Posts Tagged ‘kyrielle’

Poetry Friday is at Teaching Authors.

If you’ve been following my National Poetry Month project, you know I’ve been teaching a poetry form each day to my students. I am learning so much about the benefits of writing a poem each day, but most of all, I glow when my students skip into class each day asking what are we writing today?

Writing a poem each day stretches your writing muscles. Like in a yoga practice, you find new muscles that you didn’t know you had. Word play leads us to discover deeper meanings for every day language.

Today I am sharing two of my poems from this week. The kyrielle is probably the most challenging form we have tried. Noah wrote a Kyrielle about dirt. I know I’ve reached my boys when they can adapt any poetry form to a typical boy topic.

Kyrielle Poem on Dirt

A substance covering the ground.
Laying on the ground all around.
Not making any sound at all.
Tracked by dirty feet down the hall.
Noah, 5th grade

For list poems, I turned to Falling Down the Page by Georgia Heard. We read the poems that started with “Things to do if you are…”

My student, Jacob, shouted, “Sky!” Then Madison said, “Always change colors!” and this poem was born.

Things to do if you’re the Sky

Always change colors.
Hold onto clouds.
Sparkle like diamonds.
Water the garden.
Dance with the wind.
Paint treetops green.
Wake up the morning glories.
Invite birds over for tea.
Make every day beautiful.
—Margaret Simon (with a little help from Jacob and Madison)

Yesterday, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes featured Madison’s cinquain on Today’s Little Ditty. Madison wrote her poem after pulling a cadet blue crayon from the crayon box. My students are feeling like “real” poets this month. Thanks, Michelle for the affirmation.

You can read more of my students’ poem on our Kidblog site.

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One of the greatest things about teaching gifted kids is that I am amazed everyday. This week we started a new service project inspired by the original 26 Acts of Kindness in response to the Sandy Hook massacre. The 26 Acts was revived following the Boston marathon bombing recognizing the 26 miles of the marathon. We made a poster to hang in the hallway near the cafeteria and students are making announcements daily to encourage others to do an act of kindness and add a note to the poster.

When one of my students, a 6th grader, came in to the classroom on Wednesday morning, she asked, “What letter are we doing today, Mrs. Simon?” I hadn’t made a plan because I was not officially having class. (I had to test some recommended students.) So I said, “K is for Kyrielle. Google it.” She did, and she began to work with the form.
“What topic should I use?”
“What about 26 acts of kindness?”
That was the extent of my instruction. I tested the students while she worked quietly. When I finished and the students left, she said she was stuck. I still left her alone. My two fifth graders came in. Again, I was not “officially” having class, so the three of them worked together on the kyrielle. They decided to use an aaaa rhyme scheme. They opened rhyme zone on the internet. It was fun to just sit back and watch this happen. The kyrielle has an octo-syllabic pattern, so they were counting out beats and adding and taking away words to make each line 8 syllables.
My three students were so pleased with their results, as was I, that they decided to read it aloud on the morning announcements. The whole office staff was touched and amazed. I think I should get out of their way more often.

26 Acts of Kindness

There’s something kind that we must do
To pay respects, so let’s be true
It won’t be for me or for you
So help the dreams they can’t pursue

Please, show your kindness, here’s your cue
Be the person God asked you to
We can stop them from feeling blue
So help the dreams they can’t pursue

Their families are torn in two
Come, everyone, and get a clue
Those men would wish they could undo
So help the dreams they can’t pursue

What is our country going through
To me, it feels like déjà vu
You all know who I’m talking to
So help the dreams they can’t pursue

by Kaylie, Brooklyn, and Kendall

If you want to leave these students a comment, their poem is posted here on our kidblog site. For more about the ABCs of poetry, go to my guest post on Caroline by Line.

Poetry Friday is hosted this week by Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids

Poetry Friday is hosted this week by Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids

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