Usually poetry is the most hated unit I teach. I am so used to hearing, “I hate poetry!” when I begin a poetry unit, that I came to my Middle School class today with apprehension. Imagine my surprise when they LOVED it!
The first style of poem we studied was a place poem. It follows a strict form:
- 3 adjectives
- an abstract noun
- a participial phrase
- 2 prepositional phrases
- 2 participial phrases
- the place name
I thought they would hate it, but when they realized they had to create a feeling, they managed to cooperatively produce this:busy, boring, necessary education sucking away from the years of my life studying too hard failing anyway school
After which they all cheered.
Then we moved on to Haikus. The first haiku written by the class, which is primarily boys, did not surprise me:Big burned up building The buildings burn with a glow Total destruction
Their second effort, however, both surprised and impressed me, expecially since I gave them no guidance at all.Sweet, kind, nice, peaceful we are not strangers to love lovely rose blossoms.
Impressive, no? Especially considering it was written by one student who came to us with a 4th grade reading level, and the center line was written by a student with Aspergers Syndrome.
What a great way to end my teaching career!