Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Morning Poetry


Introduction to Poetry

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to water ski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

~ Billy Collins

We are in the middle of our poetry unit in my second grade class. Before we begin writing poetry, we spend more than a week in a poetry scavenger hunt. Basically, the kids are learning about the elements of poetry and are reading and talking about poems. Then, the kids all write their own poetry collections and we make books out of them. For the back jacket author's picture, I have each student choose their favorite poetry book and I photograph them like this. Cute, hunh?


Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

Very cute...what a wonderful treasure for them to have to keep. I think I'm one of those that beats the poem with a hose trying to find out what it means. I often have to remind myself just to enjoy the "taste" of the words on my tongue.

Diane said...

I would like to be in your second grad class learning about poetry. It must be so much fun. Diane

Jeanne said...

Much love
I love your postings
and YOU
Love Jeanne

Amy said...

What a fabulous idea ... I love it!

meeta said...

One of my fave poems....and u are doing a brilliant job introducing those kids to the world of poetry in this b'ful manner. Keep up.

Rita said...

Those parents will love it! You always come up with the neatest ideas for your class. Love ya!

Anonymous said...

Great poem! And what a good way to introduce your pupils to poetry.

Char said...

such a great idea - love the pose. the parents will treasure these.

Mary Jo from TrustYourStyle said...

Your class sound wonderful! I would've loved a 2nd grade teacher just like you! Especially if you let me illustrate the book. I was always drawing as a kid, it's all I wanted to do and my 6th grade teacher (my favorite all time) just let me do it while everyone else was doing other projects--it was the best!

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend Relyn!
xoxo Mary Jo

Relyn said...

Mary Jo, They absolutely illustrate their books. They are quite wonderful, really.

Scrappy Grams said...

Like you, I loved introducing poems to students. I hope the younger teachers are doing that. Poems seem to me to be more heartfelt than prose. When they learn a poem does NOT have to rhyme, they find writing poetry can be fun. Thank you for leading the way, lovely lady!

Jennifer Richardson said...

Your students are
absolutely RICH!!
Rich, i tell you:)
A great teacher
is a wonder and a
Heros, all.
(my heart is giving you
a particular standing ovation:))
Bravo, Relyn.

WhiteStone said...


Anonymous said...

poetry is so wonderful! especially with you.

Gillian said...

You are a great teacher!!!!!
Creative, fun and caring. the very best kind. xo

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I love that you are giving your second grade class the beauty of writing poems and using their own creativity. Their completed projects are going to be treasured.

Writer Lady said...

The poem is spectacular for saying what poetry is. I hate to dissect a poem for its pieces, its rhythm, or its meter. I just like to enjoy it.

I wish I had had a teacher like you when I was a kid. I do remember a third grade teacher who taught us multiplication tables by having each of us say one step of the puzzle - like 2 X 4 =, on the second round you got to go to recess early if you got yours right. We all knew them well.

Marilyn said...

Yes, cute! And she picked one of my favorites. What a very special teacher to share your love of poetry in just this way with your students. They will remember this all their lives.

Dutchbaby said...

I adore Billy Collins and Shel Silverstein. Quite different from each other, but both accessible.

Great image of your young poets with their heroes.

Dorit said...

:) love it

HKatz said...

It's wonderful that you have your students write poetry. Helps them love language and be observant about the world and life.

I wouldn't imagine that you'd be the kind of teacher who would ask her students to tie the poem down to the rack and torture it...

Roban said...

This poem is one I've always included in my poetry unit, along with a few others that talk about what poetry is or isn't. This year, I had to cut my poetry unit back some, though. Sad, sad, sad when that happens.

Jaime said...

You are such a creative teacher...I wish I could shrink and sneak into your class.

I love this poem! I mean, really love it.

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