Today’s poetry resource is one that is not just for poetry. It is something that our students need when they do any kind of writing. Today’s resource is, at times, precious. It is TIME TO WRITE.
This was the fourth week of April as far as my poetry lessons were concerned. The first week I introduced my classes to found poetry, the second week we looked at the pantoum, and the third we dabbled in spoken word/ performance poetry. This week I gave them open time to do one of the following: complete one of the poems they started with me over the last few weeks; write further poetry in one of the forms we’ve looked at; write their own poetry, free verse or in a form they’ve learned about in previous years; if it’s really not a writing kind of day they can read the poems in one of the many books we have on display.
I have been keeping this pattern all year: a handful of lessons/ writing starts and then a few open work periods for them to go back and work on one piece that like the best. This also allows me to conference with individual students as needed. I have noticed that they have gotten much better at being on task as the year progressed. I am not their regular enrolling classroom teacher and the pace with me is sometimes different than they have in the classroom. I was very pleased this week as I wandered around the room and listened to their conversations about poem topics, rhyming words, and hearing them sharing their poetry with each other.
I haven’t taught them everything I could have about poetry this month (obviously, I don’t have to stop just because April will end), but I believe that they stretched themselves a bit as writers and that they now have a few more ideas to work with as they continue down that road.