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Archive for May 15th, 2012

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life

In my classroom, things are winding down to the last day, and we are only on P in our journey through the ABCs of poetry.   Yesterday, we wrote skinny odes for the letter O.  The skinny ode lesson I used was from a master poetry teacher, the late Sandford Lyne.  Sandy was so good at front loading, getting us ready to write.  I often rush through this step.  But on Monday, I decided to take the full ride, no short cuts.  So I read a few Pablo Neruda odes along with some other models Sandy had given us.  Then I led a full brainstorm exercise.  The questions asked about everything from shape to taste with many other questions in between, 16 in all.  The kids grumbled about all the questions, but they worked.  We writers had plenty of ideas for writing our skinny odes. The trick when writing skinny odes is to fold the paper hotdog style down the center and not to write over the line.  This keeps your lines short or skinny.   I will feature my ode and one of my students, a third grade gifted writer.

Ode to a Student

O, how you look
with curiosity
at the pages
of your book,
studying, learning,
making crevices in your brain.
How can I reach in?
Will you listen to me?
Enter my room in
wonder, ready
to create, think,
question, answer,
be yourself.

Can we walk together?
Forge ahead,
make new inventions,
new ideas,
write new stories?
Together, not as parent
and child, but coach
and team.
Shout the cheer!
The world is ready
to hear you.
Be kind.
Discover horizons.
Make known
your potential.
Be the best
you can be!

Ode to a Canvas
by Kylon

White rectangle,
my hands stretch over it.
I stroke it with a dry brush,
light strokes
testing myself,
testing my painting skills.
Paint finally collides
creating sprouts of orange and red.
The rectangle’s blanketed now.
Paint everywhere,
a season on material.
Coats and layers,
swirls of yellow
leaves fly back and forth,
a fall masterpiece.

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