We begin this stint in China by speaking to a compilation of local librarians from English speaking schools in the city. A seditious bunch for sure headed up by our host Kendra Perkins who arranged and organized our first three days in Shanghai with the precision of a – well, a librarian.
We’ve worked with the Language Arts crew in the middle school the last couple times but the official poet wrangler of SAS for this installment, Scott Riley, decided to mix it up a bit this time and we collaborated with the Social Studies and a Science class.
There were so many welcoming folks we were overwhelmed with hospitality and smothered in traditional Brazilian hugs at every turn.
“I’m too busy to have the poet visit my classroom.”
Somewhere along the way we teach young adults to hate poetry.
Sara Holbrook and I do what teachers would do if they had more time. We come up with lessons. We create engagement strategies centered on writing frameworks.
This is how to make a visiting instructor’s session work – participate with your students – let your expertise and knowledge of your classroom’s dynamics keep things rolling along on track.
Our first day, after the assemblies, we dove into some writing clinics in the classrooms. We wrote list poems with the first graders – did some questioning poems with second graders – worked on understanding the difference between subjective and objective with the third grade and then composed personification pieces with the year nines.
The found poems were a success because of the meeting Heather and I had before our visit. We discussed the lesson, which consists of close reading a passage, picking out important phrases, and then building a poem from these power phrases implementing the use of poetic elements.
We have just spent a unique week in Mozambique at the American International School of Maputo and it was really not enough time.