October Student Showcase- Colton Nicks

As part of a new student showcase series, we’ll be posting an IYWP student’s featured work on the blog each month. We are excited to kick off the monthly showcase with The Staff, a short story written by Colton Nicks at the junior high writing conference last April. This year’s junior high writing conference will be held on Wednesday, April 20th. Stay tuned for more information and make sure you check back next month for a new student showcase!

Click here to read Colton’s story.

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Poetry By Frida

by IYWP Mentor Michael Corsiglia

Throughout the year the students at Longfellow Elementary have been encouraged to find some form of writing that they love, and to do as much of that writing as they can.  Frida joined the writing club with an interest in poetry that has blossomed into a passion.

Frida and Friends

The following poems are a glance at some of her work from this year.

Untitled
Trembling,
Shaking,
Fear all inside.
It will consume me
and live my life.
So floating like
flowers,
I dance down the stream.
And excuse my fears
from inside me.

Untitled
I live,
I fly.
I close my eyes.
I’m dancing.
My life is just a spin.
I flutter,
I flap,
Twirl across the map,
of stars,
plus Mars.

Writing Club
At writing club, we write and play.
It’s so much fun, I’d share all day!
Some work together, the staff are great,
It’s writing club– Oh, I can’t wait!.

Untitled
The grass is green,
The sky is clear,
I will never want to leave here.
The hills surround me,
I take it in,
The fields and trees and grassy greens.
I am alone, and yet I’m not,
I’m with the birds and the hills and trees that I’ve caught.

Lyrical Mad Lib Exercise by Olivia Schwartz

Dynamite (With Blanks)

Song by Taio Cruz

 

 

I-I-I-I-I-I
 came to ____(Verb x4)_________

I hit the ­­­­____(Noun)­_____ cause that’s ______(Verb x4)______

I’m wearing all my ____(Adjective)______

_______(Noun x4)_______

Give me some _____(Noun)_____ for both my _______(Noun)______

Yeah, yeah.

 

Cause _______(Noun)________ goes on and on and on.

And it goes on and on and on.

Yeah.

 

I ______(Verb)______ my ____(Plural Noun)____up in the air sometimes

Saying ay-oh, gotta let go.

I wanna ____(Verb)____ and live my ______(Noun)_____

Saying ay-oh, baby let’s ____(Verb)_____.

Cause we gon’ rock this _____(Place)______

We gon’ go all night

We gon’ light it up

Like it’s_____(Noun)_____.

Cause I told you once

Now I told you twice

We gon light it up

Like it’s ______(Noun)_____

 

I came to _____(Verb x4)_____

Get out the way me and my ____(Noun x4)_____

I’m in the _____(Place)_____ so I’m gonna ____(Verb x4)_____

Just what _____(Person)_____ came here to do do do do

Yeah, yeah

 

Cause it goes on and on and on.

And it goes on and on and on.

Yeah.

 

I throw my ____(Plural Noun)_____ up in the air sometimes

Saying ____(Silly Word)____, gotta let go.

I wanna _____(Verb)_____ and live my life

Saying ay-oh, baby let’s go.

Cause we gon rock this _____(Place)____

We gon’ go all night

We gon’ light it up

Like it’s ____(Noun)_____.

Cause I told you once

Now I told you twice

We gon light it ____(Direction)____

Like it’s ____(Noun)_____

“You go with the person that completes your dream”

This semester, Heather Spangler and her fellow IYWP volunteers are leading a creative youth journalism workshop at Four Oaks Cedar Valley in Cedar Rapids. Whether or not you’re struggling with love this Valentine’s Day, this post from the budding advice columnists of Cedar Valley is for you. Heather Spangler introduces the project:

This semester the Cedar Valley writing group is focused on journalism. Students chose a publication theme and are writing three stories in three different journalistic styles to match their theme. Themes include basketball, animation, history, dogs, volleyball, dance, music, and beauty. This week, however, the group of elementary and middle school students focused on writing advice columns and answered each other’s questions about love in honor of Valentine’s Day.

I expected lots of giggles and silly responses with this mushy gushy prompt and instead was blown away by these wise, thoughtful kids. Read and learn:

Q: Why is love so hard for some people?

A: Because most times people don’t know they’re in love until they are told by someone else.

