Eighth graders are finishing up their reading of Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street and have been writing a series of vignettes using Cisneros’s writing as a guide. Students focus on using similes, metaphors, and sensory descriptions to heighten the theme of their vignette. Vignettes are typically short and in first person, concise, but highly descriptive. They are also trying out “breaking the rules” by creating unique sentence constructions that don’t follow convention but add to the tone and rhythm of the piece. This week they shared their favorite vignette with their classmates; enjoy the following examples from our eighth graders:
What makes these so special? Is it the rarity of the purchase? The sweet chocolate melting like a snowman at the end of winter? Or is it the crispiness inside, softer than a rabbit’s fur, more comforting than a mother’s hug? I can hear the crisp when I chew it. Some people, like my mother, decide to dump them all in their mouths at once, into a deep hole all at the same time. It feels like a million delicious balls of chocolate in your mouth at the same time. Others savor them, they eat them one by one. They lick off all of the Colombian creamy chocolate, then suck all the air out of the crispiness, after that, they crush the remnant of the Choki with the roof of their mouth and tongue as they digest it slowly. Lastly, they repeat this pleasing process all over again until all that is left is the colorful packaging.
Sylvia breathes softly, pristine air piled with pearls. She turns the doorknob and it opens as if it were oiled with silky grease. Sylvia steps through, her thighs turning, her feet elongated with grace, her head lifted to the sky. Her arms float, her feet fly along the silk floor. There is a violin, sweet and sad, like a happy cry. The floor ripples while Sylvia floats, like the sand in the sea. The sea, like the sky, the clouds. The clouds part, and suddenly Sylvia is dancing in a white marble tower, floating over the cold stone. White silk drapes ripple around her. She bends forward, Her eyes reaching toward me. She turns, her leg is in the air, she contorts, she floats, she runs around me on the silk floor, and then we stand, tall, heavy, proud, breathing in and out, air full of pearls, and the floor turns back into gray marble, and the door behind me opens and Ms. Examiner smiles and says, Thank you, you are done, and I run out and Sylvia doesn’t follow me.
Loneliness smells like humidity and rain. It tastes gray like the fog in the sky. Loneliness sounds quiet with the small “clickety-clack” of my parents working on keyboards. Too busy. Feels sticky and humid, but cold. It looks like the sadness on my face when you ask your parents to play a game, but they say they are working. Too busy. Loneliness is like a cloudy day. Loneliness is when I am lying in my bed with tears in my ears while waiting for something to amuse me, hoping something does. Loneliness is feeling that watching paint drying would be more eventful than what you’re doing, but there isn’t even un-dry paint to be seen. “Do you want to play a game?” you ask, but your siblings aren’t home. “Do you want to play a game?” you ask, but your friends don’t want to play. “Does anyone want to play a game?” you ask, but there is no one there to hear it. Oh, if only dogs could play board games.
Surf and Turf
Waves crashing. Surfers yelling. Boats speeding by. Smores at a bonfire. The Ocean, The Sunset, The Dolphins. The Beach. The sky orange, blue, red, yellow, pink. Glowing like my skin after a day of tanning. Even with my wet unruly hair, my freckled skin, and my sunburnt face. I’ve never been more beautiful. The taste of gooey marshmallows still on my tongue. A bracelet tanline. A doughnut floaty. The bitter taste of saltwater lingering in my mouth from when Lucie pushed me off the dock. I’m hungry, Let’s paddle to Luke’s! A lobster roll and root beer will do.