Earlier this week I read a post by a virtual friend, NomadWarMachine, who described her path to transforming the origami fortune teller of our youth into what she called a line of thought-une teller. I immediately knew that this would be a great activity to modify for my students as a culmination of our month of poetry writing.
My idea is to have my students mine their month of poetry, pulling colors, words, and poetic phrases to construct a poetry teller. Once constructed, I see it as a game where partners play the poetry teller to collect a set of words and phrases that they will then use to compose a version of a found poem that includes their words and those of their partner.
I experimented with my own poetry teller, playing this game with myself. I collected two phrases, two colors, and four nouns from my poetry. Then I worked to arrange and rearrange them into a new poem.
You can see my prototype poetry teller and resulting poem below.
I look forward to trying this out with students next week, I hope they find this to be a fun and generative way to look back at their own poems, collect some language from their peers, and have a meaningful activity to remix the two as they create new poetic compositions.
Here is my poetry teller composition:
More ancient than a dinosaur
Resilient as a dandelion
Blues ring out
Notes the color of robin’s eggs
Circling me in melodies
With rhythms as ferocious and regal
As the queen of the urban forest
Sounds as soft as butter
Wrapping me in the
Yellow of wildflowers
The center of the solar system
Matching the pounding of my heart
The beat of my breath
Essential as air