Friday, April 20, 2007

fourth grade invasion!

So, this morning I helped out with a program in the writing center at school where they hosted about 60 fourth graders from a local school. They brought all of these kids here to work in small groups with consultants on stories they were writing and to work in groups on poetry. I had two groups of 6-11 kids and they were great. I am not the best at handling kids, I tend to be an enabler when it comes to inappropriate behavior. But I found in the large group environment I did pretty well.

Being a lover of word-play I thought a great exercise would be experimenting with Abecedarian poems. I gave them some examples of older alphabet poems for kids and then some contemporary examples by Lisa Fishman and Harryette Mullen. A lot of them wrote word lists and list poems of people's names. One did a list of animal names. I talked to them about how they could work from their initial lists to create a more complex poem. The most creative was a narrative poem about Mario. The boy who wrote it was really shy and didn't want to share, but he finally came around. It was great. I then talked about how they could do a variation with their names, an acrostic poem. Some of them had done that before and one girl, Mackenzie wrote hers down for me to keep. During lunch she brought one to me that she had just composed for me:

A crazy person

It's a little disconcerting that she picked up on the crazy bit after only being around me for half an hour, but it was sweet nonetheless.

I really hope I get into the Hands on Stanzas program next year. This was so much fun.


Blogger Aaron said...

Enabler? I think instigator is the word you are looking for.

April 21, 2007  

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