Poetry on a Topic

My students have been doing a lot of writing recently, mainly because I want them to express their ideas and opinions, but they are still too shy to talk a lot.

We are using a book called Teen Talk (now out of print, I believe). The book was published in Korea for Korean students and is divided into Issues. The theme of Issue 9 is: “Everybody Does It.”

The issues all have a variety of activities designed to draw out students’ opinions verbally through readings and comprehension questions. This does not work very well with my class, so rather than badgering them one by one in a circle to give their opinion I have begun asking them to write down their opinion, either by themselves or in small groups, and then present it.

On Tuesday we read and discussed this poem:

Teen Talk 1: Issue 9

Teen Talk 1: Issue 9

During the discussion, this line from the poem: “Once I tarnish a reputation, it can never be the same again” required explanation. Stealing the idea from a description of a lesson on bullying that has been making the rounds, I pulled a piece of paper from my folder, crumpled it in my hand, and said, “your reputation is ruined!” Then I apologized to the paper and promised to make it right. I unfolded it and smoothed it out. And I asked the students if it was the same as before. They got the point. When we reviewed the lesson today, what they remembered is “gossip ruins lives.”

Gossip damage

Gossip damage

And I asked them to write a poem of their own for homework based on any of the topics in Issue 9.

These are the finished versions (after my edits) that they presented to the class today.ย I reproduce their poems here with their permission (actually they gave me permission to put them on Facebook, too. I think they like having an audience other than just me and each other).

2014-01-09 19.05.04 2014-01-09 19.03.12 2014-01-09 19.08.18 2014-01-09 19.06.33 2014-01-09 19.01.11 2014-01-09 18.56.43 2014-01-09 18.53.132014-01-09 19.02.492014-01-09 19.05.23

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  • mzluvlii  On January 10, 2014 at 2:44 am

    Reblogged this on mzluvlii and commented:

  • mzluvlii  On January 10, 2014 at 2:45 am

    I have a poem on this site called “Rumors”, please feel free to check it out. It reminds me so much of these words. Again, thanks for this. I have been the subject of gossip for years and I needed this. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • livinglearning  On January 10, 2014 at 11:57 pm

      Thank you for stopping to read, comment, and reblog. I think this is a really important topic and I’m glad to share it and share my students’ work and thoughts. You are not alone in this fight. I hope that gives you strength.
      I loved your poem: http://mzluvlii.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/rumors/

      • mzluvlii  On January 13, 2014 at 6:14 am

        Thank u and I hope the same for your students.

  • Josette  On January 10, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    What a powerful way to exemplify the residual effects of gossip. Brilliant!

    Anne, I am struck by the honesty and depth of self and other-exploration that your students are displaying in this poetry. You have really given them a chance to not only think about what matters to them, but to to also let the world know.

    I am so happy that they shared this with us. Please tell them thank you for sharing their creative minds and hearts. They have a lot of important things to tell us. We are listening. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • livinglearning  On January 10, 2014 at 11:59 pm

      Thank you Josette. I am very proud of my students and delighted that they can express themselves in this way. I hope they will find their voices and share more with us.

      • Josette  On January 11, 2014 at 9:44 am

        I hope so too. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

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