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Weekly Challenge # 19 – Wild Poets

January 25, 2014


I have a confession …

I love poetry.

Yeap. Seriously.

I can rhyme off Tennyson’s In Memorium # 27  or Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet 43 How do I Love Thee?  I’m just as partial to Robert Service’s Cremation of Sam McGee or both the poems of love and nature by Canadian Charles D Roberts.

I love a good story and I find poetry to be not only a good story but a story I can almost dance to. A poem of course does not need to be an epic ballad but could be as simple as a Haiku. But poetry along with other writing allows students to describe feelings, attributes, thoughts and experiences in such creative ways! Look at the work of e.e. cummings for simple words built into wonderful examples of literary architecture. You need look no further from an outdoor point of view than “The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.

Try some “wild” poetry with your class. To get started you can create one as a group perhaps about your adopted tree or the park down the road from the school.

January 27th is Family Literacy Day in Canada and this week I would love to encourage you to “flip” your environmental education and ask students to head home and together with siblings or parents write a short poem with family.  A fantastic project out of the University of Victoria on Transformative Places is a superb place to see examples as well as see why important to replace ourselves in nature. After adding my own transformative place, I passed it on to my father out in Alberta, Canada as well. Now I think this is the perfect subject for the poem! Have students write about their favourite wild space and have them ask their parents or grandparents abvout their own transformative places as well. What did they enjoy doing there? Why is was it special? What is the connection they feel to it? does it still exist and if not will it create a desirre to ensure their own childrens places remain?

Perhaps it is a favourite campground or a pond they skip rocks at. It might be a tree that they love to swing on or a certain corner of their backyard that catches the sun just right after school on a warm day.  Whatever it is, share it, write about it and share it with everyone back at school. Maybe even around the campfire from last week’s challenge!

Algonquin '13 004

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