Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Monster Day of 8th Grade Poetry - Service Learning @FairfieldU

Today will be the 4th class from Columbus School arriving to my ED 329: Philosophy of Education class. We've visited their school 4 times, and they've visited Fairfield University 4 times. Actually, a different grade has visited Fairfield University over the last 4 weeks. We culminate today with 8th graders who, with Ms. J, will be embarking on a poetry unit. I thought, "Why not get our Monster on, and do a workshop of thieving the land for great poetry. As always, I have Jacqueline Woodson and Kwame Alexander to thank for a few of the models we will play with.

Of course, we will then do a workshop where we play with language. Aligned with best practices, I have participated in my own workshop and will write with students. I've already taken my thoughts through my own activities, and came up with the following poem which will be presented at the end of the 2.5 hours.

Then we get to eat lunch. Man, do they love lunch at Fairfield University. Here we go!

On a Crusade With Columbus Poets

We write with wet words on Wednesday,
     as a library of knowledge & Ms. J display. 
We dance a poetic ballet
(some call it a hip hop hooray)
of expression, an expressway, 
     of sweet & sour sauce.

We create a candy corn cafe of Philosophy 
   with our power to fly with words
   (or disappear into our dreams).
We are magic of frogs 
who come out of the hat with wisdom with rabbits
before we saw self-doubt in half.

We are Columbus,
philanthropists who fanatically burst 
flames from a magical wand.

We are perky pineapple poets,
      tiptoeing journeys through the sands of Sea Side,
      before joining the circus of cultures 
          who whip through eastern winds and ice storms
          (like it’s a snow day or school is about to end).

We, are the writers, sunsets and sunrises, Skittles,
apple pies or sizzling fresh french fries
      who set the world ablaze with 
      our linguistic gasoline and clorox 
      in a pair of sweaty socks.

We burp. We fart. We play. We laugh.
We do as adolescents should do.
We shout. We complain. We Gossip.
    We work, 
    with fingertips tapping 
    on piano keyboards, 
    like hip hop beats 
    drowning out the morning announcements. 

We worry. We doubt. And we scream at our adolescence.
     like we are a fire drill, 
     and oh, how we try
to learn to fly at our Mic on a college campus, 
    speaking truth to the world,
    amplifying voice to be swirled 
    into the craziness of writing our lives.

We, Bridgeport, are the future,
the higher education that triumphs over low expectation, 
who turn ourselves around,
      becoming Connecticut stars.

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