SAVY 2019: Session 6, Day 1 – The Power of Poetry (Rising 5th/6th)
It’s been a wonderful start to our week, as we begin to understand and practice the power of poetry. We started off today’s class by getting to know each other with an icebreaker, “Two Truths And A Lie” (our class is well traveled, but they might be too good at crafting lies…) Students then reflected and discussed a quote by the English Romantic poet Percy Shelley: “Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar,” and together, our class reflected on the purpose and utility of poetry. We created literary guidelines for our week so that we can write with purpose and fun: Use the five senses; be specific; be concrete; rhyme is not required; and be weird! We practiced one of those guidelines (be specific!) by asking students to engage in a Specificity Exercise – through drawings and descriptive sentences, we conjured vibrant adjectives and juicy verbs, imagining new possibilities for the specificity of language. After practicing our own writing, we listened to a slam poet, Sarah Kay (we’ll be practicing some slam poetry later in the week), and we discussed the weird specificity of images that the poet created. Ask your student about all the onomatopoeia they produced today around a particular space. We were definitely laughing about some of the sound-words these spaces contain!
We read several poems today: “The Witch Has Told You a Story” by Ava Leavell Haymon, “Becoming a Horse” by Ross Gay, “Underneath” by Jeff Kass, and “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman. After discussing how the poets crafted their pieces, we tried our own hand at creating poems inspired by their words. Students engaged in multiple writing prompts throughout the day, and were encouraged to practice new craft elements and implement the five “guidelines” of poems. We also learned about craft elements of poems, such as free verse poetry, enjambment (the continuation of a sentence with a line break), and synesthesia (expressing a linkage between different senses).
We’re looking forward to all of the incredible writing that will be produced this week as we work towards putting together our class anthology!