I am putting together a community poetry project for kids. Adults can play along too. [Note: This is a condensed version of this introduction. To read the full post, please visit the Nerdy Book Club blog.]
I run an annual poetry writing project for adults. For one month, participants receive a daily writing prompt related to a common theme. The goal is to write and share a newly drafted poem with the group every day. It’s a way of practicing writing with others.
With so many schools closed or meeting online, I am adapting this project for kids. And to make it extra special for everyone during this stressful time, I have invited some author and poet friends to create the writing prompts for us!
The theme: WATER
The environment has been on my mind this year. Our oceans and waterways are not only at risk, they affect all aspects of life on this planet.
Water can be:
solid, liquid, gas,
a favorite place,
home for living things,
in the news,
a hot drink,
Writing prompts from authors will be posted each evening right here on my blog, beginning Sunday, March 22. Prompts will also be posted across social media with the hashtag #WaterPoemProject.
Posting response poems:
If school is online, use Padlet, Seesaw, Flipgrid or a similar work-sharing platform. Make a separate page for each new prompt. Throughout the day, students can add their poem drafts or videos of themselves reading what they wrote.
Because all of the shared writing is brand new, emphasize encouraging *signed* comments using your preferred platform. Setting expectations for positive feedback is key to a successful community project. For those who post a poem, make a rule of thumb: Read and comment on at least three other poets’ drafts.
Thanks to school librarian Linda Mitchell of Virginia for researching the learning standards related to this project. Linda Mitchell blogs about poetry and being a school librarian at A Word Edgewise.
Linda recommends the #WaterPoemProject for third grade and up because, “Writing Standards for children in third grade switch from learning to write to writing for many purposes. [Below] is Virginia’s third grade standard. These standards repeat in middle and senior level grades with more complexity. But these ideas could be used to support the project in general.”
Grade Three Standards of Learning: 3.9 The student will write for a variety of purposes.
a) Identify the intended audience.
b) Use a variety of prewriting strategies.
c) Write a clear topic sentence focusing on the main idea.
d) Write a paragraph on the same topic.
e) Use strategies for organization of information and elaboration according to the type of writing.
f) Include details that elaborate the main idea.
g) Revise writing for clarity of content using specific vocabulary and information.
Source: Virginia Department of Education, Writing 3.9. “The Standards & SOL-Based Instructional Resources.” VDOE :: The Standards & SOL-Based Instructional Resources, 2010, www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/standards_docs/index.shtml.
Writing and growth mindset:
Over the years, I have come to realize that this project teaches growth mindset. It reminds us that writing and creativity are not always about outcomes (publishing, getting a grade). They are also a practice.
If you write a poem every day for a month, you are going to have some winners and some stinkers! But at the end of the month, there will be a few new pieces that you’d like to revise and continue working on.
Thank you to all of the authors who have donated their time and writing prompts to make this project happen. And thanks to Jay Shovan for providing the project logo!
I look forward to hearing about what your students and children create in response to the #WaterPoemProject.
#WaterPoemProject Series Posts:
Prompt 1: Irene Latham, The Language of Water
Prompt 2: Elizabeth Steinglass, What Would a Raindrop Say?
Prompt 3: Linda Mitchell, Found Haiku
Prompt 4: Shari Green, Fogbow Fibonacci
Prompt 5: Margaret Simon, The Taste of Water
Prompt 6: Heather Meloche, The Shape of a Wave
Prompt 7: Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, A Water Memory
Prompt 8: Laura Shovan, Rainy Day Opposites
Prompt 9: Kathryn Apel, Silly Solage
Prompt 10: Buffy Silverman, A Watery Home
Prompt 11: Kara Laughlin, Frozen Fog
Prompt 12: Debbie Levy, Jump into a Limerick
Prompt 13: Joy McCullough, What Are Water Bears?
Please support the #WaterPoemProject authors by buying their books from your favorite independent bookstore.