April 12, 2016

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Interning with a Poet: Guest Post

"I wish I could go back in time and store some of my third grade creativity in a jar." After spending time with the third graders at Northfield Elementary, this thought engraved itself in my head for days.

My name is Alissa Bennett and I am a student at St. Paul’s School for Girls in Brooklandville, Maryland. At my school, the senior class participates in Senior Projects. The Senior Project program gives seniors the opportunity to intern with someone whose field of work they find interesting. For my Senior Project I chose to work with Mrs. Shovan because I enjoy creative writing and one of my favorite ways to express myself is through poetry.

The time spent at Northfield Elementary this past week has been a wonderful experience for me. It was nice to see the students’ excitement when it came to writing poems and learning new information about poetry they did not know before. [Note from L.S. -- this poetry residency was sponsored by the Maryland State Arts Council and Northfield's PTA.]

My favorite lesson was when the students looked at a photo and painting. [Full lesson description is here.] Mrs. Shovan would display the image and ask the students to first state only the facts about the portrait. Then they would imagine what might be happening in the portrait. I loved hearing all of the students’ creative ideas, ranging from alien abduction to dangerous escape stories.
I taught one of these lessons also. Though it was my first time teaching, and I was really nervous, I absolutely loved it! Being able to communicate with students as a teacher is a memory that I will value forever.

The poems that the students wrote were a delight to read, too. One poem that sticks out in my mind was written by Daniel Y. The poem that he wrote was during a lesson on opposites, which I was not there for. Luckily, I got the chance to read a lot of the students’ opposite poems.

Daniel’s poem sticks out in my mind because quite a few of the opposite poems I read were about what they students liked opposed to what they didn’t like. Daniel chose to write about big beautiful things opposed to small beautiful things.

I loved all of the examples and imagery that Daniel used in his poem. The diction that he used also was nothing less than beautiful itself. His poem reads as follows:

Big Things are Beautiful
by Daniel Y.
Grade 3

Big things are beautiful,
like the dark, deep universe.
The ocean that waves,
and the Earth that spins.
The beautiful redwood tree that
stands with me.

Small things are beautiful,
like a bright green leaf.
A seed that grows,
and a pencil that writes,
A grain of sand that I play with at
the beach.

Read the lesson description and link to model poem here.

Thank you, Alissa, for the post. And thanks again to Northfield E.S. for including Alissa in this residency, and for giving us permission to share the students' work.

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