We did it! I wrote last week about my experimentation with a poetry teller, a way for my students to go back through their own poetry and then play around with remixing their poetry with a classmate.
So this morning, students folded their way into their collaborative game. Some students were familiar with classic fortune tellers and were eager to put their fingers into the folds and start moving the teller around. And no one seemed to think it was one bit strange to make this into a poetry tool. They found colors, they located interesting nouns, and pinpointed some poetic phrases–all from their cache of poems written during April. In partners they played with their poetry tellers, collecting words and phrases that they knew they would use soon for some poetry writing.
I set the parameters: use the words you collected (it’s okay if there is a word you decide not to use), you can add extra words of your choice, make the poem make sense, and have fun! We used that magical 7 minute timer and students’ pencils flew across the page. When the chime sounded, hands shot up. They had poems to share!
Here’s a couple (these are third graders, 8 and 9 years old):
Words collected: blood orange, green, snow, lamp, the sun is cotton candy, the puddles of the ditch
The sky is blood orange
the lamp is green
the trees are snow
the sun is cotton candy
the puddles of the ditch are rainbow
there’s something fishy today
Words collected: ice, profusion, cats, frame, the sunlight bounces into my eyes, illumination, snowy caps, sister, hooves, the cloud is as soft and big, it covers the sky like a blanket
Transition to Spring
A very cold word
You see it a lot during brutal winters.
Hooves pounding on cold snow under our feet.
Sinking their paws into the snow.
The snowy caps on mountain tops
are guarded by a forest.
There are many natural frames in the
Then the snow is illuminated by the sun.
I step outside and the sunlight bounces into my eyes.
My sister’s snowman melts away.
The clouds are so soft and big.
They cover the sky like a blanket.
It is spring now.
Making games out of writing definitely infuses playfulness into the process for kids. They loved manipulating their poetry tellers and would have played with them much longer than I had time for today. I count this as a win–and as a great way to have students remix poems. I’d love to hear what you would do with a tool/toy like this one. How would you modify it to support writers and learners?