Endurance

Today, my students and I created book spine poetry in the library. They are not regular perusers of the stacks, but almost all of them joined in the fun. Here is my contribution to our poetry playfulness:IMG_4632.jpg

The Impossible Journey
Endurance
Endurance
Endurance
Return to Paradise

As a side note, book spine poetry was at least as popular as blackout poetry was the other day. (We had a middle day – list poetry – that I thought was less successful, though two of the the kids assured me that “that was pretty cool, too.”) Today students roamed the stacks, fingers traipsing along the edges of books. They crouched low, leaned in, turned their heads sideways to read, then pulled out books and showed them to other students. They laughed and shared and talked about books. Both students and teachers from other classes came to see what was happening. It felt joyful and fun. They even created some poems in French! I’m so grateful to all the teachers out there in the blogosphere who have guided me down new paths this month. Here, take a peek at some of the excitement:

 

 

 

Today, for the first time, I’m joining Poetry Friday. Head over to The Poem Farm for this week’s round-up of Poetry Friday posts. Thanks, Amy, for hosting our gathering!

 

24 thoughts on “Endurance

  1. This is so cool, Amanda! What I love most is you got those “fingers traipsing along the edges of books.” There is a glimmer of hope. They are reaching out to books and touching them in the library. It would be fun to count how many books they actually handles, how many words they read. I bet it would be more than normal. I’ve built whole group lists with a game type activity in HS classes. Then students all use from the co-op list or add some of their own to create personal poetic lines. Maybe I will do a post about the process sometime soon … maybe 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish I could have counted the books they touched and the words they read. Several of them commented that they hadn’t been in the library for a while or that they didn’t know this library had so many interesting books. We’re getting there – baby steps.

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  2. I love spine poetry. When I teach it I also ask students to present their poems as oral interpretation. Lots of fun! Glad you’re getting in on the poetry.

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    1. What a great idea. I’ve already realized that this month would go well with more oral skills included – right now I can barely get them to read a sentence out loud. Next up: fun speaking words aloud!

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  3. I LOVE book spine poetry! What a way to get them to peruse books in the library which I’m sure led to them possibly wanting to read some of these books! It looks like they had a ton of fun in the process as well! How awesome!

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  4. I truly love spine poetry. The hardest part is returning all the books. Not sure my librarian would be excited about this, we tend to do it in the classrooms more. What was your process for returning the books to their rightful place? Maybe I could try that and convince our librarian!

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    1. First, our librarian is fantastic. Second, I have a grand total of 16 kids in this class. So we struck a deal: they would create book spine poetry that she could display around the library for poetry month, and I would introduce the kids to the graphic novel section and the hi-lo section (called “high interest). The biggest rule was that they would NOT try to reshelve the books themselves. She put out a cart & leftover/unused books went there. She has a peer tutor who will help her reshelve on Monday – and she says the reshelving (I’m betting 30 minutes) will be worth the growth in learning & enthusiasm. I tend to agree.

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  5. First, welcome to Poetry Friday! It’s a really nice group of people! Also a lot of really, really talented poets (which can be a little intimidating to me, but as I already said, they are all super kind and welcoming). I’ve done April Poetry for at least five years, but have never tried book spine poetry. Now I wonder why??? Your kids did a terrific job!

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  6. Oh, I love book spine poetry! I have such a delightful image of your students laughing, sharing, and talking books and words. Kudos to your enthusiastic librarian.

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  7. It’s so much fun to create with books. How great that you did it with students. Your own poem shows a long, long hard life. I thought of poor Odysseus’ journey! Welcome to Poetry Friday!

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  8. Welcome to Poetry Friday! All of the book spine poems are fabulous and the one photo with a bit of face and an armload of books captures the energy perfectly!

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  9. I love that you tried this in the library. What a great way to generate some excitement and get kids discovering new books! I’m also delighted to see that you decided to try out Poetry Friday. It’s so nice to see you here!

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  10. Welcome to Poetry Friday! We hope you will stay! Those spine poems…that endurance one is one of my all time favorites. Thank you so much for joining us. ‘Sounds like many of your students will change their minds about poetry this year… Peace.

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  11. I love this. When we get back to school next week, we’re planning to start a poetry unit. I think I’m going to try to convince the librarian at my school to let me try this. I’ve never tried it before. Any tips for introducing it?

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    1. Hmm… tips… well, I showed them a bunch of examples, told them it is a legitimate twitter and instagram hashtag (they are suckers for social media), and told them they could have fun. I talked to the librarian ahead of time & established two main rules: don’t reshelve your own books (they put them on a book cart); and leave your poems on one of the tables – she chose some and put them on “display” on the shelves. Hint 1: the sports section has some great titles. And I’ve seen some awesome ones with picture books, but there are none of those in our high school library. Hint 2: I let them work in pairs if they wanted. This was key for some of them. Hint 3: I had a Chromebook available for the inevitably uninterested ones (there were 2) to explore pre-set links to book spine poetry on-line. I’d say the activity itself (in the library) lasted about 25 minutes. It was a bit hectic but lots of fun. Oh! Hint 4: be sure to tell them they can make more than one, but you’ll definitely want something for kids to do when they’re tapped out because some will finish before others. And let me know how it goes! (Also, I’m going to try to post about the best activity – I tried it today & it was awesome. Originally designed for middle school, so possibly good for your students.)

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