Saturday, November 26, 2011

Who Has Seen The Wind

My elders have memorized their first poem. It is such a wonderful thing to listen to them recite it. Just before lunch, every day, we have a moment of silence which is then followed by our pre-lunch song - "The Earth is good to me and so I thank the Earth for giving me the things I need - the sun and the rain and the apple seed. The Earth is good to me."

Two or three times a week now, after the moment of silence and before the song, I say "Declamation." I then call a child's name and then another's until all of the elders who wish to recite their poems have. It is not a demand but an opportunity. Therefore, a child may say, "I decline," or some other similar and brief statement. The younger students are simply captivated when listening to the elders recite. Too, one of my elders has a Broadway stage-like presence. When she does her declamation, she includes a lot of hand gestures. I love it.

Each month, beginning with the month of November, the elders (third / fourth year students) are given a poem to recite. At the end of the school year they are presented their first anthology of poetry - the poems they have memorized collected into a bound, illustrated book. The illustrations are done by them. The small chapbook of poems is a wonderful gift to conclude their year and their time in the primary classroom.

Here is the first poem. Note that they also state the name of the author at the conclusion of their declamation.

Who has Seen the Wind?

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

by Christina Rossetti


Alycia in Va. said...

I think I may do something similar. Would you mind posting the the names of the rest of the poems or are chosen at different times?
I especially like the idea of the compilation of drawings/writings done by the students.

hoopoewings said...

Such a lovely poem!
The children that I work with LOVE this poem.
They also love the poetry of Lillian Moore. One little girl started calling herself Moore after her favourite poet when she was 5 .... she's a few weeks shy of 8 now and still calls herself Moore when at school! :)

j said...

I sing the same song with my lower elementary class just before our group snack time :)