Monday, July 2, 2007

Things Learned: Georgia Heard

At the All Write! Conference last week I had the privilege of hearing Georgia Heard speak about the influence of poetry in the primary classroom. She stressed the importance of reading a piece of poetry daily, and making sure to introduce all genres of poetry. I was inspired. I was thinking about times in my day when spending 5 minutes to just read a poem would be great. How about that time when we are all standing around using the restroom- you know down time?
After that Ms. Heard suggested spending a week dissecting a poem. As she describes it,"climbing inside a poem." (Isn't that just the greatest imagery you can think of?) Here is a layout of that week. I think we will give it a try this coming year.

Monday: The heart of the poem. What is it about? Conversations about the poem.
Tuesday: Movement in the poem. Act it out, find the verbs. She says that this changes the poem for the children, it is not just a poem anymore, they make it their own.
Wednesday: Illustrate the poem. Stretch it into a writing piece.
Thursday: About the poet: any information you can have about the poet. Also, what can you compare from this other work? What is the context around the poem?
(Don't worry, Thursday is a little scary for me. I guess I didn't quite get this point?)
Friday: Craft Talk: How did the poet use punctuation to enhance this poem? Take note of line breaks, commas, metaphors, simile, also this would be a place to talk about haiku, acrostics, etc. (the genres of poetry)

She was very interesting! One of the best points I think that I heard from her that day was her comments about Science and Observation. She mentioned that Scientists and Poets are a lot alike because they are both observational. A poet will look at some form and make all sorts of observational notes, just like a scientist, and then create a poem. Why can't we do this with our children? Have places in our classroom where they can discover? Imagine a T-chart with headings like Scientific Observations Vs. Poetic Observations. Kids could write details about these objects, questions, observations, and descriptive words. Having all genres of poetry around them they would soon get a sense of what poetry is and what it can be for them.

I am excited about the upcoming year!


Jen Barney said...

ohhhh I like- I will have to look into this too-

Stacey Shubitz said...

OOOOOhhhh! I think I'm going to make a t-chart like this. Want me to send it to you? If so, LMK what your email is.

Katie Dicesare said...

I enjoyed reading your reflections after hearing Georgia Heard. Reading her books and observing her teach has helped me see the importance of observation. (I was fortunate enough to have her teach a poetry lesson in my classroom this year). She also helped me remember how much I love poetry.

I have not been able to get to any conferences or classes this summer so your reflections keep me connected. Thanks for sharing!