Q: Do you know what love is?

A: Yes I do, okay. Love is when you love someone else. You give them hugs and kisses and give them candy.  When you love someone, you can’t get them off your mind. I also know you usually don’t know you’re in love until you really get close to know somebody. Most people always wait to claim when they are in love. Sometimes others have to say you’re in love before you, yourself figure it out.

Q: On Valentine’s Day, I know girls like to get flowers and chocolate, but what is a good gift for a boy?

A: Some boys trash flowers. I don’t think it’s not for boys. That’s what I think. Other people think it can be for boys and girls, but my brother trashes other things like my stuff and my mom’s stuff. Boys can get other stuff.

Q: How should you show someone that you love them?

A: Talk to them most of the day and then soon the person you like might like you back. When you’re in a relationship with them you usually hang out with them a lot and let no one tell you you’re wrong because it’s who you love, not anybody else.

Q: Someone I like is kind of shy to talk to me. What do I do?

A: You should start a conversation with them, like ask them what do they like or what do you guys have in common.

Q: What is love? How did love become a thing?

A: Love is something you show. If you love somebody, you should show and tell them how much you love them. Love became a thing because without love everyone will go around killing everyone, telling you the truth.

Q: There are two people I really like. How do I choose?

A: You go with the person that completes your dream. One that makes you laugh and is always smiling and caring. Someone who does not talk about just themself. Never choose one that your friends or family tell you. Go with what your heart tells you. A man that gives good advice and goes through thick and thin with you. Go with the one your heart tells you to go with.

IYWP Valentine

Heather Spangler is a strategic communications writer at the University of Iowa and also teaches in the UI School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She recently revealed to the Cedar Valley kids that she was the hula hoop champion at her elementary school in 6th grade. 

The Deadly Flower Garden

Once there was a flower garden. One day when a man walked in the garden he never came back out. More people went in and they figured out that the man had been eaten by the flowers. Then the people got eaten too. One day, it started at the beginning of the flower garden, when you walked in there were grave signs. Also, there were live bones dancing and the signs read turn back keep away. The middle of the flower garden is the scariest. There are hands that grab at you, heads that are just bone and spears that come down and stab you. When you pass the middle of the garden there are things that chase you, like vampires, zombies, werewolves, and other creatures. The creatures come in the corn maze and they hide the headless-horseman and the spider that spits out fire and ice shards. As you continue through the maze, then comes the Doc, who wears a lab coat and glasses with a black shirt and black pants. He might torture you. When you are out of the maze you will get nightmares about the flower garden when you go to bed. Have sweet dreams.
Jonathan, Age 11

The Jack Steelers

THE STORY BEGINS:

In the city of New York, it is a very cloudy and rainy day. It’s the year 2021, where houses float and cars hover. Every person has a special, unique gift, like shape shifting or voices that sing like angels. One day, it seemed like an ordinary day and a very happy city but then the Jack Steelers came to change that very fast. The Jack Steelers were from a very weird place called Villomania. They were called Evil DG, DD, and CC. They heard about how wealthy the city was and came to rob them. They started robbing stores and banks… Two days later, they were in a bank. “Haha, we are the Jack Steelers, and we are here to steal your money,” Evil DG said. So the Jack Steelers took out their guns and threatened to shoot…

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? THE JACK STEELERS EXPLAIN:

“Then out of nowhere a superhero [Robot Boy] came and pushed us out of the building but luckily our secret plane came and got us just in time and we flew back to our secret lair.”

HOW DID ALL OF THIS CRIME GET STARTED? ONE OF THE JACK STEELER’S MOTHERS EXPLAINS:

“Many years ago, Jack Steelers weren’t all bad. They were teased when they were kids. They had to sit alone every day at school. They had no friends until they grew up. When they turned 13, they met each other. Then they turned 14. They came up with the Jack Steelers. DD, DG, and CC all tried to get revenge on their friends because they didn’t eat with them.”

A YOUNG HEROINE ENTERS THE STORY TO SAVE THE DAY:

Mia is an 8 year old with brown hair and brown eyes. She always had a dream to be a singer. Every night she would dream she was a singer and she would be on a stage with fans, but she is too shy to sing in front of fans, Mom, Dad, her family, friends, and everyone. She was so shy she would not even mumble.

