- Sponsorship -

Elementary Rhyme Time

Poet Helps Students Get Versed

A scientific article about the moon might not sound particularly poetic, but Laura Purdie Salas is all about finding poetry anywhere — and helping students find their own poetic voices. It could be in a postcard from the library about an upcoming presentation on lions, a newspaper article about jellyfish or a science-y “wonder” about what happens to the moon during the day.

Salas, who has written numerous books on and of poetry for children, recently spent a week at Wealthy Elementary working with all classes in the K-5 school to write poems related to curriculum-specific topics. Later, Salas shared the students’ work on her blog.

For a group of fourth-graders, it was their science unit study of the moon that provided the launching point for the creation of “found” poems.

Salas explained the process:

  1. Use a hard copy of something with text on it;
  2. Highlight words that are appealing to you;
  3. Do some of what she calls “found poem ridiculousness”: Plug your ears and read the words aloud in all sorts of different orders until you like what you hear, then rearrange on the page;
  4. Write combinations of the words, or phrases using the words;
  5. Fill in with words that make sense to you. Your poem can be silly, serious, scary or something else, and doesn’t have to have anything to do with where the words came from.

Minneapolis-based poet Laura Purdie Salas spent four days working with Wealthy Elementary students

Fourth-grader Janae Stewart took her time choosing the words from the article she liked best: eyes, moon, sky, wolf and howling.

Two chairs down, Eoghan Burns was on a different path entirely with the same article; he highlighted the words nighttime, nearness, celestial, miniature, lunar and gravitational behavior.

Salas’ main objective when working with school-age children, she said, “is just to get rid of any fear of poetry or of their own creativity.”

“A lot of them think they can’t write, or that they won’t have talent, but students this age are mostly amazing writers.”

Wealthy Principal Anthony Morey said the $6,300 cost of Salas’ visit was paid for by PTO dollars and a grant from the East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation. “This opportunity was unique because teachers were able to work with Salas ahead of time to integrate the writing lessons with the curriculum,” he said.

CONNECT

Laura Purdie Salas Blog

Wealthy Elementary Book “Tag Talks”

- Sponsorship -
Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema is a reporter and copy editor, covering East Grand Rapids, Forest Hills and Northview. She is a Grand Rapids native and a product of Grand Rapids Public Schools, including Brookside and West Leonard elementaries, City Middle/High School and Ottawa Hills. She found her tribe in journalism in 1997 and has never wanted to do anything but write. For 15 years she was a freelance journalist for The Grand Rapids Press, covering local schools and government, religion, business, home & garden and lifestyles. She and her husband, John, think even those without kiddos should be invested in their local schools and made to feel a part of them. Read Morgan's full bio or email Morgan.

LATEST ARTICLES

Longtime volunteer does whatever’s needed for school: ‘I love being here’

A 24-year parent and grandparent volunteer tends to student and family needs at Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Academy...

Lessons from a pandemic: ‘agile learners’ need ‘agile adults’

Reflecting on the end of fall semester and 2020, Superintendent Dedrick Martin sat down with School News Network to discuss how Caledonia adapted to school closures, virtual learning and social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic...

It’s all about getting students back to classrooms, Supt. Shibler says of the vaccine

Superintendent Michael Shibler hopes the more people get vaccinated, the closer we are to the end of the pandemic...

Young constitutional scholars view current events, politics through historical lens

East Grand Rapids and East Kentwood high school We the People team members have qualified for the national competition, becoming well versed in civics and critical thinking along the way...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Young constitutional scholars view current events, politics through historical lens

East Grand Rapids and East Kentwood high school We the People team members have qualified for the national competition, becoming well versed in civics and critical thinking along the way...

Letters to a tribal cousin show understanding of indigenous peoples

Teacher Brett Scheidel has assigned the activity for at least a decade...

‘Soul of Northview’ Says Students Are the Reward

Ted Burba, a longtime and beloved teacher for Northview Public Schools who retired this fall, died early this week after a long illness. In tribute to his lasting legacy, School News Network republishes this profile of Mr. Burba that originally ran in 2016 to honor his 50th year of teaching...
- Sponsorship -

HOW'S SCHOOL TODAY?

Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...

RADEMACHER & FRIENDS

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -

MEDIA PARTNERS

Maranda Where You LiveWGVU

SUSTAINING SPONSORS