Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fib Poetry Readings

How can you celebrate National Poetry Month, National School Library Month, and Earth Day all at the same time? It's easy! Host an author in your library who writes about nature, go outside to take photographs of nature, write poetry based on your photographs, and have a poetry reading in your library to celebrate everyone's creativity and hard work. This is exactly what third graders at St. Therese Catholic School have done during April through a special author/teacher/librarian collaboration (see my last post on this topic to catch up). On Monday, April 18th, Sarah Campbell returned to our library to listen to thirteen poems based on student photographs and read from student-made Fib accordion books.

Each student took my "read-aloud" chair to share their book. First, they read their poems without letting us see the inside of their books or their photographs. We practiced making mental images from the words of the poem and then compared our images to the actual photograph on a second reading of the poem in which the student also revealed their photograph. Sometimes we were able to predict the subject of the photograph, and sometimes we were surprised that the final image was different from our mental image. As Sarah Campbell remarked, listening to the thirteen poems all together made her remember in new ways the beautiful day we had spent outside taking our photographs. The students did a wonderful job!

Over the next few days, I will share the students' original poems and photographs a few at a time so that we may continue to celebrate poetry. The students' books will also be on display in the library for all classmates to see on Earth Day (April 22nd). Finally, Sarah and I are taking the books and this project to a workshop we're facilitating at the annual convention for the International Reading Association in Chicago on Monday, April 25, 2010.

We concluded our poetry reading with some cookies and fresh pineapple (a Fibonacci fruit!). Sarah signed and dedicated a copy of Growing Patterns to our library so that we may continue to learn about the special relationship between math, science, and nature through Fibonacci numbers. Thank you, Sarah, for collaborating with me and with the third graders at St. Therese Catholic School!

And now, for a few of the students' poems and photographs. Three students chose to photograph and write about nature subjects related to trees:

Trees, Trees by J. P.

Trees, trees
That I really know.
Trees, trees gracefully that I see.

Fibo Number by B. B.

in trees
laying eggs
living a new life.
Their children live a new life, too.

Spring Fib Poem by J. R.

reflects on
sharp, hanging pine cone
I see it on my springtime walk.

Check back tomorrow for more student photos and poetry.


Jen said...

Wow. It's hard to know what else to say! What a beautiful gift this project has been for all of you, and now you are sharing it with us, too! Many, many thanks!

Sarah Campbell said...

We had so much fun taking pictures. I love the way this project extended the photography. Poetry has such power.