One afternoon, Mia is walking home from school and notices the Jack Steelers. They were trying to break into the mayor’s house. She was very horrified. She didn’t know what to do. The idea that she had was to start singing to distract the Jack Steelers and attract a large crowd so there are too many people around for them to break in but… she was scared. Mia tried to think of another plan, but there was none. She took a deep breath and let it all out, which made the Jack Steelers, along with many others, pay attention and ruin their plan. But then the head leader of the Jack Steelers had a brilliant idea that involved the talented Mia.

They do something to her brain, then she becomes one of the Jack Steelers.

The Jack Steelers:

“Her brain is replaced with a Jack Steeler’s brain!”

IS THIS THE END OF MIA?! NO, IN FACT:

Mia only pretended to be a Jack Steeler.

OTHERS, HOWEVER, DO BEGIN TO FALL UNDER THE BAD INFLUENCE OF THE JACK STEELERS:

One thundery night in New York 2021, Officer Midget was in town at a coffee shop. And all of a sudden a killer came in and stole the cash register and he was so fast he couldn’t see him and he never saw him again.

THE CRIME WAVE SPREADS TO OTHER CITIES!

One day Big Boy Killer went to the White House and snuck some of the president’s money. Then he put a bomb on him and stepped back and… BOOM. He blew the president up and all of the police came after him and he went to jail. The police had a long day.

One day Officer Midget went outside in New York City to find the killer who broke out of jail but when he turned around he got shot. After that, Robot Boy came and killed Big Boy Killer for life. The superhero that killed the killer is now the hero of New York City.

BUT THE JACK STEELERS ESCALATE THEIR CRIMES:

A billionaire scientist gets robbed. He says, “The Jack Steelers came and stole my million dollar gold robot that has military weapons that will help the Jack Steelers rob stuff faster.”

THIS SCIENTIST IS ACTUALLY THE FATHER OF ROBOT BOY, THE SUPERHERO! THE SCIENTIST EXPLAINS:

“After I adopted my new son, I was working on my best project when he came and asked for a cookie so I gave him one, then he took off. Then I finally got it. I invented the power of invincibility!”

THE SCIENTIST, HIS SON ROBOT BOY THE SUPERHERO, AND OTHER GOOD GUYS GET TO WORK:

They make a load of army soldiers and robots and a humongous dinosaur. Then they battle the villains. The Jack Steelers got so mad their faces turned red like a volcano.

THE SCIENTIST ISSUES A COMMAND:

“Discharge all of the robots!”

Someone will switch a button that controls all of the robots to then attack the villains. They’ll regret robbing and stealing because the person that switches the button tells them about what happens to the people who steal and rob. The person tells them the people who rob and steal go to jail. So then they stop stealing and they return the money back to the stores, gas station, and the bank. So the real army sets a nuke and blows all the robots away.

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE OTHER “BAD GUYS” WHO WERE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF THE JACK STEELERS? IT TURNS OUT THAT BIG BOY KILLER WASN’T DEAD, JUST BADLY WOUNDED. HE EXPLAINS:

“While the superhero was fighting crime, I was in the hospital. I was thinking of joining the good side or bad side. I’m joining the good side.”

WHERE ARE THE JACK STEELERS NOW? THEY TELL US IN THEIR OWN WORDS:

“One of us falls in love and one of us turns smart and one turns good. The Jack Steelers are no longer bad, they are nice.”

DG: “Hey you guys! Don’t you feel weird from when that superhero had zapped us?

DD: “Yeah, I feel so good. I think I am going to pick some flowers.”

CC: “I think I’m going to go to the library.”

DG: “You guys, I think I’m starting to feel lonely. I’m going to go out there and find me a man. Peace!!!”

THE END… OR IS IT?!

(WILL MIA EVER SING AGAIN?

WILL ROBOT BOY AND DG FALL IN LOVE?

YOU’LL HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL TO FIND OUT!)

–Written collaboratively by THE WRITER’S CLUB (9-11 years old):

TRINITY, SEYNUBOU, DEONDRA, TREE, CHIARA,

DEZMON, CHAISE, DAYVONTA, KEEGAN, PARIS,

TAREEK, AJ, JACOB, DARIUS, KAYDEN, ELIAS, and others

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Fall 2011