Fast Funny Free Writes

fast funny free writes

It Conquered the World, 1956. From Mad Mad Mad Blog

We’re always on the lookout for fast, fun activities for Cotsen Critix, our literary society for kids ages 9-12. Recently, we took an unusual approach to the concept of the free write. Instead of writing prose from a prompt, we wrote speech bubbles. Using B-movie science fiction screen shots, of course. Here’s a small sampling of the hilarious results (and here’s the caption sheet if you’d like to try it yourself)…


PLANET OF THE FEMALE INVADERS, 1967
From flickr

fantastic duo 3_be quiet and stylefantastic duo 3_ghost of washington fantastic duo 3_all for publicityfantastic duo 3_fabulous banana


THE COLOSSUS OF NEW YORK, 1958
From Dwrayger Dungeon

problem in the lab 4_too good looking problem in the lab 4_sureee problem in the lab 4_it's in the brain problem in the lab 4_it wasn't decaf


CAT-WOMEN OF THE MOON, 1953
From Say: Hello Spaceman

  3 dudes in suits 4_rice will not help you 3 dudes in suits 4_when will life end3 dudes in suits 4_he's knitting


THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, 1951
From IMDb

big robot 2_last tacobig robot 2_wear the cool suit big robot 2_time for your iron   big robot 2_toaster is a jerk


UNIDENTIFIED FLYING ODDBALL, 1979
From Cybernetic Zoo

rover chase 5_game of tag rover chase 5_it was fake rover chase 5_no space hererover chase 5_amateurs

FEAR: The Game Show

fear the game show

Fear is healthy right? It keeps us on our toes, gives us obstacles to overcome, and adds depth to our literary characters. Fear is there to be conquered! But, as this family photo of me suggests, some fears run mighty deep. For me, it’s clowns. Clowns…and green balloons shaped like the Loch Ness Monster.

We had a discussion about fear at Cotsen Critix, our literary society for 9-12 year-olds. And while bullies, lightning storms, and spiders were all addressed, we thought it would be interesting to see how well the kids knew their literary characters’ fears. To play the game, name the character, and then have your contestants try to name the fear.

Wilbur: Being made into bacon
Captain Hook: The crocodile
Mr. Tumnas: The White Witch
The Baudelaire Orphans: Count Olaf
Matilda: Ms. Trunchbull
Peter Rabbit: Mr. McGregor
Dorothy: Wicked Witch of the West
Sherlock Holmes: Professor Moriarity
Ron Weasley: Spiders
Harry Potter: Dementors
Neville Longbottom: Snape
Professor Lupin: Full moon
Hermoine Granger: Bad grades
The Borrowers: Being discovered
Mowgli: Shere Kahn
Mrs. Frisby: Dragon the Cat
Little Orphan Annie: Ms. Hannigan
Eragon: King Galbatorix
Black Beauty: Fire
Frodo: Sauron
Taran: The Horned King
Percy Jackson: Monsters…pick one!
Lyra: Mrs. Coulter
Chester: Bunnicula
Measle: Wrathmonks
Jemmy from the Streets: A hanging
Campers at Camp Green Lake: Lizards
Ralph S. Mouse: The vacuum cleaner
Matt Cruise: The ground
Claudia and Jamie Kincaid: Being discovered
Stuart Little’s family: The mouse hole
Ella Enchanted: Stepsisters’ orders
Ramona Quimby: Picture of the gorilla
The White Rabbit: Being late!

Weird Books

weird books I’m over on Cotsen’s curatorial blog today, sharing a collections education program we did with 9-12 year-olds. The program was titled “Weird Books,” and our goal was to show kids the unusual formats books can take (including this miniature book housed in a walnut shell). Intrigued?

Click here to go to the post!

Can’t get enough special collections stuff? You might be interested in this post on a pricey little doodle, this post in which I get to pet Charles Dickens’ writing desk, this post on what appears to be an ancient code (but is not), and this post about the very first Jemima Puddleduck stuffed toy.