Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fun with Odes

We have not finished our school year yet.  I know that many of you have completed another year and I am a little jealous.  My students' last day is June 8 with teachers working until June 12.  This is the time of year that testing is almost over (we have re-tests the rest of this week), but I want to make their last days a meaningful learning experience.  Writing always comes to the rescue!

We have been studying odes in poetry.  We have looked at several and discussed what we notice about how the author puts the poems together.  Students have done a bit of brainstorming in their notebooks and we are now at the drafting phase for most but with some ready to begin revision.

One of the biggest lessons I learned from the Slice of Life Challenge in March is that I must write with my students.  They must see me as I struggle through my own writing process.  I have written an ode which is on draft number 5!   They thought it was "good enough" back on draft number 3.  I wasn't satisfied with it.  Over the course of drafting, they have seen my poem evolve into this :

Ode to a Book

A rectangle that seems ordinary
Opens onto a new adventure, 
a new place, a new friend,
a new enemy
A book

Endless letters,
those sticks and circles and zigzags
Help me capture ideas
Escape my troubles
A book

When I slow down
get comfy with my fuzzy red blanket
and peek between the covers
the World opens its arms
makes me Feel
Calms me, Angers me, Humanizes me
Offers me laughter
and healing tears
I am not alone
A book

I'm still working on it.  There are a few more changes that I am playing around with as I continue to draft.  We will complete these by Friday and then celebrate!

I have learned so much from participating in this community!  Thank you.


  1. Love that you show your students your writing and the stages it goes through! I also love the Ode to a Book. Makes me want to go read so I can start a new adventure.

  2. I LOVE that your students are getting to write alongside you. How wonderful!

  3. Yes, writing alongside students is powerful. This gives them a glimpse into knowing that the first draft is not the only draft. I love your ode, it captures all the joy one can get from reading.

  4. I'm glad you have accepted the importance of writing alongside your students. I think this is the MOST POWERFUL thing we can do in writing workshop. Thanks for sharing your poem.

  5. Participating in the writing process and being transparent to the joys and challenges with your students is wonderful. Thanks for sharing your model of that. Your ode is enticing me to grab a book.