ears and my whole human heart.

They say elephants have a good memory. That would explain the gnarly old trunk hanging in the middle of my face. I would love to be able to remember things without going through a pack of sticky notes a day.

Why do reindeer antlers sit atop my wild head? This is where I would hang the various hats I wear. Among them would be my mom hat, my wife hat, my teacher hat, my daughter hat, my friend hat. (Noticing a theme here?)

How about those beautiful monarch butterfly wings? I've been infatuated with monarchs ever since I began teaching and ordered live butterfly larvae for the classroom. It was simply magical to watch the stages of development and hear the sighs and gasps of joy and amazement as we let our full grown butterflies go. Besides, who hasn't, at one time or another, desired the ability to fly?

If you are looking for an interesting writing springboard, think about letting your students go here, create their own "wild selves" and then write about it. You can even print off their wild pictures to go with their amazing writing. But before you let them at it, check it out yourself. What would your wild self look like?

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