Fun Friday Have Fun with Your Teens Poetry

Fun Friday: Metaphor Dice

I stay on the lookout for ways to keep learning fun, which is harder to do at the high school level. I don’t remember how I came across this Metaphor Dice game, but I pounced on it as soon as I did.

I’d not heard much about Taylor Mali other than through this YouTube video we watched last school year. But the video alone was enough that when I saw his name on this dice game I was already half sold.

(Seriously, a funny video to watch with your teens as you launch into writing argumentative or persuasive papers.)

We played the game on the first day of school, and it was a hit with everyone. My sixteen-year-old, who usually isn’t into language games, even asked to play it again.

Your mother is a mad midwife, which is to say…

(I notice the metaphors my two teens created with the dice – the one directly above and the one in the header – fall into the same categories as their reading interests: characters and power themes. Little details! They add up to better insight.)

Mali describes his process creating the dice on the original Kickstarter page. I appreciate his honest account because it demonstrates that we don’t have to get it right the first time. It’s okay to try an idea, have some problems with it, fix those, try again, refine again, etc.

We don’t have to have it all figured out before we begin, which applies to just about everything I do in homeschooling. I have this idea I’ve not 100% figured out, but I’m going to try with what I have and then just do the next right thing.

If you’re still reading, you might be interested to learn that I’ve come close to inventing Metaphor Dice in years past because I’ve always been interested in playful ways to engage the imagination, jumpstart a memory, or otherwise kindle a fire in the minds of reluctant writers.

Taylor Mali

To kindle a fire in the minds of reluctant writers. Yes! And many of us have reluctant writers. In my own experience working with both reluctant and struggling writers, low-key, low-stakes and playful activities were key in breaking through their barriers to writing.

And since I am one of those home educators who believes I should also do the work I ask my teens to do, I opened up the game the week before school and played by myself. These words came up literally on my first roll…

It’s true. I want them to have fun. But I also want them to work.

The Metaphor Dice website has videos you can watch and some downloads for the game. There’s also an erudition edition coming out in November available for preorder. (Yep, I’ve already preordered.)

Have fun!




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  • Willow’s current favorite game is The Gingerbread Man game. She runs, runs, runs fast as she can. I can’t catch her. Willow wins Gingerbread Man.
  • She’s still stinkin’ cute. I still don’t like dog kisses in the face. 🤷🏻‍♀️ #catperson
  • Frankenweenie family movie night! Everyone I love in the same room together for two hours - a feat with teenagers and a traveling husband! I made dorky movie food. They thought it was cute. That’s a perfect Friday night in my book.
  • Many thanks to my dog-mom friends who have talked me through the WTF did I do, we were crazy to think we could handle a dog moments. Willow is SO FREAKING ADORABLE. She’s already sleeping through the night and has learned “leave it.” But OMG, a puppy, you guys. Going to co-op is now an ordeal, constantly watching for potty break signs, the biting. Sigh.
  • Our guiding question as we work through Frankenstein. Am I the only one who can get analysis overwhelm from some teacher guides? A 100 page teacher guide to Frankenstein? Holy cow! It’s too much. Are we trying to cover ALL THE THINGS in one book? Sure, there are dozens of interesting aspects we could analyze with any book. But I need a limit.
Trying to cover allusion and feminism and patriarchy and the nature of humanity and rights of the living and cloning and the tenets of romanticism and gothic literature and the educational theories of Locke and Rousseau (seriously not making that up) through one book...good grief, it’s exhausting.
What’s a provocative or interesting idea in this story? We still find that question enough of a jumping off point.
  • Breakfast read aloud for our October spooky theme. And when I say breakfast read aloud, I mean it’s October 9th and it’s the first day I’ve gotten my teens to the breakfast table at the same time AND I remembered to get the book out. 🤷🏻‍♀️ It still counts. #secularhomeschool #bravewriterteens #homeschoolhighschool #bravewriterlifestyle
  • Mystery Line Monday! We’re starting our spooky literature month, so the lines in October will come from various spooky works. I may do more than one line a week this month since I have several spooky lines. We’ll see how much crazy baby puppy brings to our life.😜
I’m not highlighting any literary elements in this one. It’s the idea I find intriguing. Something I want my teens to think about as they go out in the wider world and encounter different leadership. Also, we’re starting this book this week.
  • Hi! My name is Willow. I like toy crabs, pine straw and mad dashes in the yard to avoid nap time.

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