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Archive for July 31st, 2013

Join the Chalk-a-bration over at Teaching Young Writers

Join the Chalk-a-bration over at Teaching Young Writers

It’s July 31st, the last day of July and time for a Chalkabration. That means writing poetry in chalk, or chalketry. I knew it was coming up, so instead of unpacking boxes, arranging shelves, or covering a bulletin board as I have been doing for days to get ready for back-to-school, I crossed the hall and borrowed three children from a colleague’s classroom. Her children are usually happy to comply, but amazingly, I was able to get all three of them to write a poem (or two).

The 5-year old, Jacob, is entering kindergarten this year. He is very bright and can read already, but he didn’t know what a poem was. So I pulled out “Fancy Nancy Poet Extraordinaire.” This is a great book for teaching about poetry with lots of fancy words. Funny me, I would stop and explain the meaning of a word only to find Nancy would explain it, too, and often better than I did. She even introduced the word ode.

On finishing the book, I pulled out some old loose leaf paper and managed to locate pencils among the mess of supplies, and we set about writing poems. I did what I always do and wrote with them. Kaylie (entering 7th grade) and I decided to write about the sun. Emily (3rd grade) wrote an acrostic with the word poem. She was trying to help Jacob write an acrostic, too, but he got frustrated and moved to Kaylie for help. She began brainstorming words with him. (I have taught her well!)

Then I said, “Jacob, what do you want to write about?”
He replied, “Teenage Ninja Turtles.”
“Ok, what do you like about turtles?”
“Turtles’ shells are shiny.”
“Great first line!”
“I like the colors!”
“Write that for your second line.”
He wrote, “I COLORS”
“Great job!”
“Let’s think, what words rhyme with shiny?”
Jacob liked the word tiny.
The last line became “They’re tiny.”

While Kaylie and I were helping Jacob write his poem, Emily was writing. She wrote another poem. This one about rainbows. I love waving the magic wand of poetry over children. The world is a better place and certainly more fun! Thanks, Erica, for loaning me your delightful children for this summer Chalkabration.

Turtles' shells are shiny. I like the colors. They're tiny.

Turtles’ shells are shiny.
I like the colors.
They’re tiny.

Rainbows When I see a rainbow, they make me feel happy. When the sun goes out, I get sad.  But I'll see another one again another day.

Rainbows
When I see a rainbow,
they make me feel happy.
When the sun goes out,
I get sad. But I’ll see another one
again another day.

Haiku to the Sun morning sun columns shafts of light streaming through the clouds yellow glitter shines

Haiku to the Sun
morning sun columns
shafts of light streaming through the clouds
yellow glitter shines

Sunspots buzz like flies behind my eyes yellow polka dots.

Sunspots
buzz like flies
behind my eyes
yellow polka dots.

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