This past week, we were in school a grand total of one day. Due to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and some crazy snowy weather, students got to spend most of the week cozy on the couch. Okay okay, and teachers too. Spending a full week in my house with my 3-year-old and 5-year-old has been… Let’s just say I’m actually looking forward to going back to school this week.
The one day we had in Creative Writing class was well spent. Students made ink blots using plain copy paper and permanent non-washable legit real ink. Hence, the use of newspaper splash pads. Check out Mostafa using one as a bib. Fashionable, I must say.
They created their masterpieces by using coffee stirrers to blow around blobs of ink placed on their paper by my ink dropper. There was beauty in the randomness of the drops, and they did not know why they were making their images–although they could probably take a fairly educated guess.
As the ink dried, we read some examples of haiku, made sure we were clear on the form, and discussed what each haiku achieved in such a small space. Then, students took a good gander at their ink blots to consider images, stories, or emotions evoked. On a page devoted for drafting in their Writers Notebooks, they worked through lines of 5-7-5, switching out syllables and words if they found them unworthy of the final piece.
In other news, our school also participated in the Poetry Out Loud District competition this weekend, held at Charlotte’s historical Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture (an absolutely beautiful and powerful space). Various schools from the Charlotte area competed with two students from each school, the school winner and the runner-up. Being in such a hallowed place with others who appreciate the wonder and weight of poetry was extremely moving. And to share that experience with my students was something I will remember (and hopefully, they will too) for a long long time.
Our school took second and third place in the competition. The second place winner will be advancing to the State competition in March! Every single student who performed did an amazing job and I am grateful for our district coordinator Ebone Lockett for making the event special for everyone who attended.
Upcoming this week – color poem prompt with mentor texts by Joshua Bennett, Melissa Range, Mahtem Shiferraw, Li-Young Lee, and Brenda Shaughnessy.