Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Our Poetry Walk

After posting my last Poetry Mix Tape, I decided to teach William Carlos Williams's "Between Walls" to my fourth graders. First, we read it. Then we made some observations and they answered some questions about it.

We focused mainly on the fact that Williams is taking something that may seem ordinary and noticing its beauty. That broken glass in that dirty alley might be something you'd walk by without noticing. Williams not only wants us to notice it, he wants us to appreciate it.

So after all this, I wanted to do some writing. But first, we grabbed a digital camera and went for a walk. There's an alley behind our school, which connects to a kind of unique dead end street. We stopped along the way to snap pictures and jot down ideas. Then we came back and wrote poems. Here are a couple:

The Branch of the World
by Jenna

The branch of the world
makes us wonder

Is it born in the world?
You are a very handy tool

The piece makes us happy
while it sits there and dreams

The branch of the world


Death  Of  A  Funeral  Home
     By  SUHMER

Down   in  a  small  black   alley
  you  see  trees and  plain   leaves

The death of  a funeral  limousine
with a skull  of a lady  inside
with red pedals  falling  on her head

And  down  in  a small  black  alley
you see  trees  and plain leaves
at the death of a funeral  home


And maybe my all-time favorite student-written poem from a fifth grader last year after a poetry walk on the same street:

Monster Jaws
By Claire

In a lot
freezing cold 
a car

It serves
no purpose
poorly rusted
its jaws 
something to
Monster Car


So I thought I'd try one, too. It's called "ice cold." Here's the picture I took that inspired me:

your non 
stenciled on 
the curb
confounds me
puts me out
of synch
out of touch
with what
I know 
to be true

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