I often wonder about the writing journey my Kindergarten poets will take as they move through elementary school. I love poetry and encourage my young writers to welcome poetry into their hearts, minds, and lives. But what happens when they leave? Will they be encouraged to continue flexing their poetic muscles? For some of my students, poetry is where they found their writing power, their voice. But what if that power isn’t nurtured. What then?
Each grade in my district dabbles in poetry as part of the writing curriculum. The First Graders write a bit of haiku when they study Japanese culture in the spring. The Second Graders have unit of poetry in their curriculum, but if the teacher isn’t passionate about poetry, where will it lead? What excites me is the opportunity our Third Graders have to work with a poet-in-residence. A local poet visits with the whole grade, then individual classes, and finally individual students over a period of weeks. Our art teacher works in collaboration with them, giving them the time and space to create works of art to accompany and amplify their words. Each year I take great pleasure in peaking at all of their work, but I mostly enjoy seeing where my Kindergarten poets have travelled to on their journey. Here are just a few samples. (Click on the image to zoom in on the text.) As you can imagine, I am beaming with pride for them at not only their work, but the journey they’ve clearly taken.
Jone at Check It Out is hosting this week’s poetry party. Won’t you join us there?