Poetry Friday: Visiting The Poem Farm and "Indian Summer" in my classroom.

Poetry Friday is hosted by Jama at Jama’s Alphabet Soup
I consider myself lucky to be able to visit The Poem Farm just about every day, and marvel at the creative poems and prompts and teaching ideas Amy is able to generate day after day.  Some weeks ago, on a gorgeous Fall day, I found Indian Summer  – and, rather than simply marvel at the poem and the prompt idea, I decided that I would actually give it a go as that week’s Poetry Thursday poem to explore, unpack and respond to.  
Well, my students were captivated by the poem, Amy’s voice reading it, and the creative inspiration behind it.  Here is what one had to say:

Our class discussion was a rich one, and I was thrilled that each student unpacked this poem in his or her own way, and left with something entirely personal and original.  Here is an  example of our unpacking process – and the thinking that my kids do as they read and re-read the poem for discussion the next day:
And here is how each unpacking and response becomes  the seed for an original poem:

As I made my way through each student’s response and poem in their poetry notebooks, I was struck by how each student had created something quite unique from Amy’s poem and her prompt, which I had shared with them:

This is a free verse poem, a poem with no regular rhyme or meter.  Still, though, when I write free verse poems, I take care with each word.  See if you can find any words with the same beginning sounds near each other.  Then see if you can find any repeated words.  Any rhymes?  My favorite part of this poem is the idea of pretending that Fall is a dancing girl…with two competing partners.  That idea makes me smile, and I like watching the play of it in my mind.The most important to do when writing poems like this one is to read them over and over.  Aloud.  Hearing how each word tumbles gently or bashes into the next helps me know when to make changes.Many poems celebrate weather.  Weather is a special kind of mirror for each day, determining what we do and sometimes even how we feel.  Pay attention to weather where you live, maybe even writing notebook entries or drawing sketches of weather observations.  Then, mind and heart full of sun and wind and blowing rain and snow…shine some words onto your page.

So, we will return to The Poem Farm  again and again, to see where Amy will lead us.   And, I am once again glad that we enjoy poetry year round in our classroom – not just as an isolated unit of study sometime during the school year.    



10 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Visiting The Poem Farm and "Indian Summer" in my classroom.

  1. How wonderful that you did this with your students, Tara. This is when I miss having a classroom! I'm going to be doing some lessons with the very youngest in January, a Poetry Friday lesson, and although they are much younger, you've given me a couple of ideas to use. Thank you!

  2. Tara, It is such an honor to have visited your classroom in this way. I am awed by your students' reading and observations and this poem you shared. Tonight south of Buffalo, NY, we can certainly hear "Winter's groans" bringing snowflakes and maybe a blizzard too! When I sit at home and write, I imagine that maybe someone, somewhere will read the words and connect with them. To know that you and your students enjoyed this poem means so much to me. Would you ever be interested in posting at The Poem Farm? I would love to be able to host you and your students' work if ever you would like. Please forgive me for coming by so late to comment. At first I could not find the post and then we were struck by flu! Many joyful wishes to you and your students for a beautiful, renewing new year! xo, a.

  3. I love seeing how your "unpackings" lead to discussion, written response, and original poems. I'm thinking my 5th graders could move in that direction now that we're halfway through the year!

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