in early may, i visited lorane, jacksonwald, and owatin creek elementary schools in the exeter township school district to teach my animal poems workshops to all fourth grade classes.
since i worked with all fourth grade classes per school at once, we used a microphone to make sure everyone could hear not only me but also students as they shared their memories of animal-related stories to craft into new poems.
the value of verbs in moving language forward, testing out variations of line breaks and how many lines go into stanzas, and artistic and intentional use of extra spacing between words were some of the main points we talked about in the realm of poetry. and the students did a great job at pulling together freshly vibrant poems all from within their own experiences.
some of the animals brought to the surface of telling across pages with students reading their poems at the end of workshop were birds, squirrels, deer, cows, wild turkeys, chickens, hamsters, and dogs.
workshop moments and students' writings were captured as pictures below thanks to assistance from several teachers in my own minutes away from working the camera.
— photo credit: derek denunzio
— photo credit: justin blatt
— photo credit: matthew hathaway