Jan 24 2011

Coloring Outside the Lines with Poetry

Published by at 9:04 PM under Teacher Talk,Writer's Workshop

Writing Workshop is one place you’re allowed to break the rules…at least in terms of writing poetry. Free verse poetry, that is. After the holiday break, we have been immersed in our Poetry unit and have recently been studying interesting images and what kind of words they evoke from us. Students were encouraged to bring in an interesting image that caught their eye and begin to jot down creative words that came to mind when they saw it. We are learning that we don’t need to make a poem right away, but rather, we create an entry that we can manipulate and turn into a poem perhaps at a later time.
Sometimes we need to simmer our initial ideas and see what we can create with more thought and time.

We are not conforming to structure, such as in Haiku or Diamante poems. Rather, this year, we are learning to write free verse poetry where there are no rules! We are trying to do things such as looking at the world through ‘fresh eyes’, and it’s not easy! Letting our minds study an object or image or thought and write about it in unique ways takes a lot of practice. Studying mentor poems is very helpful, too. We are a few weeks in, but already we are able to compile a long list of strategies that poets use such as meaningful line breaks, alliteration, onomatopoeia, metaphor, simile, personification, and so on.

I have been blown away by some of the creativity and vivid imagery Room 230 has come up with. I can’t wait for more. Stay tuned to individual student blogs where students will be posting some of their poems they would like to share with you.

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