-- this past week has actually seemed to pass by quickly! I won't complain though. I like weeks which pass by quickly. This week went pretty well too (more on that later) which is always an extra plus.
But anyways, it's now Friday, and that means it's Poetry Friday!!
We continued to work with our brainstormed ideas of where poetry hides today in language arts. I found a really neat little poem by Valerie Worth, which I shared with my students to start.
Closed, it sleeps
On its side
Opened, it snaps
Its tail out
Like a thin
Shrimp, and looks
At the sharp
Point with a
I think it provides such a great visual, of how an ordinary object can become a place where a poem hides, and I think many of students, really got it too when we read it together. I then shared two other poems that went along with a lesson from Nancie Atwell's Lessons that Change Writers
. We talked about her idea of "writing about a pebble" -- the increased strength of poems that comes from choosing to write about specific objects, people, etc. versus big general ideas. Ex. (from the lesson): "Don't write about sunsets. Write about the amazing sunset you saw last night." Then, it was time to write. By the time our sharing time rolled around, there were some neat drafts of poems in progress
For instance, here's an original (still in its rough draft form) from me, as a second Poetry Friday contribution:
On my desk,
overflowing with papers to be graded,
memos to be read,
notes to be answered,
lesson plans to be completed,
sits a tiny wooden box.
to fit in the palm of my hand,
with a name
scrawled in red letters upon the top,
Leaves people always wondering.
All but me and one other, are
Unaware of it's history.
Resembling just another object,
Appropriated from a student,
much more is concealed inside.
Pull the Hinge open
Look past the pale yellow sticker,
beyond the Plastic Sharpener
until you see
housed in the simple gift,
given to a cherished teacher.
I think part of the reason I love Poetry Fridays, is that I'm learning with my students. I've always enjoyed poetry, but have never felt like a poet. I enjoy writing, but I suppose in school, poetry was always presented as a genre where you had to follow some rule: lines rhymed, or had specific numbers of syllables, or some specific pattern, and writing poetry was something I kind of convinced myself I just wasn't good at. Through jumping into (hmm....didn't I just use that term yesterday?) having Poetry Friday in my classroom--sharing poems with my class and writing with them--my viewpoint is changing. I still don't feel like I'm a good poet yet, but I have become convinced, as I put it to my kids today, I can play with words and rough drafts of poems do come out. And I see that happening with my students more too. Within the past two weeks, I've seen my students feeling more and more comfortable to try out poems that don't really have a rule to follow: and they've been creating some good ones too! I was handed a poem near the end of the day, that one of my girls had written about the experience of looking into a box of her baby photos and it took my breath away. Are my students beginning to get what poetry can be? I think so.
btw: Poetry Friday is hosted this week by The Simple and the Ordinary