I Always Like Summer Best


Serves: One

Time: 12 minutes, 13 seconds

Perfect For

  • Anticipating or reflecting upon change of season.

  • Writers who love lists



  • The mentor text is a poem called "Knoxville, Tennessee" written by Nikki Giovanni.

  • My sample piece (included in Writing Prep below).


Writing Prep

  1. The first lines of the poem are:

    I always like summer 


    you can eat fresh corn

    From Daddy's garden...

  2. The poem continues with all the special summer things you can do.

  3. The ideas are connected with lots of ands which make the poem feel fun and breathless. 

  4. Read the poem I wrote under the influence of Nikki Giovanni’s poem.

I always like summer best.

You can sleep late

and stay in PJ's until noon

and eat BBQ chicken

and peaches dripping with juice

and you can ride big waves,

build sand castles,

and get burgers on the way home.

You can stay up late playing cards,

laughing and laughing

until tears run down your face.

You can relax on the porch,

knowing there’s no homework.

You can hike in the mountains,

fly to see friends in Oregon

and still have time to relax

before school starts again.

I always like summer best!

By Lorrie Tom


Time to Get Cooking

  1. Put I always like summer (or winter or fall or spring!) best at the top of your paper.

  2. Write a list of all the things you like using the quick write method. Connect each item with ands.

  3. If you like, end your poem with I always like summer best!

  4. Quick Write means write for 12 minutes, 13 seconds without stopping or talking. (Studies show that 12 minutes, 13 seconds is the perfect amount of time for this piece.)

  5. Keep pen/pencil/keyboard moving the entire time.

  6. If you get stuck, write I’m stuck I’m stuck I’m stuck until you aren’t anymore. Cross that part out later.

  7. Don’t worry about spelling.

  8. Quick Writes grow writing love because writing fast for a short period of time helps you outrun the inner voice that says, “You can’t write. You are bad at this!”

  9. Tell yourself, “I don’t have time to listen to that critical voice. I’m gonna go for it!”


Share Your Words

1. When you are done, read your piece aloud – to a real live human, your dog, or your bathroom mirror.  It’s essential to hear your writing aloud.  You’ll hear what works. You’ll hear what doesn’t work. 

2. If you do read this to a real live human, ask them to tell you a word, phrase, or sentence that stands out to them (this is called SAYBACK ).  Don’t ask for or receive advice about revision or editing.  Just absorb what someone likes about your writing and say, “Thank you very much.”

3.  Select one line you like the best – or one that moves you the most - or one that stands out the most.  I call these golden lines.  It’s good to notice what you are already doing well as a writer.  Often, if you get response from a human, your golden lines might be the same! That’s fun and tells you a lot about what readers think is good writing. I’d even suggest making a collection of all your golden lines in a journal.  Over time, you’ll see a pattern of all your writing awesomeness!


Mix it Up

You can use this structure and write about almost anything.

  • I always like skiing best…you can…

  • I always like breakfast best…you can…

  • I always like Christmas best…you can…

  • I always like morning best…you can…

  • I always like coffee best…you can…

It’s a good thing to take a moment to think about all the things you like best.

Ah…writing…yes…writing. I always like writing the best.


Always writing,