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|
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.