Learning is....
Planting a seed in our brain... learning to water, nurture and grow it.... so we can live on the fruit of our learning and plant more seeds.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Walking Poetry - follow up from Camp

This piece of poetry was inspired by the Karangahake Gorge - the Tunnel and Windows Walk.  My poem (pictured below) is written slightly different from the model, because (if you have read my earlier blogs) I didn't do the walk.  We've also added in some extra parts because I wanted my students to use all their senses in this poem.

In the childrens' camp books we did a mind map using our senses to explain the Windows Walk.  We filled out this mind map the evening of the day we went on the walk in the Karangahake Gorge.  Back at school, the children photocopied their mind maps from their camp books and glued them into their draft writing books.  Above right, you can see the mind map I did in my camp book that I photocopied and put in the modelling book.  As we began to write the poems, I encouraged the children to look at the photos from the walk to help them add to their mindmaps if they were a bit sparse.

In my wonderful book on poetry there is a poetry model called Walking Poetry (see the photo, above left, of the model photocopied into the modelling book).  And this married very nicely with what I wanted to get the children writing.


As you can see I modelled writing the poem in the modelling book.  You can see that I have highlighted parts of the text in my draft and that often corresponds with text I've highlighted in my mind map and model.  I did this so I could specifically highlight nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs as I taught and we wrote, to enable the use of strong verbs and descriptive language.  You can see that I demonstrated rewriting if I wasn't happy with what I had written.  There are places where I have changed my mind about the word I'd used.  You can also see where I was stumped for a rhyming word, so I have brainstormed a list of words that rhyme and then decided on the best fit for the poem.  These skills were explicitly taught as I had students who struggled with writing.

I wrote my WALT and HWIK based on the model glued into the modelling book above, but as you can see I've tried to tell the students more explicitly what I expect in their poems from the picture below.

The origninal poem we modelled from only has three verses, but as I said above, I wanted my students to use all their senses in this poem.  Consequently we added in two more senses.  I also really wanted them to convey to the reader the mood/feeling/atmosphere of the Windows Walk.  And we strongly focused on adjectives and adverbs as these really help to describe the senses and atmosphere for the reader.

When it came to publishing the poems I asked the students to choose colours and a border that reflected the place and time the poem was about; consequently they have used muted blues and greens as it was a bush setting and the day was drizzly.  The pictures in the background were taken on the walk and we published it in Publisher, put the picture at the back and washed it out to get a watery feel.  Putting the title down the side was effective use of space.  We learnt a variety of new ICT skills in Publisher to achieve some of these effects - putting picture to back, using the washed out tool in picture format, using WordArt titles. The poems were trimmed around the border and mounted on a pale green or pale blue A4 coloure paper, and the finished display has a patchwork effect.



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