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Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Heidenrich Barnes’

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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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Every month, Michelle H. Barnes posts an interview with a poet.  Then a Ditty Challenge is given.  This month’s challenge comes from Helen Frost.

Choose an object (a seashell, a hairbrush, a bird nest, a rolling pin). It should not be anything symbolic (such as a doll, a wedding ring, or a flag). Write five lines about the object, using a different sense in each line (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell). Then ask the object a question, listen for its answer, and write the question, the answer, or both.

I opened the freezer for a Thin Mint cookie, and thus an ode appeared.

Green-vested Girl Scouts
line boxes on a table outside Walgreens.
Crinkling wax paper opens
to a circle of mouth-watering chocolate.
Mint permeates my senses.
Why are you hiding in this box?
Come on out for my delight,
a refreshing bite.

–Margaret Simon

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

 

Gratitude takes many forms.  Gratitude for my online community means writing a haiku-a-day in December.  Mary Lee posted the challenge, and Michelle is curating all the bloggers participating. We are all using #haikuforhealing.

haiku-clouds

 

I also feel gratitude for poetry and for authors who promote poetry in the classroom.

Poetry has the power to transform a classroom environment.  On Friday I went off the lesson plan path and shared a new book that I received at NCTE16 from Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, the partnership behind Poetry Friday anthologies.  Just You Wait is their latest anthology.  I love the new way this one is designed with a poem from an outside poet, a response poem from Janet, and a poem writing activity from Sylvia.  The subtitle reads  “A Poetry Friday Power Book”, and it certainly packed a good punch in my classroom.

After showing my students a picture of Margarita Engle (by looking at her picture, we knew she was of a different race, but which one?), I read her poem “Who am I?”.  This poem speaks of the half Cuban she is and how there is no bubble on the form for being half.  I have bi-racial students, so we talked honestly about what this means.

We also discussed the mentor text poem and how the end is like a punch line that makes you think.  So my students and I wrote together using the form “Today I am someone who…” I could not have predicted the impact this exercise would have on my students.  They wrote from their hearts.  So much so that some do not want to share with the public, but they did feel safe enough to share with me and their classmates.  We were all moved.  And through connections and writing, we became closer, a stronger community of writers.

Some posted their poems on our kidblog site for the public.  You can read them here. I emailed Sylvia and Janet, and they both graciously left comments. I can’t wait to share these on Monday. #Gratitude for digital spaces that allow this immediate and authentic feedback.

Erin handed me her poem and asked that I publish it on my blog.  She is bi-racial.  Her mother is from the Philippines.  She is determined to fight the stereotypes.

Poetry Friday: Stereotypes

by Erin

Today
I am
not just another stereotypical Asian
I’m someone who doesn’t want to be a doctor
I’m someone who isn’t just a goody-two-shoes
I’m not someone who thinks studying is more important than friends
I’m someone who doesn’t always make good grades
I’m someone who will never be just another Asian
I’m someone who will crush these stereotypes and others like it

I write alongside my students.  When I wrote this last line, little did I know how true it was.  My students find poems and express their hearts.

Today
I am
someone who welcomes toe tickles from my dog, Charlie
someone who froths milk for coffee every day
someone who looks at nature for inspiration
someone who finds poems hiding in her junk drawer
someone who finds poems in the hearts of children

— Margaret Simon

 

Please join the conversation today with your link.

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Poetry Friday round-up is here today!

Poetry Friday round-up is here today!

photo by Margaret Gibson Simon enhanced on Picmonkey

photo by Margaret Gibson Simon enhanced on Picmonkey

Revisiting Presence, my 2016 One Little Word, makes me think of poetry. Poetry is about presence. We capture a moment, a thought, an image in a single verse and sit with it in the presence of the poem.

This month’s Ditty challenge on Michelle’s blog, Today’s Little Ditty, is a persona poem, suggested by Laura Shovan.

A persona poem makes the poet (then the reader) see the world through the eyes of another person. Today, I am a featured poet on Penny Parker Klostermann’s blog. She has a series “A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt” in which she shares a poem after her nephew’s art. She also invites other poets to participate. I volunteered to write a poem from my nephew’s drum riff.

My nephew Jack, 11 years old, has been playing drums all his life. He owns his own drum set and is taking private lessons. He selected percussion as his instrument for band next year in middle school.

Jack and I, along with my sister Beth, had a Google hangout. I asked Jack to create his own drum riff, and I would write a poem to go with it. When Beth sent me the video, I was inspired to write a poem in Jack’s persona. I am sharing the poem here, but please click over to Penny’s blog to see the video of Jack on the drums.

The beat
starts in my toes,
startles my legs,
up-down
up-down!
My fingers feel the groove
until the tingling,
spine-riveting jolt,
budda-bump-bum
budda-bump-bump-bum,
is more than I can stand.
I must
I must
beat the drum!
by Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

Jack's first drum set

Jack’s first drum set

I am hosting the Poetry Friday round-up today. Please leave your link by clicking the button below.

 

 

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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

NPM2016

Marilyn Singer is a master poet. At NCTE in the fall, I had the pleasure of meeting her. I was also a lucky participant who won a copy of Follow, Follow. Marilyn invented the reverso poem and has published 3 books of them, two based on fairy tales and her latest Echo, Echo based on mythology.

On Today’s Little Ditty, Michelle Heindenrich Barnes interviewed Marilyn Singer and offered a ditty challenge to use the word echo in relation to a poem. I was determined to try the reverso form.

With my students as cheerleaders, I worked hard and produced something worthy of being called a reverso poem. The process began when we watched this video together.

I asked my students to select an insect to be in a mask (or persona) poem. I selected this image to inspire my writing.

screenshot from the film Microcosmos by Jacque Perrin.

screenshot from the film Microcosmos by Jacque Perrin.

Then I did some caterpillar research. I wrote “zig zag stitch” and then discovered that caterpillars excrete a silk line as they crawl in addition to using the silk to create a chrysalis.

Creepy crawly caterpillar
munch munch
munching milkweed
at tremendous speed.

Life changes
slowly
creeping, crawling
leaf to leaf.

Sunlight glimmers
on fuzzy bristles.
I zig-zag stitch
a silkthread path
leaf to leaf.

Leaf to leaf
a silkthread path
I zig-zag stitch
on fuzzy bristles.

Sunlight glimmers
leaf to leaf.
Creeping crawling
slowly.

Life changes
at tremendous speed.
Munching milkweed
Munch, munch
creepy, crawly caterpillar.

This is a tough form to get just right. I don’t think mine successfully creates a different meaning in reverse. But my students liked it, so I am celebrating it none the less.

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