I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Students share interesting text!
Students rarely pick up a book they don’t enjoy and read it cover to cover. It is even more rare for a students to say, “Hey! This author put a lot of time and effort into their novel.” Students are attracted to novels and series based on their interests, even if the content does not impress a teacher. (I refuse to read a Captain Underpants, no matter how funny my kids think it is in the beginning of the year.) It is our job as educators to steer them toward challenging and worth while text. It is also our job to open our students’ eyes to see that books are works of art, and an amazing amount of time is put into novels and even short poems. Imagine a world with out Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”. I couldn’t. This poem resonated with me when I was in 8th grade, and I have tried to take the “road less traveled” ever since.
I love poetry, but I understand how a nine year could find little interest in poems they do not understand. That is, until their eyes are opened to how they can be creative with words and apply the skill to things they enjoy! “You mean, I can write a haiku about Duck Dynasty or Miranda Lambert?” “Why not!” My poetry unit is always one of my favorites because the students get to see how much time goes into creating a complete “book”, and they get to write about things they enjoy. They also begin using the English language in a new and creative fashion. I set the number and types of poems they need to write, and they pick the topics (Yes, I had a lot of Mind Craft poems created this year.)
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My students used the Ebook Magic app to layout their own poetry books. They were allowed to insert appropriate illustrations inside of the book. My students’ personalities really came out during this unit. After all of the books were created, they exported their books to Paperport Anywhere. Using the Paperport Anywhere app, the students were able to read each other’s poems and decide which poems they thought were the best. They then filled out sticky notes stating their favorite poems written by their classmates and why they enjoyed these poems. At the end of the unit they viewed themselves not only as students, but poets too!
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