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Archive for January 29th, 2019

See more posts at Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life .

I enjoy learning from other teacher-writers who post on Slice of Life as well as on Poetry Friday.  That’s how I met Molly Hogan.  She blogs at Nix the Comfort Zone.   A few Fridays ago she posted a beautiful original I Am poem.  Her ideas for this poem came from poemcrazy by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge, which is a book I have and value “freeing your life with words.” (Only $3.99 at Abe Books)

When I read Molly’s poem, I decided immediately to use it as a mentor text for my students.  We read the poem and noticed so many metaphors.  Using colored pens to underline the poetic devices, one of my students said, “This is a very colorful poem,” and she meant that literally.

I am granite grey
plain Jane, sturdy and dependable
but sometimes sunlight shoots across my surface
igniting flecks of mica and quartz
into quick showers of sparkles
here, then gone (Read the rest of the poem here.)

Following our reading and noticing and discussing, I asked my students to turn to a clean page and draw circles.  Oh, about 5-7 circles will do.  Then we read the poem again.  In the first part, she says “I am granite grey.”  What is granite grey? A color. Label one circle with color.

As we traveled through the mentor text, we filled in more circles: shape, tree, word, animal, nature, etc. We even made a split circle of inside and out.

During sacred writing time (10 minutes on the Zen Timer app), we filled in the circles with our own ideas and wrote a draft of our own poems.

I know that metaphor is a high-level concept that can take years for younger students to fully grasp, but I dare say that my students got it.  Their poems were long and beautiful.  Having this amazing mentor text helped greatly.  Thanks, Molly, for your inspiration.

Here’s a link to our kidblog site.  Please read and leave comments.  My students feel such pride when you do.  Thanks!

I Am…

I am pink,
chapped and worn,
supple and soft.

I stand on the base of a triangle,
stable, reasonable,
striving for perfection.

In my mind, I criticize–
a checklist of do’s and don’ts
a chapter of why I can’t be.

I am not like the oak
confident in its old age;
I am more of a willow,
seeking, bending in the breeze,
greening in spring.

I search for kind
in your eyes,
your song,
your words.

I do not hunt like the hawk;
I wait and watch like the heron
stepping carefully through the muck.

I am a magnolia blossom
open, fragrant but
easily bruised and brown.

Be soft with me.

(draft) Margaret Simon

 

From Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

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