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Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

When my student Vannisa wanted to write a fall poem, she looked to the skies. She wrote this poem including the science of meteor showers that occur in fall.

As We Fall

As we fall into winter,
the weather chills
and the leaves come down.
They fill the ground with
a fiery red
and blazing orange.

As we fall into winter,
we can no longer watch fireworks
like 4th of July,
but we can watch
the shooting stars of
Orionids and Leonids
and watch the days get shorter
until Spring comes back again.
–Vannisa

She had a blog comment on her poem asking her more about the Orionids. When she was looking for something to research for her Wonder of the Week, I suggested the meteor shower. Each week I have my students use Wonderopolis to read nonfiction and respond by writing about what they learned. They then have the option to create a class presentation using technology.

Vannisa had to expand her research beyond Wonderopolis and this was my intent all along, that some little spark would send my students into real, authentic research.

Click the image to view the Emaze.

Click the image to view the Emaze.

Know: Orionids is a meteor shower that occurs in late October. A shooting star is a meteor and not an actual star. The name for the shower is Orionids because most of the comets will be toward the constellation Orion.

Wonder: What Causes a Shooting Star?, Where Is the Big Dipper?, How Many Stars Are In The Sky?

Learned: A meteor is formed from rock that burns up in Earth’s atmosphere, causing it to look like a streak of light in the sky. A piece of a meteor is called a meteorite. The Big Dipper is mostly referred to as a constellation, but it’s actually an asterism. Our galaxy has about 200 billion to 400 billion star. Scientist predict that there are 100 billion to 200 billion galaxies in the universe. Based on the latest estimates, astronomers guess that there are 300 sextillion stars in the universe which is 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. That is 1 billion times 1 billion times 3!

Burning Question: How did they find out how many stars there are?
https://www.emaze.com/@AICIROTW/orionids

Days when learning and creativity come together I realize the true joy of discovery. I strive to give my students the open door that will lead them on their own journey of learning, not down a path I have designed, but one they have chosen. It doesn’t happen every day. But with Vannisa and her spark of interest in meteor showers, these two paths converged and made meaningful learning. Through blogging, she was able to share it with others. Win. Win.

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Poetry on a Postcard

Poetry Friday round-up with Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup.

Poetry Friday round-up with Jama at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.

aa-mary-oliver

Margaret,
Have you ever dipped your toes
into the ocean,
only to feel the sting of the
past?

Some memory–some history–
Some love or loss that
floats beneath the surface.

And while we marvel at its beauty,
we wince in the pain
of that which had once been
forgotten.

–Kevin

Kevin,
Sometimes a postcard comes
in the mailbox, the rusty squeaky
hinge of it wakes you up.

This card holds a gift
and a piece of your heart
you didn’t even know was there.

You cry. Then smile,
marveling at the power of
words to totally change
your mood.

Thanks,
Margaret

Kevin’s post about this postcard project is here.

Jellyfish postcard

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Poetry Friday round up is hosted by Carol.

Poetry Friday round up is hosted by Carol.

I have joined the summer PD of CLMooc. Feeling my way through, I have found that poetry inspires many. Poetry is a way we can express our identity. The first make cycle prompted us to “unintroduce” ourselves. Some have taken the prompt to unidentify yourself and made poetry. One participant made a black out poem of the initial email. Another instigated a poem in response to Charleston.  This community is responsive, reflective, and real.

Michelle Stein posted this prompt:
“Please follow this link and add your verse if you feel so inclined. My unmake follows these steps. Please do the same when adding your verse.
1. Randomly choose a word for each letter in your name.
2. Add a verse to this narrative poem, using each word you have chosen as the focus of a sentence.
3. Revel in the awesomesauce that is CLMOOC.”

Being one who is attracted to poetic prompts, I gave this one a try. I made a private deal with myself that I would use the first word that came to mind. This created a random word list.

Margaret

Mystic
Appetite (I must be hungry, as usual.)
Reservoir
Give
Astrology
Ring
Even
Trial

In the mystical distance,
an appetite for goodness makes
the reservoir of kindness grow.
Give your heart to life.

