The book study offered me a sense of community that was virtually established. I loved reading f everyone’s ideas and then going back and actually applying the ideas.
Thanks for this comment, Ann. I agree: everyone who participated in this online book discussion brought thoughtful and useful ideas!
The books actually gave me wonderful instructional ideas to use in my classroom. I love books that keeps readers engaged, so I know after reading The Poetry Anthology Series, I will be able to do so with my students.
I was drawn to" HERE WE GO" not only because of the poems that allowed readers to take a step back and analyze self and the people in our lives, but... I really appreciated the Activism Activities and Activism Websites that was added. Amazing!!!!!
Thank you, Diamond, for your praise of the Activism Activities and Activism Websites--this sort of education is more necessary now than ever, and I appreciate your pointing us to them!
Reading these poems made me reflect on how my high school students could relate to them. I teach in a very diverse district, but I feel like many of the students may feel isolated from the other students. I love the poem "We Truly Saw" in the Here We Go book because it shows how two people who probably hold specific stereotypes about each other were brought together by Ameera's act of making her friend's father a tray. A mentor poem such as this could have a positive impact on young people. They could ask what do people not know about me or my culture that could show them who I really am? All of these poems show very powerful ways which can help students express themselves. I am excited to have read them and to share them with others.
Nicole: YES! I believe that so much of the challenge facing us today is how to get people who have very set ideas to open their eyes and truly see . . . Hoping that the poems in HERE WE GO can plant seeds of thought!
Sometimes reading and writing poetry can not only be engaging learning experiences but can connect deeply and succinctly with our thoughts and feelings. After the horror in Parkland Florida, I was compelled to respond in writing. Here is a piece of found poetry created from words in newspaper articles and in Here We Go.
Riveting the nation
We’re children; protect us!
Too cowardly to regulate guns
No more vigils and weeping
We demand actions
Or, you’re out!
Jenna: It’s going to be tough, but I feel like taking a chance.
Jack: Hard getting started, but it felt good.
David: Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd.
Ameera: We’re trying to make things right
All: Join us, will you?
Carol: Your found poems are inspiring--and YES, using found poetry is a great way to process all that is going on in the news now. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!
I too, have been deeply moved by the courage and eloquence of the high school students speaking out. Their movement is taking hold and growing. I loved reading Here We Go and You Just Wait on many levels -- as poetry, as stories, as stimulus for shared ideas and writing, and now, as fuel to move forward. Teachers have always been advocates for their students, and now we're seeing living examples of students taking the lead. Thank you Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell for these amazing resources to guide us.
Thank you so much, Janice, for giving your support to poetry. Goodness knows, we need it now more than ever!!!
Yes! We're looking forward to seeing you and our members and friends at our Spring Literacy Conference at St. Joe's on May 12th! Details will be posted on our website soon.
I was so inspired by Here We Go and the responses from colleagues and from author Janet Wong. I will be supervising teachers next semester, and our focus is on the writer’s notebook. I can’t wait to introduce them to Here We Go. I know teachers will be encouraged by the engaging format that guides students to write. The poems with themes of social justice, in words that speak to students, have such a great potential for learning, for writing, and for inspiring teachers and students to make the world a better place.
I agree Carol. I think this is a great resource for all teachers.
I love that the poems in "Here We Go" elicit such empathy. There are poems told from many different walks of life and points of view, but all with themes that our students can relate to. I loved the poem "The Dad I Need". So many of our students have people like this in their lives - people who turn into someone else when it comes to politics or money. It is true that we need to have a realistic view of the world and its problems, but our students are not well served when we paint a "doom and gloom" picture of the state of our country and world today. We need to show them that they have the power to right the wrongs. We need to show them that there is hope and it is powerful. Those are the teachers our kids need.