Monday, October 3, 2016

The Best Part of Me

We have been experimenting with some interesting entries in our notebooks. I wanted to share. Last week, I borrowed an idea from Penny Kittle's website called Writing Beside Poetry.
We watched Sarah Kay perform her poem, "Hands" and we created our own hands and filled them with stories and memories. 
I was shocked at how well this worked for my sixth graders. I struggled with it, more than they did. The more I stayed with it and the more we shared, my hands filled up with ideas and stories. 
From there we talked about other stories we carried with us. I posed this question to my sixth graders, "What is the best part of you?" I shared that I liked my crazy, curly hair and I often got compliments on my smile. Students listed parts of themselves that they loved. We read poems from the lovely book, "The Best Part of Me". I shared the photographs and the poems. Students got to work scribbling down the best parts of themselves. It struck me how often we overlook the parts we love and focus on the parts we don't like.
Their poems were thoughtful, vulnerable, funny, and creative! Students wrote about their eyes, hair, legs, eyelashes, brains. They had ten minutes to write, but the poems will stay with me forever.
The pages in their notebooks continue to inspire and surprise me. I'm so proud of the risks they are taking and the work they are putting into their words. They are writers. 
Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers for this amazing platform to write and share writing! What a wonderful community you've created! I'm honored to be part of it. Join us at Two Writing Teachers.

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