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Naming the World: A Year of Poems and Lessons - Nancie Atwell

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on 8 November 2013

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Transcript of Naming the World: A Year of Poems and Lessons - Nancie Atwell

The Ongoing List:
List of "What a Poem Can Do"
Year-long Project
Shows Progression

Take 60 seconds to write your own list of
what a poem can do.
Naming the World: A Year of Poems and Lessons - Nancie Atwell
Starting off a Classroom with Poetry
" No ideas but in things"- William Carlos Williams
Thank you!
Atwell, Nancie. Naming the World: A Year of Poems and
Lessons. Portsmouth, NH: Firsthand, 2006. Print.
Using Form to Write Poetry
Presentation by Charlotte Pecquex
Section devoted to student's lives:
" This group of poems helps middle school students think about identity...in short, to think about what matters in the life of an individual" (Atwell 31).

Exercises Include:

about anything
surprises us
taps our senses
makes us laugh
makes us think
connects us with people at the most essential level: heart and mind to heart and mind
expresses anger and help make sense of a troubling experience
makes us look at everyday life through new eyes
makes us think about the kind of lives we want to live
use objects, people, actions, and places as symbols to show something about a life or an experience
helps capture stages in a life
helps us remember what matters
feeds us, slake our thirsts, protect us, take us around the world and back in time, heal us, and let us take big chances, yet remain safe
reveals the beauty in everyday existence; open our eyes to the poems that hide around us

Atwell's Class List:
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
-Portia Nelson
Chapter 1
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost... I am hopeless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter II

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in this same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
Chapter III

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still fall in... it's a habit... but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.
Chapter IV

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V

I walk down another street.
Discovery Poems
"Something else your poems can do is help capture times when you discovered you were mistaken-- when you misjudged or stereotyped someone. These are poems that will help you grow up-- and help others, too" (34).
-Jed Chambers
"We would fish/
and we would enjoy it./
That's what my mother said./
I had never fished before,/
so I called you."

"But when it was cooked/
for our dinner/
I tasted/
Focuses on response to an action,
Displays the "unidentified you",
Displaying feelings with...
sensory language
strong verbs
The Swingset- Grace Walton
Wood rots,
ropes fray,
metal rusts,

memories stay.

It stands there
deserted in the midst
of many times climbed
and swung from.

Sometimes it was a ship
escaping from the storm
other times, many times,
it was the Saab convertible a friend and I
drove to McDonald's.
Now years of playing cease.
It's just the goal for flashlight tag,
where people sulk after losing
preen after winning.

At times I want to shed
my childhood
but somehow I can't cart it away
to the dump, where
swingsets are shredded, where
times past
can't ever
Idea 1:
Idea 2:
"Sometime it was a ship escaping the storm"
Idea 3:
"at times I wanted to shed my childhood"
Idea 4:
"Times past can't ever return"
"Memories stay"
the connection to the swing set
Nostalgia surrounding swing set
Wanting to grow up
Longing the past/wanting to preserve the past/ moving beyond childhood
"By spring, my students are ready, as readers and writers of poems, to experience fresh challenges and satisfactions. Poetic forms show them what else is possible for poets" (Atwell 241).
Greed (Section from Iris Sins)
Bella Provan
Perfected Purple
melts the winter with her touch
and steals its color
5 syllables
7 syllables
5 syllables
Traditional Form
The Tritina: Repetition in threes
Stanza 1:
Stanza 2:
Stanza 3:
Stanza 4: one
line where all
three words

Starry Night Tritina- Molly Jordan

Riding along under a night
my family huddles
under blankets to elude the African

We stop and stare through the
darkness at the star-soaked
We gasp

then whisper
about how bright and plentiful these stars are.
fingers and noses are forgotten. We are in awe of the

doesn't exist: my family is
under a
luminous African
Full transcript