Before I begin, put aside all your ideas about WHY poetry is good for children. Some of those ideas are probably true but that's not why I am about to invite you to work with me on a little project.
Two weeks ago I spent time in Minneapolis presenting a two day workshop to teachers on "inquiry". As part of the process I displayed a few examples of the children's poetry that was completed during our unit that explored colour in our lives. One teacher made a comment that the poem didn't really make sense to her. Well, I could relate. A lot of poetry doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me either. That however, has not prevented me from writing my own, encouraging it in others and more importantly, trying to see into the world view of the other through their words, phrases and organization. You see, for me it's not all about making sense of the poem, but more importantly, trying to connect with another's way of seeing the world because in that we are drawn together in some pretty interesting ways.
I hope you'll agree and that you'll participate in my invitation.
I will start a poem here and write it somewhere on the IB wall at Creative Minds. You can write your poem there or here, sign it or not. It doesn't matter. What matters is that we are all sharing ideas around the theme of water. We'll read these to the children every day and also invite them to write some poetry too. I ask that you not edit yourselves to the point where you feel you "can't" or "shouldn't". You can even write in your other languages (even pig latin).
For instance, I sat thinking about the waters of Zanzibar and I quickly scribbled:
at the tip of my toes
These 10 words brought me back to the waters and then a cascade of other ocean images came to my mind. That lead to me thinking about how we should make a small film with the children at the beach and then more ideas arose. I had to stop short. Why not just allow the words to bring forth the senses?
So I leave you with the idea and hope that I can encourage you to write. If you don't want to write your own, bring in poems that you like about water. Let's help the children play with language as they engage in this inquiry and let's build connections between us through our sharing our interests and experiences in this format.