It was very exciting this week to have a special guest speaker come into our classroom – Lucas’ grandfather, Mr. Wim Kooijman. When we first started out poetry unit, we did the Visible Thinking routine of THINK-PUZZLE-EXPLORE, where we wrote down what we thought we already knew about poetry, what wonderings and questions we have about it and how we could explore more to find answers. Some “explore” options that were brainstormed included: ask an adult, ask a High School teacher, talk to your family. Well, we have done just that -ALL IN ONE!! Lucas interviewed his grandfather, who turns out to be a former High School English teacher and very passionate about poetry. He has even had his work published! It was with great delight that Mr. Wim was invited into  the classroom to talk to us about poetry – we were just bursting with questions!! The day arrived and I must say that it was a rip-roaring success. Everyone was enthralled as they listened to the wisdom shared about 3 poems: one called “Smiles”, another powerful one called “Don’t ever Stop Dreaming your Dreams” and Psalm 37 from the Bible. Mr. Wim kept on complimenting the Smartians with how impressed he was with their attention and deep thoughts – bravo! At the end of our time together (we were on a roll for close to 2 hours!!), the big chance came to try our hands at writing poems! Everyone was so incredibly on-task and engaged with this that we ended up going over into recess – so Mrs. McGrath gave the class a special 20 minutes extra outside after everyone had gone inside!! Cool…  I want to share some thinking from the Smartians:

  • (John) I loved when you taught me all about funy things. I just hoped that you could stay more time – can you return to class please?
  • (James) I got loads of new words in my Dictionary Brain, like stanza and rhythm!
  • (Sian) I really liked the dream poem because it really spoke to me. What makes a poem so special? I wonder what you have to be good at to be a poet?
  • (Oliver B.) Thank you a lot, you managed to answer my big question!
  • (Rico) The Smiles poem was awesome!!
  • Thank you for the Dream poem because it taught me to be brave and not scared.
  • I learned that poems could be sad, funny and happy!
  • I like the poem “Don’t Ever Stop Dreaming your Dreams”. When I read that poem again and again, I found many Golden Lines. Thank you!!
  • (Antonio) My favourite part was when you taught us that a poem comes from your heart and it usually has rhythm and rhyme. It was so fun!!
  • My favourite part was when we read the Bible and talked some things out. My favourite Dream poem line was “don’t ever feel that you are alone there is always somebody there for you to reach out to. I like it because I felt alone before.
  • I learned that poems can be any type of poem – not just rhyme or normal, it can be a song or a rap type!
  • (Jakob) thank you for telling us we can also be poets!
  • I liked the Dream poem because it speaks to my heart :-)
  • A poem can take you on a journey in your imagination…
  • (Shamir) when I was writing a poem at first I thought it was hard, but then I got the hang of it
  • Everyone tried their hand at writing a poem. Here is Eve’s original poem:

Poems are special things,

full of imagination,

there are lots of poets around the world,

in every nation.

But there is one special thing to these poems,

they not only speak to the brain but

also the heart… Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this Flash video.