Astrology tells us that stars are wise.
Those rings of Saturn resonate light.
Even the universe proclaims pure joy.
No matter the trial, I show up. Ready.

Image made on LunaPic with pixabay free graphic of Saturn.

Image made on LunaPic with free graphic of Saturn.

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

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

Summer Sounds

Someone’s cutting grass.
The scent of it travels
on the afternoon wind
carrying a hint of coming rain.

Cicada sounds
rhythmically rise.
Beat of an outboard motor
bayou riding.

In the distance,
children squeal,
a baseball bat
tings the ball.
Cheers!

Mr. Mockingbird
tries on different personalities,
a long trill
of tweet-a-tweet tweet.
Then short staccato notes.

Take time to listen
to summer’s sound.
Slow down.
Sit around.
Sip some tea,
and just be.

–Margaret Simon

June Photo-a-day challenge from Kim Douillard at Thinking through my Lens. #sdawpphotovoices

Day 1: Awkward
I met this squirrel at a neighbor’s house. He was just sitting on the chair eating corn. When I went to take his picture, he turned as if to say, “What cha’ doin?”

Awkward squirrel

Awkward squirrel

Day 2: Beach
I don’t live near a beach. But the bayou is in my backyard, so I switched the B word to bayou.

Enjoying the bright red mandevilla blooms.

Enjoying the bright red mandevilla blooms.

Summer brings more boat traffic to the bayou.

Summer brings more boat traffic to the bayou.

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lake

 

Sometimes on the lake in June
white pelicans fly in together
and you get out the camera.
Then they turn as a drumline in step,
swim away swiftly in a cloud.

Sometimes on the lake in June
a lone blue heron fishes.
Sly step, long beak held high,
drinking in the sunlight.
A small boat passes by
lines thrown out,
catching nothing.

Sometimes on the lake in June,
I wake before dawn,
put the coffee on,
Sometimes Dad will join me
silent, reading the daily news.
Mom comes in pleased to have fresh coffee.
We sit on the porch, quiet
content to be together
on the lake in June.

My parents live on a lake in Mississippi.  I am anticipating my annual visit in June. This poetry exercise can be found in Kate Messner’s 59 Reasons to Write.

Diane is hosting today at Random Noodling.

Diane is hosting today at Random Noodling.

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Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

I had a wonderful mentor years ago who said that good writers are the ones who give themselves the most permissions. In her recent e-newsletter Salas Snippets, Laura Purdie Salas says this about student writers, “When kids write, they are the boss. Whether they’re writing a free verse poem or a five-paragraph essay, they have the power.” I want to show my students that they have the power over their words. I want to show them that they have permission to be who they truly are when they write.

During National Poetry Month, I make poetry an integral part of my classroom. My students become immersed in words in verse with rhythm and expression. I have a huge collection of poetry books. For their April poetry project, I have asked my students to select three books to read. They are finding themselves in these poems. They are being inspired by poets.

I had a discussion with Erin about the book Water Rolls, Water Rises by Pat Mora. She waved over the pages and repeated the words with awe and wonder in her voice. She told me she loved so many of the words, like golden, glimmering, shining. She was falling in love with the language. This is what poetry offers, every time.

I gave Jacob some ideas for writing a poem. He didn’t take any of them. When I walked over to see what he had typed, I read this first line, “Isn’t it sad when your memories are happy and you want to do it again?” Whoa! His words stopped me in my tracks. I sat next to him and asked him to tell me some of the memories he wanted to keep. He went back to last week, then to his first birthday party, then to being in the womb. Jacob needed to be the boss of his words because his words are amazing. He has the wisdom and spirit of a poet at age seven. What a privilege to watch!

Isn’t it sad when your memories are happy,
and you want to do it again?

I want to catch Easter eggs again with my cousin.
I want to stick my face in the cake again.
I want to go back in my mommy’s tummy again
because I want to get close to her all the time.
I love my memories!

Another activity that has my students singing poems is Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s poetry month project.  Each of my two student groups have tried to guess a song/poem match.  Both guesses were wrong, but we had a great time working on them.  We counted syllables, sang the song choices, consulted YouTube for tunes, and sang Amy’s poems through multiple times before recording and sending our SoundClouds to her.  Please go over to her site, The Poem Farm, to hear her sing and our guesses.  I wrote to Amy that I admired her braveness in recording her voice singing acapella.  She responded that being brave helps others be brave.  With that, I encourage you and your students to be brave and send a SoundCloud guess to Amy.

