I am like North Dakota.

The Writing Activity

1. List (on sticky notes or simply a piece of paper) character traits of North Dakota. Think of both positive and negative traits. Try to come up with at least three character traits.

2. Pick one of the character traits. Make a list how North Dakota is like that character trait. Make a list how you are like that character trait.

3. Write a short comparison piece showcasing how you and North Dakota are alike. 

Mentor Text

"Patient"

North Dakota is patient. The seasons eke into their depths. It’s a surprise pinning where cool hours tighten into chilly days that squeeze into frigid months holding us in place until the stranglehold weakens and the process reverses to warmth and beauty and sweltering and stifling.

I am like North Dakota. I wear my students down one writing assignment at a time until they are stunned into growth. A revelation that holds for a moment until the processes relaxes and I start again in a different direction.

by Angie Hase

"Fierce"

North Dakota is fierce, in a humble sort of way. Surprisingly fierce. Unexpectedly fierce.

The sweet prairie sunsets.

The calm, generous skies.

But the transformation happens quickly: a picture of beauty to a deadly storm. Perhaps a blizzard by winter or a tornado or thunderstorm by summer.

The change is fast. Abrupt. Sudden.

An unexpected expected.

I am like North Dakota. People call me sweet. They call me calm, generous. But to stop at those words is to not know me fully. I can be a fierce storm, changing in an unexpected expected.

by Erika Dyk