Saturday, June 5, 2010

Rethinking Schools Poetry issue is FREE!

Yay! I love poetry. My students wrote some amazing poems this year that we are publishing into a little book. I'll share some of them on here soon- they are beautiful.

Check out Rethinking Schools current issue for free online - it's devoted to poetry:
The U.S. poet Robert Frost said, “A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a love sickness. It finds the thought and the thought finds the words.” Our cover section focuses on three teachers who guide students to find their voice through poetry, to take the lump in their throat and transform it into poetry that gives them a sense of their own power. At the same time, Tom McKenna, Renée Watson, and Elizabeth Schlessman show us how to use poetry to help students think critically about their personal experience and connect it to a larger social reality.
In my favorite piece, an elementary school teachers explores what it means to leave one country and move to another: Aquí y Allá • Exploring Our Lives Through Poetry — Here and There. One of the poems she used is very accessible to students:

Wonders of the City
Here in the city there are
wonders everywhere

Here mangoes
come in cans

In El Salvador
they grew on trees

Here chickens come
in plastic bags

Over there
they slept beside me

—Jorge Argueta

Teaching the Oil Spill

Looking for resources to teach about the oil spill? I am too. Here's what I've found. My students are putting a news broadcast together about the spill that we'll show to the rest of the school (hopefully). I allowed them to explore a variety of websites. We did an experiment to see how water interacts with oil. They especially were into looking at the photos of animals affected by the spill--it really made them want to help.