I have two words for you: Shane Koyczan.
You may remember him from a lunch-time salon at a BCTELA conference a few years ago, or you might have seen him preform at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Shane Koyczan is a BC spoken word artist, poet, and author. He has won a number of slam poetry competitions and is currently on a performance tour. He creates and performs provocative, heartfelt, and funny poems suitable for middle school and up (some are more appropriate for younger listeners than others.)
He is becoming widely known for his poem “To this day,” the popularity of which is growing into a full anti-bullying campaign. You can see more videos of his work on his website here.
We think Shane Koyczan is great. You might too!
Have you heard of Poetry in Voice / Les voix de la poesie? It’s a recitation contest for Canadian high school students. They have a useful teachers’ page with lesson ideas and link to other resources. Speaking poetry aloud can completely change the way students can access poetry.
I just saw that this year’s national finals are being held in Vancouver! If you’re in the area, it will be pretty cool to check out: May 8 & 9.
The best part about Poetry in Voice (this month) is that they are doing the same thing as us: they are tweeting a different poetry idea every day. If you’re on twitter, check out @PIV_LVP.
This week I’m introducing found poetry to two classes of 6/7s.
There are many variations of the rules of found poetry: whether the poet must only use words from the found text, or if she can add her own; whether the found words/phrases must be used in the order they appear in the original text, or if the poet has license to move them around; whether one original text is used, or many. Its up to you what constraints you put in place. I used this lesson from ReadWriteThink and this description from poets.org to focus my instructions to my students.
I gave each student a short text, or excerpt. I chose six texts so each student at every table had a different one. I asked them to read it through once, then go through it again and underline strong words and phrases, then I asked them to make a list of what they underlined on a piece of paper in the order the bits appear in the original. That’s as far as we got in the first period.
In the second period they each read through their list and some chose to add additional bits from the original text as they felt necessary. I told them about the variations in ‘rules’ and let them, as writers, make their own choices regarding the “purity” of the text and the order of lines. They have started to construct their poems.
We’ll see what my young writers come up with…
I want them to consider the ‘story’ and voice in their original text as they construct something new. I want their new piece to have a distinctly different voice–and possibly a different story–from the original. The example by Reznikoff in the link above from poets.org is a great snapshot of what it could be.
The texts I chose were not simple texts. In fact, they are not ones my 6/7s would have anywhere near their fingertips. The texts I chose were:
You may notice some addition April-related thematic work here (cherry blossom festival, Earth Day). I though I may as well get these NF texts to double as thematic exposure too 🙂
We have written posts for Poetry Month in the past but this year we are going to do it a little differently. We will be making a poetry-themed post every school day in April. Sometimes it will be a resource, sometimes it will be a great piece that might serve to inspire our writers (and us!), sometimes it will be a spotlight on a form one of our executive is teaching at the moment.
If one of these posts reminds you of something you do in your practice, you can share your idea in the comments.
To start the month off I will remind you that if you have students writing poetry (or prose) you may want to suggest that they submit their writing to the BCTELA student writing contest: Voices Visible. The deadline to mail them is April 22. Don’t forget, you must be a member of BCTELA to enter students’ work.
You can download the submission guidelines and entry form here.
Before Eve left the garden, she tugged Adam’s sleeve and said,
One more, one more. You would think it was the pomegranate
branch she wanted, the round, drab bush dribbling myth
above a tedious brook or to retrieve a copy of The Temptation of Baghdad, (more…)
Do you have some great strategies, units, ideas to share? Present at our Annual Provincial Conference this Fall, October 24-26, in Coquitlam, British Columbia. Our theme this year is Cultivating Passionate Learners. If you are interested, the deadline is coming fast – February 21, 2014. Please send submissions to Shelley Moore at email@example.com achat viagra vrai.
Conference Proposal Form
Looking forward to seeing you there!
Great professional development for English Teachers in the Northwest, March 1-3, 2014.
From the Council:
The Oregon Council of Teachers of English is very excited to be hosting a NW Regional NCTE Conference in the year we are also observing our centennial!
We have put together a fabulous program with more than 180 speakers from Canada and 22 different states, with a terrific line-up of keynoters and featured speakers that includes three past presidents of NCTE and Linda Christensen, a favoruite in B.C.
Please look over the offerings in the various program strands on diverse learners; reading and writing instruction; research, inquiry, and collaboration; speaking, listening, and drama; literature; technology in the classroom; and much, much more.
Check out the NCTE Conference Brochure (updated January 20th).
Looks fantastic, and BCTELA will see you there!
We are pleased to announce that the lastest issue of English Practice has arrived. Download the “Teaching for Joy and Justice” issue of English Practice, vol 55/ Summer 2013.
English Practice, the journal of the BC Teachers of English Language Arts Association, is a peer-reviewed, open access, online publication published twice annually. We are passionate about sharing the powerful practices of BC English Language Arts educators, and creating a vibrant conversation about teaching and learning in the English Language Arts in BC and beyond.
Congratulations to all the fabulous writers who submitted work to our student journal, Voices Visible! We would also like to thank all the dedicated teachers who nurtured the talents of these remarkable young people.