Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Star Spangled Poem Project...

I have been working on poetry with my students in the library this year. I have been trying to show them the joy of found poetry. In computer terms I guess found poetry could be compared to a mash-up. I want them to write a poem from their research projects now. I want them to take their research and put some of the words together to make a poem. I guess it is a little bit of a stretch for elementary school students but I know they can do it.
I tried this activity with marginal success when the music teacher was working on “The Star Spangled Banner.” Each year as part of The Star Spangled Banner Project she teaches the history behind our national anthem. I read a book to the students as part of that unit and then I have students write a found poem from all the stanzas of the original poem. Most times the students have never heard the entire poem written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key. Below is the example I wrote to give them an idea of what I want. I wrote it to add to the project for next year because they are not getting the idea of what I want and they tend to stay with the part of the poem that they know.

By the dawn’s early light can you see the land of the free?
In full glory reflected the home of the brave?
Blest with victory and peace, a home and a country?
Does that star spangled banner yet wave?
Thus be it ever where freemen shall stand.
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

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