Digilit Sunday was created and is hosted by Margaret Simon @ Reflections on the Teche – join us and share your digital teaching ideas!
Every Thursday, my students unpack a poem and we share our ideas about how the poet used the elements of figurative language and beautiful words to craft poems we love to read. Whenever possible, I love to share recordings of poets reading their own works, and speaking about how and why they came to write the poems they did. Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s site, The Poem Farm, is a rich resource for us to draw from:
We love the way Amy writes about how she grows her ideas into poems, and we love hearing her voice as she reads each. We learn so much about word choice and line breaks just from hearing poetry spoken loud.
Another wonderful poetry resource is The Favorite Poem Project:
Favorite Poem Project Videos
The collection of 50 short video documentaries showcases individual Americans reading and speaking personally about poems they love. The videos have been regular features on PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and are a permanent part of the Library of Congress archive of recorded poetry and literature. They have also proven valuable as teaching and learning tools for a range of classrooms and ages. The videos may be viewed on this website. The video collection is also available in DVD format, packaged with the anthology An Invitation to Poetry.
It’s a powerful experience for my kids to hear other kids talking about poems they loved so much that they memorized them and think about them all the time. Poems can do that – they become the mentor texts of our lives in a very special way. I would love for my students to feel about a selection of poems as their own, as I do, so that they can commit them to memory and have the pleasure of reciting favorite lines at will.
This year, I am thinking about curating a class video album based on the Favorite Poem Project – what a wonderful way of ending the year that would be!