(continued from yesterday’s post)
[Addendum: I am so disappointed in election results. I think it’s more important than ever to reach every kid through books and reading and writing, and telling them through each of these activities: you matter. No matter what your race, religion, or gender, you matter. You are a human being, just like me. We matter. Writing poetry with kids remains such a hopeful way for me to be part of the connection–words, the world, kids, teachers, me, books…it’s all a beautiful, chaotic, spinning network of celebration and wonder.]
Each day, after the large group session, I met with those 3rd-grade classes one at a time for poetry writing workshops–woohoo! What a treat to get to write with kids.
The sessions were short, about 45 minutes. So really about 35 minutes of workshop times. I had a Powerpoint full of poetry forms and prompts, and basically, we did this: I would briefly introduce a poem form, we’d write a short group one together (often brainstorming a very few simple facts/thoughts about our topic first), and then students would write individual poems. All the poems were short and written very quickly. First draft, just say what occurs to you kind of writing. No wrong answers.
We did focus a lot on plants and animals, since the students have been learning lots about animal and plant adaptations. The forms we ended up trying included:
- Can Be… rhyming poems (I never do that with students!)
- Things to Do if You Are a… poems (and I showed how If You Were the Moon is this form)
- Rename It poems
- I Am poems
We tried two or three forms in each workshop, and we had a blast! The kids were eager–ready to participate and to share their work. I left time for kids to share their favorite draft or at least their favorite line!
You can imagine how quickly we did this. But you know what? Poetry unlocks creativity in kids’ minds. Even when we did two-line biopoems, where the first line was the topic and the second line was the “child of X and Y” line, they were starting to see how we can use words in unexpected and unusual ways to surprise and engage readers.
Here’s a Padlet where we did our group poems. Aren’t they awesome?
I also answered more questions about rejection, publishing, my favorite food, and more. Life is never boring with 3rd graders.
Thank you, Pinewood, for two great days!