Tuesday, December 13, 2005

CHILDREN & POETRY

This week we are wrapping up a unit on poetry in my third grade class. This has been one of the best teaching experiences for me because I stopped trying to teach them about poetry. Instead, we read lots of poems, discover techniqiues together, and just write every day. For each lesson they are invited to try something new. Yesterday we were Spinning Similes and talked about avoiding cliche. Today we are talking about the ordinary versus poetic. At the end of the week we will have our poetry reading, but before it's over, does anyone have any other suggestions for poems, poets, techniques, or ideas to share with the class? Ideas are welcome!

Here are some of my notes from our poetry field trip to the Duke Gardens:

I can prompt them: pretend you are this gingko leaf on a trip to the ground. I can ask them what it looks like - their answer of course - a fan. Or I can tell them poetry is hiding all over this garden, and they are invited to seek. Look closely until a door opens. Look closely at not just the gingko, but the way the pine needle twins stradle branches, patterns of light and shadow, the waxy shine of the magnolia leaf. A boy, who just can't stop talking in our quiet space, talks to the gingkos, clusters them, fans his face, declares one the king, writes about ducks not seen. He is poetry.

5 Comments:

Blogger reniebob said...

Julia, you should spend a day on tongue twisters! I've done this with several classes... bring a stopwatch and then time each child reading aloud a tongue twister. (I have some good ones in a file if you're interested.) They get so tickled, and in my experience, humor is perhaps the best way to hook the young on poetry.

8:00 AM, December 13, 2005  
Blogger J.B. Rowell said...

Great idea - if you can forward them via e-mail, then send them on, or maybe if you suggest a few I can find them online. They do love hunorous poems best - we wrote Haikus (of course) and then followed with Lowkus (which have the same format as Haikus but are about the disgusting side of nature). Much fun!

10:37 AM, December 13, 2005  
Blogger Michelle e o said...

JB-

They are one lucky bunch of kids to have you teaching them. Sounds like you are an extremely creative teacher. We need more of you in the world.

8:39 PM, December 13, 2005  
Blogger Rae Pater said...

Look: you have written a poem:


I prompt them: pretend you are
this gingko leaf on a trip
to the ground. I can ask them
what it looks like - their answer
a fan of course.

Or I can tell them poetry
is hiding all over this garden,
and they are invited to seek.
Look closely until a door opens.

Look closely at not just the gingko,
but the way the pine needle twins
stradle branches, patterns of light
and shadow, the waxy shine
of the magnolia leaf.

A boy, who just can't stop talking
in our quiet space, talks to the gingkos,
clusters them, fans his face,
declares one the king,
writes about ducks not seen.
He is poetry.

6:15 PM, December 15, 2005  
Blogger J.B. Rowell said...

Lookie there - there's a poem in that post! This says alot about the power of line breaks. It sounds and looks so much better now - thanks!

7:18 PM, December 15, 2005  

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