Ideas For Teachers

Suggestion for all teachers: Begin with examples of how social, political and economic problems throughout history led to discoveries, inventions or theoretical shifts in your subject area. This helps create context before introducing the mission of 14 Words For Love. Show poems from the website.

• Language arts: Incorporate 14 Words For Love into existing poetry or creative writing curricula. What is an aphorism? What is free verse poetry? Is it possible to write a 14-word story? (All of these writing “forms” work well.) Remind students not to focus on romantic love.

• History/social studies: In every governmental change, coup, war or land acquisition, there’s a fight for resources and usually life itself. Ask students to use empathic skills along with their knowledge of events to write 14 word poems, stories or aphorisms in the voice of historic figures or fictional voices that were silenced by certain laws, imprisonment or genocide. For current events: Whose voices are being silenced in the world? What might they want to say if they could?
• Art: What can students draw or create with 14 lines? 14 hearts? What happens when students change perspective on a piece of work? (Literally place students in different locations to observe a 3-dimensional piece of art.) Ask students to “package” a 14-word poem or aphorism in their chosen medium or material(s).

• Science: Discuss famous scientists or doctors who were influenced by the arts (Poet William Carlos Williams was a dedicated physician). Albert Einstein wrote aphorisms like “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” Students can write their own aphorism or a 14-word thank you to Jonas Salk or Marie Curie, Tesla or another scientist who made their life better.

• Math: Give assignment (or extra credit) to prepare a budget for someone (single or family) who has a minimum wage job. This can be done solo or in small groups to research averages of rent, food, health care, transportation and taxes. Have them summarize their experience in 14 words. Share with the class or with the school.