If you want to teach me to write, first you have to love me. ~AVI

Friday, December 3, 2010

Poetry Friday

Next week, my fourth graders will begin to work on poetry calendars for holiday gifts for their families. While I have done this project for several years now, each year I look for ways to improve the experience. This past year, my blogging journey has perked up my passion for all things poetry and I am looking forward to trying some new techniques. Folders are overflowing with possible mini lessons to inspire young poets. This weekend I am fine tuning my plans and writing some poems to use in my lessons. Each student will create a unique collection of poetry with accompanying illustrations. Some children have chosen themes that represent something that they care about and can write about. We have also been talking about modeling our pages after many other calendars or poets like Joyce Sidman, by including some factual information to accompany the poems. I usually offer writers the option of selecting favorite poems for a few of the months and we often write a class poem for one month. One year on our July page, we compiled a list of Ten Favorite Poets. I am looking forward to the enthusiasm that this project generates as students are busy like Santa’s little elves. These gifts really turn out to be such treasures. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or thoughts about this project. As Lee Bennett Hopkins says, “Pass the Poetry, Please!”
I love when the snow clings to the trees. Yesterday morning the bare branches were shimmering like crystal wine goblets and the pine trees were draped with snow. I am posting a haiku that celebrates the beauty of the evergreens:
Pine trees pose proudly
Sporting sequined snow ponchos
Charming chill chasers.

Thank you to today's host, Tricia. If you are a night owl blogger like me, head over to http://missrumphiuseffect.blogspot.com/ for today's round-up.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, what a lovely lovely haiku and idea! I adore those pine trees with their "sequined snow ponchos." It's perfect.

    As for the calendars, oh how I wish I would be getting one of these as a gift. They will be a perfect fingerprint of your students at this age, a treasure for generations. Honestly, I can't imagine a better gift.

    Your project reminds me of when I read about how Jackie Kennedy would ask her children to copy or write a poem for her for each holiday, poems which she collected in scrapbooks over the years. Now Caroline does the same, and her children can refer to Grandma's books for Mom's gift. Beautiful.

    I am thinking that your students might wish to include some quotes about poetry along a border here or there...or maybe even include certain poems on birthday months of family members, as a way of honoring them. They might even write favorite poets' birthdays on the actual days.

    This could be a wonderful joint project with an art teacher too.

    One summer, I made calendars with some summer workshop girls. We did not each make our own calendars due to time, but each girl did one page and we put them all together. It was such a fabulous summer-memory, all year long. This will be so much richer, more vivid and deep!

    Theresa, I know that you will probably want to post photos and all about this on your blog, but if you would be interested...I am hosting Poetry Friday on December 17. Might you be interested in writing a Poetry Peek (you've seen them in my sidebar?) about this project. We'll get a lot of traffic since it's a hosting day, and it would be available for teachers to link to afterward too. Please just let me know if this is something you might consider. It's a wonderful project, and teachers learning how you did it would be a great service.

    Thank you for sharing this inspiring post!

    I just looked out at my trees and saw them differently...