Thursday, July 31, 2014

Note from the Storybuilder "Getting it Started My Way"

Storybuilds and/'or lessons are
empty, confusing and daunting at the outset
but the world and the lesson have a way
of filling in when this or that gets added,

For a few years I taught this series of poems, because I loved the poems, and I respected the students who studied them.  The students close read the poems, annotated the poems, drew pictures about the poems that grew into posters, and even charted or graphed parts of the poems. The last two days of the two week lesson on Garden Poems, the students wrote their own poems about owls in the backyard, and what their worlds so much depended on.

 It was my dream to someday find the time to storybuild the poems, so they could walk through my interpretations of these poems.  Not to spoil the close reading test of course.  We couldn't have that could we?  But to let children know that poets really do compare and contrast our worlds for us.   The time poets spend on words that describe this place we've never been or only tried to find is important in the midst of whether we got the main idea, author's purpose or how we spell simile.

So now I am ready to start the school year with everyone else, revising a lesson that I knew how to teach by heart and from the heart's core  The only difference this time -- I get to do it my way. And maybe just maybe the young poets will find one retired teacher's place where the sidewalk ends all on their own.

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