Crafting a Poem

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One of the assignments every West Ridge student completes in seventh grade is writing an original poem.

This composition is a process piece:  after spending time reading and discussing mentor text poems, students spend time independently exploring our school library’s large collection of poetry.  After experimenting with possibilities in their writer’s notebooks, students then draft, conference, revise, edit, and publish their own poems.

Below are just a handful of the 130 poems written this December.  Each is accompanied by an author’s note that provides insight into the writer’s inspiration for the poem and experience in writing it.

“At First Glance” by Aoibhin

“The Beach” by Charlie

“The Team” by Benjamin T.

“The Whale Shark Swims” by Ava

“Unless…” by Daniel L.

“A Surprise in the Lake” by Brittany

“Snowflake” by Avery

“I Stand at the Block” by Cannon

“Hunger Games Poem” by Charan

“Flying High” by Emaan

 

Image credit:  Pixabay CC0

Crafting with Imagery

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Students were asked to reflect on poetry they had recently created.

Q: Think about a significant image in one of the poems you have been working on. Quote the line(s) in the space below, then elaborate on the meaning that imagery brings to your poem. What do you want your reader to feel?

We are making the connection between our crafting choices and the resulting experiences of our readers. 

Awesome!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student Poetry: Where We’re From

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These poems were inspired by a reading of George Ella Lyon’s “Where I’m From” and by our own explorations and excavations of childhood, home, and family in our Writer’s Notebooks.

Enjoy these ten. More student poetry will be posted over the next couple of days.

Student Preposition Poems

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After a lesson on prepositional phrases, students used their lists of prepositions to write poems with the words.  It was a fun activity to help learn prepositions and to practice crafting with prepositional phrases, adding details of when, where, how, what kind, and which one to their writing!

Ryan writes about the excitement of a football game.  Bryce captures the rivalry between Hill Country and West Ridge.  The thrill of scoring a touchdown is described by Andrew,  Ryan and John.

Lucca and Matthew each tell about the beauty of music.  Christina and Grace enjoy the wonders of a carnival.

George transports us into a basketball arena, Kevin takes us camping beside a still lake underneath a starry sky, and Ethan has us see the world from the viewpoint of his kitten as it’s confined in its carrier.

Beware the haunted houses described by ClaraJenny and Emma!  Enjoy the cake baked by Izadora and Carmen.  Experience a delightful holiday scene with Alanna.

Smile with Irma for picture day!  Go fishing with Malone, work out with Kelly, dream with Saira and Shampurna.

Can you name all six of the games that Isaac takes you through?

Enjoy!

Poems with Prepositional Phrases

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Inspired by this lesson from Read, Write, Think, we are writing poems to help us learn prepositional phrases. Here are two that my daughter Karen and I wrote together last night:

Between the lines of a diary’s pages,
Within the ring on a blackened hand,
From the locket beyond a lake of monsters,
  In a cup among glittering jewels,
In a diadem among abandoned treasures,
Inside a snake under a cloak of scales,
Behind the lightning scar of the boy who lived,
The Dark Lord survives

 

Harry Potter
Out of the cupboard
On to Hogwarts
At age eleven
Beside loyal friends

Across the years
After so much pain

Into the forest
Among those he loved
With new understanding
Beyond fear of death
Toward Voldemort

Write a poem of your own using prepositional phrases.  Students, perhaps you could revisit your Writer’s Notebook entry about your favorite shoes and where they have taken you and turn it into a poem.  Other ideas include writing a poem about a favorite hobby, sport, book, movie, vacation, game–anything goes!

 

To Group or Not to Group?

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Now that we are done with our five days in the computer lab, it’s back to the classroom.  Some students noticed that the desks, which had been arranged in groups the first week of school, had been placed in rows for Back-to-School Night to accommodate all the parents who rotating in and out of the small space for their eight-minute class periods. 

We quickly moved the desks back into groups for our purposes, but I have to say, there’s a real place in my heart for rows.  I wrote a poem about school seating when I was monitoring Saturday School a few years ago.  You can read it here, and then I’d love to hear what you have to say about the subject of desks and seating charts at school.  What works for you, students?  Adult visitors, what are your memories of your preferred seating options at school?  Any particularly good or bad experiences associated with where you had to sit in a class?  Comments welcome!

Poem for My Eighth Grade Self

I like a sturdy desk,
One that doesn’t rock.
I want to be able to move in it, use it, solid and sure.

And I want it to be in a row.

Not at the front, where I might be seen.
Not at the back, where I might also be seen.

Put me in the middle, just left or right of center,

And NO GROUPS.

Desks in rows anchor me–
Keep me in a defined place–
Approachable, yet not.

My desk is my space,
Perfect for doing my perfect schoolwork,
Then perfect for reading after my
Perfect math quiz or my perfect history test,

An island for my personal thoughts and daydreams.

Is that why I hated science?

Maybe it wasn’t the safety goggles and the frog guts–
Maybe it was the tables,
The sharing of space with other kids.

Yes, science had tables that facilitated
communication
collaboration
connection

All things I did not want.

Spanish had desks in rows, but it also had
partners
pairings
role plays and fake names…

No.

Give me my math desk instead,
With two pages of silent, independent work–

A math desk to offer
order
success
correctness

A math desk where I could sit
With homework complete, ten minutes left til the bell, and then

a leaning back
a slouching down
a private escape
into Anne of Green Gables