Monday, December 12, 2011

 The Great All-American Reflections Poetry Contest

       Thanks to everyone who submitted poems to our Reflections Poetry Contest. We received quite a few entries. It hasn't been easy to select a winner, but we think it's going to be a poem submitted by one of Tinmah Steinman's students at the Park Day School in Oakland, California. We'll announce the final decision during the first or second week of January.
        In the meantime, here's another photo that's sure to inspire students to use their imaginations to create either prose or poetry. The photo at the left, above, shows a small incandescent light bulb reflected in a pane of glass at night. Feel free to download it and use it in your classrooms. By the way, you'll find many more photos that can inspire your students at MY STOCK PHOTOS.

Find Out How Harrison Corbett Uses Photos with His Students 
Here's an Excerpt from His Website

        You know, on our digital cameras or in drawers at home, most of us have pictures that may not ever make it into our scrapbooks or photo albums. To me, these types of photos potentially might make excellent writing prompts. Here at my website, I feature a page of some favorite photos that are neither in a photo album or a scrapbook; I think they're all really great photos that would serve nicely to inspire my own writing...or they would inspire stories from my students. (My students really like to make-up fictional stories based on my photos or photos they obtain from friends, do yours?)
        After I show my kiddos my online photos that I think would make interesting writing prompts for me (and/or I show them WritingFix's Photo Prompt Page), I challenge them to look for two or three photos at home and to bring them in (or scans of them) as possible writing prompts for their own notebooks. Usually, I ask them to show a friend the two or three photos they've brought in, and I ask them to share a little bit about the story behind the photograph. I then ask them to ask their friend, "Which one do you think I should write about first?"
        Students tape the photo they've chosen onto a blank notebook page (I have double-sided tape available for them). Then, they spend 15 minutes free-writing about the image. I don't want them to necessarily simply tell me what's in their photo; I'd much rather have them show a memory or idea they associate with the image. To show them that kind of thinking, I share with them two photos and free writes from my own writer's notebook. 
            Corbett Harrison is a teacher and educational consultant based in Nevada.

Now You Can Find Out More about Virtual Poetry Clubs
Here's Some Interesting Information from Lindsey Wright

       Poetry is not often a common interest among children. Furthermore, modern students increasingly prefer online classes and educational platforms that allow for optimum agency and individual creativity. Basically, students today prefer to entertain themselves with electronic devices. Thus, in order to engage students of today, it is helpful to channel knowledge through technological venues such as a virtual poetry club.
        Writing a poem on a piece of paper and perhaps sharing it later with a friend does not provide the instant reward that children now expect from daily life. With a virtual poetry club, students can talk about their creations in real time. In this medium students can communicate instantly and give feedback to others while using their analytical skills to discuss style, themes, meters and more.
           Another upside to virtual poetry clubs is that children can interact in them between other online activities, such as gaming and watching television shows. It may motivate them to be more active in the club because they do not have to abandon their electronics for a pencil and a piece of paper. 
        Children need to learn to experience poetry before picking apart the technical details. This makes them more attuned to the creative aspect of poetry. Teaching students to appreciate poetry can give them an advantage in school for reading and writing, and is one creative way to introduce students of today to the beauty of poetry in a way that is more palatable to them.
        Based in Seattle, Washington,  Lindsey Wright is fascinated with the potential of emerging educational technologies, particularly the online school, to transform the landscape of learning. She writes about web-based learning, electronic and mobile learning, and the possible future of education.


      Published by Cottonwood Press in 2009, Write What You See: 99 Photos To Inspire Writing by Hank Kellner is now marketed by Prufrock Press. Please visit now to order this fine book. This thought-provoking collection contains photographs and a wide variety of inventive writing prompts to motivate students.
     Written by a veteran of the Korean War and retired educator who has served as an English Department supervisor and adjunct associate professor of English at the community college level, Write What you See includes a CD-Rom and a special section telling how teachers nationwide use photos to inspire writing. 118 pages, 8 1/2 X 11, Softbound, ISBN 978-1-877673-83-2, Grades 7-12, $24.95

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