North Dakota: Beautiful- Poetry Project

All 7th and 8th Grade students will be participating in a poetry and photography project where they will take a picture of something that represents North Dakota and they will write a poem to go with the picture. The picture can be a nature picture, a farm life picture, a Powwow Picture, anything that shows something beautiful about North Dakota. The student must be the one who takes the picture, but it can be a picture from the summer if they took a really great one that they want to use. This project will be due in February in case students want to take some winter pictures. Taking a picture off of the internet will be considered plagiarism. Any student who does so will receive a zero on the assignment per our cheating policy.

I decided to do this assignment when I was driving home from Florida this past summer. I was looking through my beautiful pictures from the trip and thinking about how much I missed Florida, but then I realized that there was a beautiful sunset in front of me. North Dakota is beautiful. There is no ocean and it is not Florida, but there is still so much beauty. I grew up in Florida, and honestly, I didn't appreciate it. I never felt that I was lucky to live there. I didn't enjoy going to the beach and it was only an hour away. When I did go to the beach, all I could focus on was how hot it was and how the sand would stick to my sunburned and sweaty skin. The sand would hurt like sandpaper, irritating my sunburn as I tried in vain to brush it away. Now, I miss it. But the truth is, the grass is always greener on the other side. We need to stop looking at other lawns and concentrate on our own.

We live in a beautiful state and in a wonderful community. We need to appreciate that. Sometimes we don't see the beauty because we are too concerned with the little things (like the sand that sticks to our skin) to pay attention, but that momentary inconvenience should not blind us to our blessings. Even the weather that I now long for was not what I wanted when I lived in Florida. I saw the heat as suffocating rather than embracing. Yes, North Dakota winters can be brutal, but there are few things in life as peaceful as looking out the window at the freshly fallen snow. It is beatiful. It is like a Christmas card come to life. I want the students to use this assignment as a way of focusing on our community and state and looking for that beauty. I want to use this assignment as a way of counting our blessings through pictures and poems because we really are blessed to be here.  

 

Photo Non-Example: Yes, this picture shows something unique and beautiful about North Dakota, but no, this is not the kind of picture I am looking for. 

Not even if you have a poem about the picture. 

 

Ode To Myers' Meats

Sometimes you crave a salty, smokey treat,

In Parshall, ND that could only mean: Myers' meats.

The Jerky is delicious, the beef sticks are divine,

Every bite I take makes me happy they are mine. 

I sometimes miss Florida, but I could never move back

because what would I do without my Myers' Meats snack?

I used to like Slim Jims and other beefy treats,

But now they taste like trash thanks to yummy Myers' meats.

And so I stay here, even if I am cold,

because I love those beef sticks, the best ever sold.