I’m so excited about the Creating Poetry in Your Library session led by author and poet Kami Kinard that I attended at the South Carolina Association of School Librarians (SCASL) annual conference last week!
She has perfected a process of poetry writing with students that combines research with writing to enable even the youngest student to create non-fiction poetry. Kids use short magazine articles (such as those found in Ranger Rick and National Geographic for Kids) as a springboard for poetry writing by isolating the important words from the article and then using one or more of the principles of poetry (repetition, rhythm, alliteration, etc) to rearrange those words into a poem!
This activity encourages close reading of the text and improves comprehension. (Hello, Common Core!) You can also have students reading from a variety of sources including newspaper articles and books, and older students can handle reading and taking notes from more than one non-fiction source. Students can create a poem in a surprisingly short amount of time. Her SCASL session was only one hour, and she had time to share this technique with us, along with a couple of other poetry-writing ideas, and still allow us time to read an article and create a poem ourselves!
You will want to take a look at the blog she created for a poetry residency she did at Summit Drive Elementary School and see examples of these “found poems” that she guided students to create. I will definitely share this with my teachers — I think it will make a great collaborative project!