Monday, December 2, 2013

New Thinking from An Old Idea


        Tuesday Slice of Life is hosted by the Two Writing Teachers blog.  Be sure to check out all the other slicers.  It's terrific to see what they're sharing.


      SPECIAL:  I'm visiting Michelle Barnes at Today's Little Ditty: Limerick Alley, with a limerick of course!  I'm thrilled to be there, but the road to limerick writing is definitely not easy!  Come visit!
        Many, many others have written great reflections about NCTE.  I actually have taken a few notes from other blogs because they went to sessions I would have loved to, but was in a competing time.  What to do, where to go-the continual questions!  Here is one small slice of one session with a big idea and another project it reminded me of that I've done, too. At Poetry Central To Our Core, presenters were Maureen Barbieri, Georgia Heard, Tom Romano and Linda Rief.  
      Linda Rief spoke of a project that could be adapted to varied needs and student ages.  She referenced Georgia Heard's well-known idea of creating heart maps of topics and ideas important to list for future writing ideas.  And, she took it further, suggesting that students could also create a poetry book from those heart maps.  She asked students to find a new poem each week that reflected something from the heart map (which is used as the book's cover).  In a double-page spread, copy the poem (type or hand-write) and illustrate it. Each week, she introduced a new art technique too.  On the right hand side, students were asked to explain why the choice and what is the connection.  



a heart map of long ago
       An additional result to this seems to be like packing a suitcase of experiences that can be applied in future writing and illustration, other projects, etc.  One can have students do this all year, or just for a few months, but either way, they will certainly have something to cherish, and skills in several areas.  It's always good to have such takeaways from assignments.  I hope you'll see ways to adapt this to your own situations.
       During different years, I had my own students create personal anthologies in the final weeks of the year, going back to favorite books, fiction and non-fiction along with poetry.  The idea was to capture their year of reading by collecting favorite writing pieces into a book.  This was a big challenge, but they seemed to love it.  They read and re-read so much, re-vistited favorite authors, and copied passages.  They completed the anthology with an introduction, a table of contents, a dedication and an illustrated cover, an important part of their work at the end.  
          I was reminded of this anthology assignment when Linda Rief spoke of her students' poetry book collection. Assignments please everyone when students end with something to cherish that they created.   



30 comments:

  1. Oh, you have my brain working on overdrive right now! I'm loving the ideas here. Thanks for sharing your insights from NCTE. So bummed I missed it this year. Can't wait for next year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michelle, hope you are able to adapt in some way for your own use!

      Delete
  2. Wonderful inspiration. I am reliving the Boston experience but nothing really from inside a workshop. My inspiration seemed to come from coffee and meal meet ups.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that too, Bonnie. There was so much going on!

      Delete
  3. What incredible inspiration. There is so much pressure to prepare for tests and keep to schedules that we all need to remember the inspiration part of our teaching.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anita-it was a session filled with using poetry--often!

      Delete
  4. Just imagine how much poetry students would have to read to find the one to match their heart map. I can't see that as a bad thing. There is so much potential in this idea, it has my brain spinning. I know that must have been an incredible session with such great poets so near.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that's what I think too, Elsie, the search process would be terrific! Hope you can find a way to share with those you work with!

      Delete
  5. How wonderful to have been able to get together and gather so many wonderful ideas! Loved your limerick over at Michelle's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Donna! This session was pure pleasure! Thanks for visiting Michelle, too!

      Delete
  6. Thanks for sharing this, Linda, I missed this session! I love the putting the heart map to poetry use. We create heart maps for writing workshop, but they tend to be filled and then not "used" - so this is a way to connect these writing strands. Lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tara-wish I could start it now!

      Delete
  7. This heart map idea is wonderful for both children and adult poets. And I love your limerick on Michelle's site...but I'll comment there which line struck me the most. Thanks for sharing more of your NCTE experience. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bridget, & for visiting at Michelle's too! I think it would be fun to do the heart map idea as you say. You have so many poems, you could collect them into a lovely book!

      Delete
  8. You had such a rich experience at NCTE. Love it! I related to that last line. I love looking back at projects from my childhood and your students will too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too, Betsy. Although I don't have anything anymore, I still remember the doing of a few projects from grade school. Thanks!

      Delete
  9. I love this idea. Now, I'm wondering if I could tweak this for a Christmas present for parents. You'v got me thinking. Thanks for sharing NCTE. I was so sad to miss it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't think about it that way, but it would be a lovely gift, Julie! Thanks!

      Delete
  10. Georgia is so amazing. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome. It was a good session!

      Delete
  11. Ooh, what a neat idea! My intermediate students really enjoyed creating poetry anthologies last spring, and we always do heart maps at the beginning of the year, but I love the idea of connecting the two! Very cool!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So fun to hear you do the anthologies Jennifer. I found that students read so much so they could choose just the right thing. Thanks-hope you find some way to connect for this!

      Delete
  12. I love this idea! Thanks for sharing your learning with us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Robin-I think it's a good idea too.

      Delete
  13. Linda,
    Thanks for adding this idea on my to be tried pile! I want to try this and I love the idea of making it into a gift!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amy-hope the idea works beautifully for you!

      Delete
  14. I love this idea and will use it. Usually in April I have my students make a poetry anthology for National Poetry month, but I love the idea of connecting each selection with a heart map. Thanks for sharing your experience in such a practical way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Margaret-hope it will be a good addition for you!

      Delete
  15. This was such an inspiring session! I loved reading about your students' anthologies and am going to edit my post to include your ideas. Sorry I missed it on Tuesday, but it was a pretty hectic week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's okay, Catherine. It's a busy time for sure!

      Delete

Having a conversation is a good thing!