Poetry Friday brings a fun sparkly spot to our reading afternoons. Of course, we are immersed the other days of the week in a shared reading book, The Tiger Rising, which provides much discussion and anticipation. But Poetry Fridays are special.
By now the routine of gluing in the week's poem in their poetry journal and adding it's title to the table of contents runs smoothly, which allows us to quickly meet together. As a whole, they are becoming quite good at inferring and seem to like the challenge poetry provides.
Talking began quickly when I instructed them to turn and tell a friend what comparisons they noticed after reading Maya Angelou's poem, I Love the Look of Words. The meaning inside the poem kept our class discussion going for some time. Then they were off with a partner to reread and practice fluency with this and previous poems. I smiled at earnest attempts and chuckled at the dramatic voice changes of others.
They appreciate the power and fun poetry provides and enjoy writing this genre. But what surprised me today was their reaction to a clip of Ms. Angelou reading. They enjoyed seeing her face so they could place an image with this prolific and powerful writer. They sat in rapture as she read her children's poem, Life Doesn't Frighten Me At All. But then the surprise. They broke out in applause. Applause at a still image of her on the screen after listening to her voice.
I somehow imagine Maya Angelou is the type of writer who would appreciate the spontaneous applause of this nine and ten-year-old audience more than the numerous awards and accolades she has so rightfully received. This is what poetry is designed to do.