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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