Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Today's Teaching

Today I video conferenced with students in Arkansas for a session titled "Dancing Fingers: Animal Poems 101." Inspired by a section in my poetry book, "Feathers, Horns, and Claws," the presentation centers around getting inspirations for poetry from animals. A very creative class with an impressive vocabulary, the Arkansas students were able to come up with lots of ideas for poems. We explored using animals as metaphors for larger things, like natural disasters and things were scared of (see example below):


The big brown bear eats everything,
It never stops to think
About what it eats,
And then it leaves a very giant stink.
We also explored how reading scholarly papers/encyclopedia entries/articles about animals could give us great descriptive words for our poem. After reading an article in National Geographic about the Giant Panda, we collaborated on this poem (using the words solitary, hungrily plucked, and insatiable from the original article):

Solitary in the mountains, I roam,
Remote regions of China—my home,
I am insatiable when I see bamboo,
My full stomach makes me poo.
But I must eat for half the day,
At bamboo, I hungrily pluck away.
I’m so shy and I go it alone,
I just like that quiet tone.
I really like to roam around,
I wish there was a Panda Town.


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