Join the roundup with Laura Purdie Salas!

Join the roundup with Laura Purdie Salas!

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

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

Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

My writing critique partner and blogging friend, Catherine Flynn, wrote her own version of Some Reasons to Write a Poem by Bob Raczka from the newly released Poetry Friday Anthology of Celebrations. I commented that her poem would make a great mentor text for student writers. Then, of course, I had to try it myself. And with images. I’ve combined my words and images in two videos. One I made with my new favorite toy, Nutshell. The other I used an old favorite app, Animoto. Animoto gave me more flexibility in using my images. But I like the quick creativity of the Nutshell. Whatever video application you use, try out making a poem movie. And share on Twitter using #digipoetry.

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Stretching

Click here to read more inspirational posts.

Click here to read more inspirational posts.

I am participating in the Spiritual Thursday Round up over at Holly Mueller’s blog. We are writing from each other’s one little word. Today, we reflect on Ramona’s word, Stretch. Stretch is a synonym for my OLW, Reach. But I couldn’t help but think about yoga class and how Evelyn tells us to pay attention to our bodies so that we will be better equipped to function for others.

Yoga Class

I am tired at the end of the day.
My socks hug my feet.
I stretch and release the tension
resting in my shoulders.

Stretch out on a lavender yoga mat,
listen to the gentle chime
calling me to do a body scan.
What part needs your attention tonight?

The block of energy, the stopping place,
my right shoulder, not pain but tight,
holding in, holding on.
Let go. Stretch again.

Folded into child’s pose,
I am inward like a chrysalis
waiting for the gift of life
waiting for the stretching of my wings.

Help me open up and fly to you, Lord.
Help me to know the limits of my reach
so that I may be the strength
for someone’s grief, the embrace
for someone’s pain.

I am your instrument only
when I am fully present.
Listening to the rhythm of my breath,
I hear yours join in.
I know you are here.
Namaste.

–Margaret Simon

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Find more Poetry Friday at Holly's blog, Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Find more Poetry Friday at Holly’s blog, Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Carol Varsalona sent out an invitation to all poets to submit to the Finding Fall Gallery. I had the pleasure of meeting Carol in person at NCTE. She has an enthusiasm that is contagious. I know she spent all Christmas Day putting together her FInding Fall Gallery. I know because I was getting emails and Tweets about it. She has graciously featured my students and myself. Please treat yourself to a walk through the gallery of poems. It’s a beautiful space to be in. Thanks, Carol. Link to Finding Fall Gallery.

My fall poem with an image chosen by Carol.

My fall poem with an image chosen by Carol.

Emily's fall zeno poem.

Emily’s fall zeno poem.

Vannisa's fall poem.

Vannisa’s fall poem.

Kielan made an Animoto video with her fall poem.

Don’t forget to link over to Carol’s site for more beauty and words.

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Find more Poetry Friday with Becky at Tapestry of Words.

Find more Poetry Friday with Becky at Tapestry of Words.

A few weeks ago I attended a poetry writing workshop with our Louisiana state poet laureate, Ava Leavell Haymon. I posted about one of the exercises here. The second exercise she led us through began with an image. We were to remember a room, kitchen or bedroom. Then we drew it, recognizing that this was a prompt for writing and no great work of art.

I thought of my daughters’ bedroom, the one two of them shared growing up. The room was small. My husband had built a bunk bed for them. He is a good carpenter, but he doesn’t make anything halfway. This bed filled up the small room. In fact, when we moved, we left the bed. We could not get it out of the room.

Bunk Bed Fills the Room

That is the bedroom where
I looked at the mess,
sheets unmade,
the angry child
red with fury.

Her bunk bed filled the small space.
No room for my approval.

I could only see
the mess,
the wild squealing.

I forgot to look
under the sheets,
under the pile of toys,
under the dirty clothes
to see her child-heart.

–Margaret Simon

Mary Cassatt Young Mother Sewing

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