Sunday, March 7, 2010

Txt Ptry

My students and I have been having some fun with poetry lately. I provided them with five of my all-time favorite poems and then proceeded to discuss with them what we look for in poems, how to interpret poems, how to read poems out loud. I waited for their eyes to start glazing over and then I sprang the assignment on them!

"You need to re-write one of these poems using text lingo!"

There was a " she serious?!" pause, and then they erupted! "NO WAY!!" "OH COOL!!"

I paired them up and set them to work. It got a bit loud in my classroom that morning, but it was a fun kind of loud! And, as I wandered around the room, it was all pretty much on topic. They really needed to understand the poem and what the poet was saying before they could re-write the piece. I was stopped a number of times by students who said, "But no one will be able to understand what these say!"

"That's okay. The point is you REALLY know what the poet was saying!"

If you stop by my classroom anytime soon, you can see all of their text poetry hanging in my classroom window. It's gotten a lot of attention! But...on to phase two of this assignment!

After working with a partner, it was time to write a poem on their own. And, yes, they were using text lingo for this poem as well. An original piece of their own creation...all in txt. The first question I got was, "Can we text it to you?!!" That one was met with a rousing chorus of "Oh yeahs!" and "great idea!" My response:

"I am NOT giving my cell phone number out to 36 seventh grade goofballs!!"

"Oh, come on, McTeachy, you know you love us!"


Anyway...they're supposed to be adding their text poems to their blogs this weekend. I think it's going to be tough to compete with the very first poem I read this morning by Annalee:


i run az fast az i can.
tryin 2 get away frm tha crazines.
i hear thm bhnd me
hu u ask
tha demns on erth
i stp at tha end uf tha clif n jmp
tha erasers hv cot up 2 me n r clawin at mi ft 2 pul me bak down 2 hell
i unflded my wngs,
feelin tha cool breeze go thru my fethers
i fly
i am a mutnt
bt i am myslf


Oh, how I do love this assignment! Fun with poetry...and it's not even April yet!!


ktenkely said...

This is so awesome! What a great way to help kids understand and get to the heart of the meaning of a poem by translating it into text. I bet they had a ball!

Unknown said...

Thanks Kelly! I just love this assignment…the kids really get into it. And this group created some amazing poems! They’re just wonderful to read.

Sharon Elin said...

I am definitely stealing your idea. I mean that as a compliment. LOVE IT! Your students rock!

Unknown said...

Thanks Sharon! And, please…steal away!! Let me know if I can help in any way.

Nick Provenzano said...

This is such a great idea. I will be using this idea next year with my Freshman. Thanks for sharing. :-)