Holy Carumba! Life has gotten very very busy. It's the season isn't it? My partner and I went away for a week to rest up and gird our loins psychologically in preparation. While I was away, I read poetry, graphic novels, novels and picture books. I got my Christmas shopping under control.
I have been rereading the poetry of Avis Harley because I'm going to be interviewing her in January and wanted to reacquaint myself with her work. It has been a long long time since I used her work with students. I read African Acrostics and Fly with Poetry: An ABC of Poetry. The first introduced me to new kinds of acrostic poetry. The latter is an alphabetically listed collection of different poetic forms. I had forgotten how brilliant Avis is.
Then a friend of mine had asked me to sub for her in her grade 3/4/5 classroom. She told me to do whatever I wanted, suggesting I have the children create art to decorate the walls.
I planned to have the students write acrostic poetry which they would then illustrate with cut out construction paper. I put a chart paper in the middle of the meeting place and as students arrived, they added words. We took a few minutes to brainstorm more words to add to the list. at different times of the day I read poems from Avis Harley and shared some of my own. We wrote a couple of acrostics as a group. Luckily I had a spare period to combine and print the lists, gather supplies, and produce a demo. We started poetry drafts before lunch. Following silent reading after lunch I showed them how I came up with my process for deciding on what to do. Then they edited their poems and worked on their pictures. Some worked in pairs and others wrote independently. A few managed to finish everything before 3:00, but mostly, we ran out of time. Their teacher gave them time this week to complete them. I still haven't seen them, but hope to sneak in tomorrow.
I began by showing them my sketch for how I wanted my finished product to look. Next I showed how I screwed up (what not to do.) Then I showed them my finished piece. I should have spent more time talking about simple images.
The screw up: (tree colour didn't work with the light blue.) You would think that as a quilter, I would have figured this out right away.
The finished product. I wish I had had a white pen to write with, but it is good enough.
My poem was actually two words, but for my example I only used the word Tree. Here is the whole thing.
Forest once held you
in its embrace. Will it
remember your pristine symmetry?
Trussed out in bright bobbles, you
remind us that
even though the light is waning,
eventually, it comes back
Here's another I came up with
soft as feathers, winter
owning the landscape
white on white quiet
Happy solstice and happy holidays to everyone.