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Students Explore the Living Tradition of Poetry on a Trip to Poets House

December 10, 2018

Last month, Middle School students took a field trip to Poets House, a national poetry library and literary center, home to readings, talks, performances, classes, and a 70,000-volume collection. Award-winning poet Suzanne Lunden led a variety of activities, which included a tour of the center and discussions of poems Ms. Lunden had selected. The poems ranged from Billy Collins "Cheerios," about Collins' realization that he's the same age as cheerios, (the lesson; that poetry can be about the most mundane things) to Bruce Guernsey's "Yam," where students learned how poets say things in unique and unexpected ways (the first line: "The potato that ate all its carrots.") The morning ended with an activity in which students wrote short picture books, working in groups of six. The first student wrote a line, the second student illustrated the first student's line, the third student wrote a line about the illustration (without looking at the first line), etc. This prompted a discussion about the parallels between making these books and writing poetry; students discussed how poetry is open to interpretation and can have multiple meanings

 

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