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Writing Around Poetry

We write next to poetry almost every day in my classroom. Poetry distills images and word choice and captures big ideas in small spaces, as I tell my students. It is an ideal text to study because we can reread it several times and see more as we do.

One of the first ways I ask students to dig into a poem is through their connections to what they think about as they read. We write next to phrases or lines, adding in our observations to extend the thinking of the poet. In this spread on the left is writing about my name (a quick write we had done in class the day before) and on the right, writing next to the poem “Naming the Baby” about naming my daughter. Later in the semester we will unpack the craft of poetry.

poem by Edward Hirsch with hand written notes
writing about the name Penny
write around naming the baby
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