Everything’s Alive If You Want It To Be

by IYWP Mentor Mike Corsiglia

The Week 2 lesson plan at Longfellow Elementary covered the use of personification.  Kids in Writing Club were given the opportunity to personify objects and colors in whatever way that they would like.  One of the students, Frida, decided to personify the color blue. She poetically explained that she felt alone, and in a peaceful place away from her problems, when she thought of the color blue.  She imagined floating all alone and looking up at the stars in the sky.  For Frida, poetry is a way to, “escape into my own world.”

Other students gave wacky narrations of what it would be like to live life through the eyes of different objects. “Some people could really use a tic-tac” Fiona explained as she described what it would be like to be a swirly straw.  Fergie even began to write a story:


“Dude, are you sure you want to do this?”

“Why not?  Do you think your phone sucks?  Are you afraid?”

“No, I’m not afraid, I just think something bad will happen.”

“What could happen, it’s not like it’s a bomb war or a gun war.  We’re just kids testing out our new phones.”

“Are there rules?”

“Duh.  We can pick one friend to help us, no destroying the other phone, and… I can’t think of any more.”

“Well, let’s start!”

Jake Renolds and James Peterson walked to school together, played at recess together, and they built phones together.  They didn’t build the phones, they just made them better.  Made them talk.  Made them think.

As they were walking, Jake’s phone, Samuel, said,”School is five point two miles from here.”

James’s phone, Alex, said,”Incorrect.  Your destination is right in front of you.”

“Bested again, Jake!  Your phone failed!  Your phone failed!  Your phone failed!”

“Samuel needs work.  I know that.  I’ll work on it tonight and tomorrow, he will be better than Alex.”  

           “We will see, Jake.  We will see.”

James wanted to see if Samuel was better than Alex, as Jake had said.  He decided he would take Jake to a play.  He called and Jake answered almost immediately.

“Why are you calling me at six in the morning?”

“I guess your clock is off by six… Hours.”

“Oh yeah, Daylight savings.”

“Jake, daylight savings is less than six hours.  Anyway, I wanted to ask if you wanted to go to a play.”

“Why not?  I‘ll come over at–”



James waited for Jake to come, and while he was waiting, he had Alex scan the script.  Alex said,”Scan complete.  Processing… Processing…”

The doorbell rang, making the windows shake.

“Jake, did you really have to pound on the doorbell that hard?”


They got into a car and drove to the play.  When they got there, an usher said,”Tickets, got your tickets?”


The usher smiled.  “Right this way, y’all.”

Thirty some people swarmed causing the doorway got clogged.  People started screaming.


“I really think people should CALM…  DOWN.  I’m not pointing fingers but I really think  people should SHUT… UP.  DONT… YOU… AGREE, Jake,” James shouted.


People finally settled down and Jake and James got to sit down.  James pulled out his phone, and pointed the camera at the actors.

Jake asked what he was doing.  He replied saying,”Alex scanned the script a few days ago.  Last night, I was up until one am working on Alex.  Now he will point out the actors mistakes, if they make any.  Can Samuel do that?  I don’t think so.”

Jake didn’t say anything.


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