Thursday, April 25, 2013

Learning from a 7 Year Old Poet

It is morning and I am conferring with a first grader while her teacher observes. The child has written a poem about people rising early to see spring leave and summer arrive. This is the finished poem:

Summer Time 
Spring has bloomed out
under the tree of hope.
Morning is light.
Many have risen
early to see spring go.
Rapidly, watermelons start to grow.
The beach becomes a summer home.
The time has come for summer.
It has come to stay.

After we finish working on the poem, she asks to draw as she says drawing will help her to rethink the poem. At the end of March, I had the pleasure of teaching her in several 3 hour blocks and one of the things we did was draw in order to think through stories, add detail, and better understand our intentions.

After a bit more discussion, she asks if she can perform other poems as she thinks that acting them out helps to make poems.

As I watch and listen, this 7-year-old moves about the room dancing the poem awake. I marvel at her understanding of poetry and the inherent joy she finds while making poems.  She tells me,  "Poets act it out to feel the poem. I like to do that. It helps me answer."

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