SOL16, Day 11: Hoping for Poems


I offer this a slice to share the few thoughts about poetry that have been rattling around my classroom. There isn’t enough. Yet. Thank you to Irene Latham for hosting Poetry Friday on her blog Live Your Poem and to  Two Writing Teachers blog for the eleventh day of the March Slice of Life Challenge. The slices I’m reading are beautiful, provocative and entertaining. What a group of writers lives here.

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Narrative free verse poetry attracts me as a reader.  The white space offers room for the reader to absorb the story. The occasional rhythm and often playful author placement of words allow readers to experience the story.

I’ve found my students revel in verse novels. The words don’t overwhelm; the chapters are short.There’s lots of room to wonder and notice. It gives the struggling reader a release from complex sentence structure and the thoughtful reader time to ponder.

We’ll start Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson next week for read aloud. And as a writer’s gift for April, students will receive a blank book to create a story in verse or a collection of poems. A post on our classroom blog made me realize this couldn’t come soon enough.

a long time ago I was in love with poems. I knew every single kind of poem there was. I would spend all my free time writing poems. I got over it eventually just let me tell you how.

I had just finished another poem when my aunt came up to me and asked me what I was doing. I told her I was writing when my brother came by and threw my papers all over the place. As I chased him through the house my aunt read my poem and told me a poem had to rime.

This post created ripples.

At lunch, I overheard two students collaborating in Google Docs over a poem.

They sat across the room from each other. They go back and forth in their document. Adding and subtracting lines.

J came up to me later saying, “I think we could develop an app for people who are afraid of poetry.”

I asked him to say more. His vision sounded like a version of Mad Libs. I didn’t want to mention it exists. Let him try it out.

The response of teachers and students who commented on her post was inspiring.

Erin offered this:

I discovered last year that I love to write poems, and none of my poems rhyme.  😉 I hope you will try your hand at writing poems again.  I think it takes a talented writer to be able to say so much and evoke strong feelings with so few words.

Wow. You nailed it, Erin.

I’m excited for the what will surface in the next few months. Hoping some will “try their hand at writing poems.”