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Archive for October 17th, 2014

Find more Poetry Friday at Today's Little Ditty with Michelle H Barnes.

Find more Poetry Friday at Today’s Little Ditty with Michelle H Barnes.

Migrating starlings, over the southern Israeli village of Tidhar, on February 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Migrating starlings, over the southern Israeli village of Tidhar, on February 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

My students were mesmerized this week by the Wonder of the Week, Starling Murmurations. As I often do with these Wonder lessons, I asked them to choose 4 of the Wonder Words. Then we watched the video, looked at The Atlantic site, and selected a picture to write to. The above image was selected by Erin. Erin is a third grader. She has a confidence about her that I wish I had. She sat writing her poem and told me, “I am writing a staircase poem.”

“What is a staircase poem?”

“Look at the lines. They look like the steps on a staircase.”

I think Erin just created her own form.

Erin's journal

Ready, set, fly,
One bird takes flight,
another one and another one
until there’s a million in the sky
making an illusion of love as one goes by
washing over me.
Come along and see.
To believe is the key.
The key is to believe.
So graceful and startling,
a routine with meaning. Just
believe and you will see that anything
can be beautiful if you just put love into it.

–Erin, 3rd grade

I showed my students my poem movie from Spiritual Thursday. (You can see the post here.) I made the suggestion that they make a poem movie with their starling zenos. Some of my students are loving J. Patrick Lewis’s new form. A zeno is a great form for writing nonfiction poems. Enjoy these poem movies made using Animoto.

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