The Watchful Eye: A WITS Student Reading

Posted May 15, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

WITS students visit cultural venues such as The Heritage Society year-roundJoin Writers in the Schools (WITS) and the Menil Collection for an evening of student readings, Thursday, May 23 at 7:00 PM at  the Menil Collection. The Watchful Eye feature the poems and prose of WITS students, grades K-12, inspired by works exhibited at the Menil Collection.

A collaboration that began in 1989, WITS and the Menil Collection combined their knowledge and resources to create a program that uses art to construct a dialogue that inspires creative writing in Houston’s youth.

When: Thursday, May 23rd, at 7:00 PM

Where: The Menil Collection, 1533 Sul Ross

Free admission, open to the public

How I Get My Ideas

Posted November 13, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Sometimes you just have to stare
at the sky to let the wind blow ideas
into your head. If this fails,
remember the last time you went ice skating.
The slippery, shaky feeling of being on ice.
You fall, you get back up.

Think of what would happen if you were
surrounded by sharks in an ocean.
Think, think of what to do to escape.
Wish that you were sitting next to a
fountain throwing pennies, staring at
Honest Abe’s face. Start to think about
the President who tried to stop the spread of
slavery, African-Americans, mistreated, chained,
from Africa, home of the great safari,
animals, trying to take their territory.
Some of these animals are shipped to the zoo,
children holding cotton candy, pure sugar, the sugar
cane is its origin, plants that look like bamboo, which
brings luck. Speaking of luck, lay down, dream about
finding a four-leaf clover, meeting a leprechaun, finding
a rainbow, colors shining brightly. Follow me
rainbow to a pot of gold, like
the jewelry on your neck, glittering in
diamonds, found in coal.

I am reminded of soot in a chimney from the fireplace.
In the fire is wood from a tree which
I used to climb, branches shaded by
evergreen leaves. Paper is made from
trees, put into notebooks,
which you are supposed to fill with words right now.

Do you have any idea what you
will write? You cannot control the amount of
ideas in your head. You cannot control
frustration. You do not know how
to stop yourself from falling on the ice,
but you hold out your arms anyway.
You fall down
but keep skating.

Monique, 7th Grade
(photo by Kira Girl via Flickr

Writing Prompted by Art

Posted November 12, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

Many WITS students get to take a field trip to an art museum. By studying the art closely and actively using their imaginations, students create stories, essays, and poems that exceed their own intentions. In this photo, a student writes in a gallery of The Menil Collection in Houston.

Photo originally uploaded by witshouston on flickr

Going Inside a Painting

Posted November 9, 2007 & filed under Notebook.


What do I see
when I go into
a painting? I
feel like going
through water
with fishes
and birds flying
around me saying
what’s your name?
When I go into
the painting I
feel like I’m
going into a
green valley
playing with
my sister saying
Where are we
going and why
are we going so
far? I tell
her that the trees
are made of money
and the sky is
made of dreams
of people who are
beautiful and kind in one way.

by Sa’sha, 6th Grade

(art by Rene Magritte)