As I swam in the pool this morning, I thought my slice for today was going to be about that. I had started gathering thoughts about how I wanted to write it as I went back and forth. But then Sacred Writing Time happened and the pool slice was far from my mind.
Earlier this week I talked about my accidental plunge into poetry with my fifth graders. We have continued our journey through this unfamiliar genre. I have been doing remixes with them turning once stories into poems. I haven't really taught them a lot about poetry because I want them to experience it without rules.
Today we learned about repetition. I showed them a poem with a lot of repetition in it. They quickly were able to create a definition. But they were also able to make a lot of inferences and pick out the figurative language, which made me happy.
I then had them flip through their writer's notebooks and find a phrase that stood out. They boxed it, and their goal was to do a quick write, three minutes, using that phrase as their repetition. I set the timer to go and we were all off, moving our pencils as quickly as our hands would move.
After three minutes was up, we shared. I shared my poem which repeated the phrase
"when i was little." My students immediately recognized that I was writing in all lower case because little kids don't understand capitalization. They then realized that I keep going back to a story that I wrote at the beginning of the year. I told them that I believed this was a sign that I needed to do something with this story.
I then called on a boy that I knew would not share. He said, "I just don't get poetry. I don't think I did it right."
"Well, let's see," I said.
As he was reading I felt as though his words were an expression about how he viewed himself. It wasn't a long poem, but it was powerful. I had goosebumps when he was done. "You definitely get poetry, " I said. "That. That was amazing."
And yes, I am kicking myself for not taking a picture and being able to post it here tonight.