Thursday, June 3, 2010

MyPoWriYe #64 - Monarchs


Yesterday our daughter Hope went to the Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls, Canada, on a fifth grade field trip.  Part of the class's adventure was a lecture about butterflies, particularly monarch butterflies and their fascinating migration pattern.  It's still a mystery how monarchs know where to go, how to meet up with so many others, and how to do this year in and year out.  The trip south is made by one butterfly, but the return trip is made by several.

This poem swirled Hope's fascinating Monarch facts with Georgia's comment, "Instinct is so amazing!"  We are lucky adults when we have the opportunity to learn  science and wonder from the children in our lives.


Monarch Watch, an educational organization "dedicated to education, conservation, and research" of monarch butterflies, explains the magic and miracle of monarch migration.  "In all the world, no butterflies migrate like the Monarchs of North America. They travel much farther than all other tropical butterflies, up to three thousand miles. They are the only butterflies to make such a long, two way migration every year. Amazingly, they fly in masses to the same winter roosts, often to the exact same trees. Their migration is more the type we expect from birds or whales. However, unlike birds and whales, individuals only make the round-trip once. It is their children's grandchildren that return south the following fall."  

You can find more great information about this tough yet beautiful butterfly at the United States government website, Monarch Butterfly

Teachers and students - writing poetry about content area subjects is an inspiring way to link factual learning to emotion and connection.  When we write a teaching poem, we also must synthesize all we have learned, paring away the unnecessary and holding onto the essential.

Today at Pinehurst Elementary in Lakeview, NY, we talked about this possibility of ending social studies and science units with a day of writing poetry.  This threads poetry through our days and subjects, and it helps us understand what our students carry away, factually and in their souls.

If you try this, writing content area poetry with your students to close a unit, please share here.  I would love to feature such work on an upcoming Poetry Friday.  Even if you think you might experiment with this, please leave a comment about your ideas.  Let's share possibilities for content area poetry.

(Please click COMMENTS below to share a thought.  If you have had difficulty with this in the past, it is because you need 
to create a Google account.  You can do so here.)

8 comments:

Nikera said...

I thought you were going to write a poem about us! LOL :-)

Amy LV said...

Dear Nikera,
Today everyone should write a poem about your beautiful little girl! Happy birthday to her...and to you too!
Warmly,
Amy

Elaine Magliaro said...

Amy,

When I was teaching elementary school, I had my students write poems as one of the concluding activities of each of our science units. My students typed up their poems on the computer--and I compiled them into themed anthologies. I photocopied, covered, and bound all the anthologies. At the end of the year, every child got copies of all the anthologies--which we tied up with ribbons and gave to their parents as gifts when we they came to our classroom for a special program during the last week of school.

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I am so impressed with your MyPoWriYe project. I love the poems that you've been posting!

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FYI: I added your blog to my blogroll at Wild Rose Reader.

Amy LV said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy LV said...

Dear Elaine,
I love that anthology idea! How lovely those must have been! Do you still have one you could post on your blog?
Thank you so much for your compliments and for including me at Wild Rose Reader. I'm tickled and honored...last night I was doing a little dance about it in our dining room.
Warmly,
Amy

Elaine Magliaro said...

Amy,

I saved copies of most--if not all--of the anthologies of my students' poetry. I also compiled books with their space and animal research reports and funny fairy tale letters.

My students and their parents loved the books that contained their published writing!

Susan said...

Amy,
Last week we completed our plant unit. We created "plant portfolios" which were folders filled with pictures and facts about plants. On the last day, I brought in a bunch of wildflowers, leaves, weeds, etc. and we all wrote a poem about some kind of plant. I typed them up and we framed them with colored paper and put them in for the final piece of our portfolios. I'll send you some tomorrow from school!

Amy LV said...

Elaine,
I wish I could have visited your classroom...your ideas are so full of joy, and you are always clear in the way you explain writing ideas and poetic devices on your blog. Thank you for sharing here.
Thank you, too, for my new book, EVERY SECOND SOMETHING HAPPENS. It's a lovely book, and the combination of adult and child poems is delightful. What a wonderful package to receive in the mail.
A.
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Susan,
Plant portfolios! That is an article waiting to happen, methinks. Or a chapter in your primary science book? I can't wait to see them...thank you! They must have loved this.
A.