Monday, March 3, 2014

Slice of Life Day 3 of 31 The Poetry StoryBox Launch

I am happy to be participating in Two Writing Teachers' Slice of Life March Challenge.  I will be posting every day in March.  My students are also participating and you can read their slices on the Classroom Challenge page.

We'd been planning for it for over a month.  We spent two weeks learning about the poets and learning about poetry.  We wanted our kids to have a foundation on which to finish the poems in the Poetry StoryBox.  We searched for beautiful language (thank you Georgia Heard), filling our bulletin board with the examples we found.  We wrote from our heart maps about special people, special memories, special places.  We learned about metaphors and similes, and onomatopoeia.  We discovered how line breaks can change a poem.  We studied the authors' styles and tried to write in the manner of different poets.  All of these experiences helped us be ready to complete the unfinished poems.  

And yet, there was more to this project than finishing poems.  The "lack of rules" found in poetry gave several of my young writers the freedom to play with language in a safe environment.  I watched G. and J. open up to possibilities that they hadn't had the confidence to try before.  Dr. Cordi commissioned the kids to dance with words and that's exactly what happened in my classroom.  

The Poetry StoryBox was officially launched last Monday at the Thurber House.  The house was packed with students and their families from Scioto Darby, Dr. Cordi's students from Ohio Dominican University, and folks from the Columbus Area Writing Project.  Our students read their poetry and then we were treated to hearing J. Patrick Lewis speak.  Two of Dr. Cordi's students shared their digital story about the power of poetry.  Lastly, the audience was invited to finish poetry themselves.  What a sight that was, parents and children hunched over poetry folders, creating their own endings.  

It was a night filled with the beauty of word dancers coming together to celebrate the wonderous world of poetry.


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11 comments:

  1. Awesome - your kids are having such a rich experience!

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  2. What an amazing experience! I can only begin to imagine who much this project impacted their learning. Hats off to you and your students!

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  3. Loved it! What a wonderful collaboration. Can't wait for our next Google hang out :)

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  4. Wow! What a neat experience for your kiddos!

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  5. Oh what I wouldn't give to be a part of that writing classroom! Sounds like you've really cultivated a safe and fun place for writing!

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  6. YOU know I love this! Awesome

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  7. Fantastic! It will be so exciting to see where your poems will end up!

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  8. This is wonderful. I love how you wrote that students seemed more excited about writing poetry due to the "lack of rules," and that they felt more freedom to be expressive. This sounds like a great project and experience for all!

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  9. Your students are so very fortunate!

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  10. You gave your class such a marvelous experience, Julie. What a night!

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  11. This seems like such a fun project! I want to know more- can other schools participate? Or start their own boxes? And to get to spend an evening with J. Patrick Lewis- wow, wow, wow!

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