People use poetry to share ideas and feelings. This is the idea that is central to the students poetry inquiry this month. Students are exploring forms, how they connect to poetry and why people write poetry.
Although poetry is not officially found in the common core standards, students are expected to explore a variety of genres and have an understanding of figurative language. Poetry is the perfect avenue to do this.
Personally, poetry isn't my favourite genre. It is one that I chose to read for my own reading pleasure. However, I do appreciate and can value it as a form of expression.
Keeping in mind this quote by Leonardo Da Vinci I introduced students to some powerful poetry. For older students this included Frida's works, which include her famous portraits as well as her lesser known verses. I help the students connect with her by explaining she is of mixed heritage, like many of them, her parents were Mexican and Jewish Hungarian.
Since we are in Eastern Europe I also included 'The Cats of Krasinski Square' which is poignant poem about sharing food with the Jews inside a Ghetto in Warsaw. Many of our students have an awareness of WWII either from their own families or because they have visited different historical sites in the region.
For the younger ones I included a lesser known British poet whose work never fail to bring a smile and laugh, Colin McNaughton. He has written a brilliant poetry book about travel 'Wish You Were Here, and I Wasn't'. Most students can relate to the verses on car sickness or a perfect day.
As we have explored, connected and discussed poetry I felt an important component of appreciating poetry is to have students write some of their own. Many teachers have disregarded poetry since it does not appear in the common core so I felt the library was an appropriate place to highlight this.
Student have a variety of options to publish their work. I've encouraged them to include a visual image, like the many poetry books we've read include. Some students have used the Sonic Pic app. This handy little app allows students to record a voice over an image(s). Some examples can be seen from this link and they are posted on the AISB Library's YouTube channel