As I was working belatedly yesterday on adding some new features to one of my National Poetry Month displays on the exterior of the library, I began thinking about what I might feature in addition to student created poems, quotes about poetry, and images of favorite poetry books. Perhaps because I was surrounded by Ms. Frost’s 9th Honors Literature/Composition students with whom I’ve been immersed in presentation zen this past week, it occurred to me it might be fun to combine favorite lines of poetry or short poems with a carefully selected photograph to unpack a feeling, idea, or image I associated with the lines of poetry or short poem.
After I completed a few slides in PowerPoint, I shared what I had created with Ms. Frost, and she was so excited about what she saw that she plans to work with the library and use this approach to help students dwell in poems by focusing on key lines and images to tease out the concepts of imagery, connotation, and mood. We plan to use student created slides and convert them into picture files that can then be printed as flyers or posters for hanging or display on art easels to feature throughout the library; we’ll also be sure to include an artistic tag to give students credit for their creation. I also see this kind of activity as another learning exercise in visual thinking that can be used for a poetry immersion unit and an entry point into discovering new poems.
I hope you enjoy the slides I’ve created so far—to be able to immerse myself in this kind of thinking and content creation was therapeutic for me intellectually and emotionally. Most of my days are spent as an instructional librarian (which I LOVE), but I relished the opportunity to use most of the workday for content creation as it was great mind candy for me and ultimately, a springboard to a wonderful conversation for some new collaborative efforts with Ms. Frost and her students. I’ll be working with the wonderful Joy Mabry at our district “Teacher Center” to create poster sized prints of these slides as well as the student generated content to help celebrate and honor poetry year round—I’ll blog an update as soon as we have the new creative works up and on display in the library!
Another source of inspiration came today during a Google chat with my good friend and colleague Diane Cordell, an amazing librarian and lifelong learner. Diane shared a poetry reading created with VoiceThread, and I thought how cool it would be for students to choose a poem (either one they have composed or one of their choosing) to read and to add images to represent the poem; they could then narrate these poems individually, with a partner, or as a small group. I see this kind of learning activity as another way of students remixing and interpreting poetry through sound and audio!
What ways are you using visual literacy or multimedia as an entry point to poetry?
On Wednesday, April 29, Mrs. Nayman’s 1st period 11th American Literature/Composition students shared poems inspired by personal photographs @ The Unquiet Library! You can enjoy the slidecast below to see their photos and hear each student read his/her poem. Simply click the green button, and the slides will automatically play and advance themselves.
It took me awhile to get the hang of syncing the mp3 audio to each slide, but after some trial and error, I think I have it. I hope to improve my syncing skills as I work on the next two poetry podcasts/slidecasts for 2nd and 7th periods.
I am also making class books of each set of poems for the poetry reading—one set for the library, and one set for Mrs. Nayman’s classroom; many thanks to Mrs. Joy Mabry of the Cherokee County School District Teacher Center for her help with this endeavor! The photos from the day are also housed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/8166472@N03/sets/72157617481444372/ . We also have the student poems hanging from our poetry clothesline.
For help on creating the Slidecasts, try these resources:
Poem in Your Pocket Day 2009 is almost here! What is Poem in Your Pocket Day?
The idea is simple: select a poem you love during National Poetry Month then carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends on April 30, 2009. Poems from pockets will be unfolded throughout the day with events in parks, libraries, schools, workplaces, and bookstores.
We will be celebrating in The Unquiet Library with poetry readings and free poems for everyone! Today we hung the first clothesline of poetry—check out the slideshow above. More clotheslines full of poems for your pockets are coming next week—stay tuned! Many thanks to Mr. Jason Hubbard for helping me hang the clothesline since I am vertically challenged!
Many thanks to Kenyon College for the idea and for letting me borrow it!
Do you love poetry? Do you love photography? Or both? The Academy of American Poets is sponsoring the Free Verse Project. Here is the scoop!
Inspired by the 2009 National Poetry Month Poster which features lines by T. S. Eliot written in a fogged window, the Academy of American Poets invites you to capture and share verse in ephemeral ways.
Recreate a favorite poem off the page and contribute it to the Free Verse project. Write lines on a sandy beach, assemble twigs on a hillside, or chalk the sidewalk. Take a photo before it disappears and post it in the Free Verse group page on Flickr, on the Academy’s Fan Page on Facebook, or email your photo to email@example.com. Include the source of your lines in the photo caption. All photos posted by April 15 will be automatically entered to win the new Poem in Your Pocket anthology and a commemorative piece of jewelry by San Francisco designer Jeanine Payer, who specializes in hand-engraving lines of poetry on earrings, necklaces, and other items. Selected entries will also be featured on Poets.org.
For more information, please visit the Free Verse Project Page hosted by the Academy of American Poets at Poets.org.