Having a week to do poetry felt like being really jipped, but I guess you can’t always get what you want. A couple of things went well though this week. Gary Soto went over well with many students, and they liked “How You Gave up Root Beer” and “Ode to Pablo’s Tennis Shoes,” especially the boys. Actually none of them actually said that they like them, but in their writing workshop yesterday I saw a few boys writing odes to their favorite things, like their drum sets and their skateboards, which tells me it struck some nerve. I read them Soto’s own words about how he likes poems to be about the everyday things and moments in his life. Not that every student caught on to what that really meant, and there were still those who fell into the trap of writing a rhymed cute-sy poem or haiku.
The hit of the week though was poetry bingo. Who knew that some blank bingo cards and a powerpoint presentation with a bunch of different pieces of poetry could get students excited about figurative language? But I guess in middle school any game situation in class is a welcome relief.
Hopefully, when I have a class of my own, I’ll figure out a way to weave poetry into the entire school year as opposed to trying to squeeze some of it into a week.