Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Concrete Poems

This unit's pre-writing activity was to paint a scene from which the kids could choose an object about which to write their concrete poem. We had the option to take a field trip or go outside, but since I've got a cold and we had another fever this past week oh and the weather has been awful, a field trip did not sound fun. Instead, we looked out our windows and chose something to draw. Then we did some brainstorming to prepare for writing the sloppy copy today.

We began with watercolor pencils. E12 sketched our spruce tree out front.

R10 wanted to paint first, but E12 convinced her she could have more definition with the pencils first. This is a drawing of our two tiered flower garden in the backyard showing the few flowers which are blooming. Originally, the drawing was to be on paper plates which is novel and provides a natural frame. However, our plates were coated which was no good for watercolor! So, R10 made her own frame.

I8 chose the street light and utility boxes.

R10's finished drawing- always amazes me how an artsy person sees the world differently.

Some of our watercolor pencils- some are Prang brand. The watercolor paper I order from Discount School Supply.

The journaling activity on concrete poems- the kids used words from the word list to arrange around the tarantula.

Our other watercolor supplies. We really like the tube watercolors and the best tray sets are Prang brand. For Christmas we loaded the kids up on the double Prang trays from Staples.

R's drawing after adding the water. She is really pleased with it. She added the purple frame for fun.

J5 had his watercolor lesson for Peter Rabbit while the other kids worked on their paintings.

E12's journal entry and brainstorming wheel. His concrete poem is on football.

R10 chose to do her poem on the hyacinths in the flower garden. The exercise was to focus on something out of a larger scene- like the flower garden itself and then on just thing in particular so she chose the hyacinths.

So, after all that work yesterday, today we made a large "sloppy copy" of the poem after they drew a shape onto a 12x18 piece of construction paper. Then the kids did a self-edit of their poems. With a concrete poem, most of the editing was spelling. Usually, the pre-writing activity (in this case the painting) and the brainstorming are done on separate days. The sloppy copies are written on one day and the editing is done the next. However, we are playing some catch up this week so we doubled up. Tomorrow the kids will fix their sloppy copies and make a final published product.


Shannon C said...

I love this! I need to pull my Write Shop stuff back out. I kind of failed with keeping up with it this year. We started with good intention! I have lower levels--I look forward to using the higher ones! Would you say that the 5th grade level would be appropriate for a kid with little formal writing instruction? Mine will be starting 4th grade soon so I'm not there yet, but I like to think ahead!

Heather said...

Yes I would! At least it has been a good fit for us. Shannon if you read the post below you'll see what I have to say about writing instruction. We are very informal here and my kids are thriving at this program- including my 3rd grader doing the fifth grade program now.

Enjoy it!


Shannon C said...

Thanks for your response, Heather. We have also mainly utilized copwork, narration and dictation.

Jocelyne said...

Thanks for sharing this. I have been going back and forth on Writeshop. I am very informal with writing around here. It is very creative and I let him just go. But my son LOVES to write and is really starting to like the process of writing because he is noticing how brainstorming and outlining are helping him organize his thoughts. So I have been wondering if something like this would be fun for him. And also give me ideas to help him move forward with his writing. Hmmm...

Rebecca said...

This looks great! Thank you for sharing this,I have not heard about it...found you from the Notebooking Fairy today....and am a happy new follower!