Some kids read and write poetry all year. Jordana Greenberg, then a 5th grader at Manhattan New School, created a poetry anthology as part of a year long project. Starting in September, her teacher, Doreen Esposito, asked students to gather poetry books and spend some time reading and enjoying poems. Students would put post-it notes on the poems they liked. By the middle of the month, students would find one poem they really loved. They would copy the poem, then illustrate it. Next students would look through their notebooks to find entries that would go next to the published poem. Students could create their own poems based on the published poem. Or rework the notebook entry to sound more poetic. Or keep the entry as is. Students then illustrated their own piece of work and added it to the anthology. They turned the anthologies in at the end of the month and had a chance to share their work with others. At the end of the school year, students had a beautiful collection. The poem above is one entry in such an anthology. All I can say is…wow.
(For more on how to create these anthologies see The No-Nonsense Guide to Teaching Writing by Judy Davis and Sharon Hill.)