"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Encouraging Poetry Writing in Students by Using Centers.

Welcome Poets!

That's how my message to students begins.  I am taking a different tact this year. In the past, we have spent most of our time exploring a particular poet's work or a style of poetry.  This year, I am hoping that by inspiring the inner poet in each child, he or she will, in turn, be more interested in reading poetry year round.

I have set up poetry centers in the library. It has been fascinating to watch the students move between the centers. I am interested to see how each center inspires them, how each center encourages or enables collaboration, and how each center challenges them. For more great ideas, please check out my colleague Jessica Lodge's Website, Mrs. Lodge's Library. (I hope to incorporate her Duplo blocks idea next year.)

Poetry inspired by...
Students are invited to write poems inspired by an image, another poem or an idea. I taped a piece of paper to the table and will try something different each week.

The first week, I propped open a book with three photographs and encouraged students to write a poem inspired by one of the images in any form of poetry. It was not very popular, but the poems that were written were incredible:
The coming week, I plan to write the word "recess" on the paper and have students write poems about recess.


The week after that I am going to put photographs of animals on the table.

The final week,  I want to read an excerpt from Love That Dog by Sharon Creech and have the students write poems inspired by the Walter Dean Myers' poem. 

Word Mover
One station has my five iPads with the app Word Mover.  The students have figured out (without any guidance) how to change the color, font, and weight of the text as well as how to change backgrounds. I showed the first students at the table how to drag and drop the words, how to change the word bank, and how to add their own words. Each child then showed the next child how to use them. I will be sharing the poems on each iPad at the end of the month.

Blackout Poetry
I think this is one of the hardest forms for the students to work with, but it appeals to and helps students who are overwhelmed when faced with a blank piece of paper.  I have been creating various examples to guide the students.  There are many methods that can be used.  Students can try to create a Haiku (very difficult!). My daughter came up with one method that I love, choosing a letter and crossing out every word that doesn't begin with that letter.

Free Verse


Book Spine Poetry
The students can create book spine poems from any section of the library, but they must re-shelve the books. I love this sneaky way to get them thinking about library organization and call numbers.

Poetry Fibs
The poetry is written following the Fibonacci Sequence, with the numbers representing the number of syllables on each line. I am excited to challenge students with this form of poetry.

1    Read
1    a
2    good book
3    and it will
5    change your perspective,
8    alter the way you see the world

Magnetic Poetry
Using an oil  tray from Auto Zone (Thanks for this great idea, Jess!), the students are using a combination of rebus and word tiles to create poetry.  This station has encouraged the most collaboration.  This will be a year-round activity in the library. I also have another magnetic poetry kit on my book cart as well.

More Student Poetry

A few things I have learned in this first week:
I need to include more clean up time.
I need to organize supplies better to help preserve work space.
The students are drawn to the more kinesthetic experiences.
I need to model the "inspired" by table.

1 comment:

  1. Nice write-up! Being able to write creatively is something not all of us are capable of. Count yourself blessed because you have a talent. Getting into the mood in writing does not have a set of rules to follow. ‘To each his own’ is what people say; however, a list of suggestions wouldn’t hurt.mood in writing