Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Where I'm going will you follow/ On a highway in the light
National Poetry Month begins... I said that I would provide some simple poetry lessons for children back here...
This poetry prompt is from another of Ken Koch's books that I love - "Wishes, Lies, and Dreams".
Well here is Week One/ Third Eye Poems
The third eye can see what regular eyes can’t or is only open when the regular eyes are closed. It is a magical eye.
We made third eyes out of paper and taped them to our foreheads. We wore them through breakfast and then "wrote" our poems. The best way to unfold this lesson with older kids is to encourage them to imagine ANYTHING! In school I always told kids they could see ANYTHING! Tell them that they can be serious or funny or sad or scared. Give them freedom. Give them power.
With younger children just allowing them to ramble on about what they can imagine is great! I let Finn spin a whole story and then we sat down and I prompted him by saying, "My Third Eye Can See..." and he just filled in the poem. His poems were so funny and charming.
Here are some of the examples from my old school. A simple lesson like this was a very powerful tool for my elementary kids. Power is king. In the neighborhood where my school and recreation center stood- there was much violence and worry. It was powerful for the kids to be in control of their daily life...if even for 15 minutes in a poetry workshop.
B. Age 9
My third eye can see the teachers underwear
and Teddy Johnson dancing
and the whole school upside down
it can see candy floating all around us
L. Age 8
My third eye can see me that is scared of the shots at night
it can see my mom and she is happy and not sad
T. Age 10
My third eye can see all the way down Hallidon Ave and Kiya ain't dead anymore
it can see the bad people and it stares at them till they run away
down Monroe St and don't bother us
they disappear and it is summer every day