I know it’s election day today, but I’m just going to focus on positive things!
I had a fantastic two-day visit with Pinewood Elementary School last week in Monticello, MN. It’s always great to visit with students when the staff has prepped so carefully. They read some of my books, shared poems on the morning TV announcements, let me know what they’re studying so I could make our poetry writing activities merge well with that…it was fantastic!
It was also exciting for me because I got to share two new things. First, I got to read “We’re Bats” with the kids. This is my poem in the awesome Kenn Nesbitt anthology One Minute Till Bedtime. In my large group sessions (4 classes of 3rd graders at a time), I talked about how reading a poem aloud in different ways can give a poem different feelings. We echo-read “We’re Bats” three times. First, I just read it straight, with kids echoing each line back to me. Then, we all did a slow snap together and gave it a bit of a funk. Finally, we read the poem in “bat voices.” What are bat voices? Well, for us, they are sounds like a creature of the night would make. Soft, sibilant, a little bit creepy. That was definitely the kids’ favorite!
Also during the large group, I read kids my forthcoming book, If You Were the Moon! This was the first time I’ve read it to anybody. I don’t have any printed copies of the book yet, but I was able to show them the pages on-screen. It was such fun! Half the classes have been studying space and systems, and the way the moon affects the earth fit right into that, which was cool.
Then I got to work with each class individually in a poetry workshop. More on that tomorrow!