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Sunday, August 05, 2012

Tide Pool Poems

Following our tide pool hands-on study at the Oregon coast and the books we read, both the kids have been interested in doing projects involving tide pools.

Oggie made a Tide Pool Book with me a while back, second book on the subject as a matter of fact. And since then has moved on to other things that interest him, while still retaining a special place for tide pool in his heart (the recent sidewalk chalk art being one).

After considerable thought about what sort of a tide pool project she wants to do, inspired by the How To Write Poetry books we've been reading, knowing what an inspiration A Kick In The Head has been, Ana was firm about making a Tide Pool Poems book.

I was thrilled about the idea, but did not want to steer or direct it in any leadership role, nor co-write it which might stamp out her signature in this maiden venture.

However, knowing that it can be overwhelming and intimidating to tackle such a project all on her own, this being her first of this kind, I asked strategic questions and guided her with enough information and suggestions so she can realize her vision, always standing by to lend a hand if she is stuck.

How many poems do you want in the book?
What creatures/features/things are you going to write about?
What poetic forms do you want to use?
Will there be illustrations in the book?
What style of illustrations do you want to use?

When she answered those questions to her satisfaction, the book started taking shape in her head.

One poetic form per tide pool creature, one illustration to go with each poem, a title page plus an About the Author page, and six poems in all. She had it all laid out in a scrap sheet of paper, with some preliminary notes about illustrations and poem ideas.

Which poetic form to use, and for which animal, was entirely up to her and I have no idea why or how she arrived at the final result.

She worked on one poetic form at a time when the creative streak hit her over the last few weeks.  She referred to A Kick In The Head by Paul B. Janeczko for the poetic forms, sample poems, and inspiration. And brainstormed with me about the tide pool creature in focus, throwing out ideas and weird verses until things started to fall in place.

We did sit together and jot down rhyming words first like pool, cool, fool/nose, close - of course, we went down the letters of the alphabet bool, cool, dool, fool, gool and so on till we can extract a few we can use; and we also looked up the definition of some of the sea creatures in the dictionary/encyclopedia to find words that might be interesting to use (like spiny echinoidea, nudibranch and so on).

What did the author have to say after the poems were complete?
"Haiku was the hardest. Couplet and Tercet were the easiest and most fun to write. Limerick was the silliest. Acrostic took the longest to write. Concrete poem was not as easy as I thought it would be."

All that was left to do was create the illustrations and put the poems in a book.

The illustrations for each poem was either cut-paper collage or just a drawing colored in as the mood dictated. Picture on the left and the poem on the right was the format Ana settled on for each page of the book.

Of course, the title/cover page of the book had to be gorgeous - so we did glue-and-chalk-pastel work. (Top picture.) I applied the glue to Ana's pencil sketch, "fixing" it as I could not help myself.

And it was my job to write the About the Author page, which is always fun to make up, while Ana drew the profile picture of herself to go with it.

Here are the six original Tide Pool Poems by Ana. (Clicking on the picture below pops up a larger image that might be easier to read)

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At 11:42 AM, Blogger Dee said...

you are raising some pretty creative kids Sheels - kudos!

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Sheela said...

Thanks, Dee. "One can only take the horse to the water, one cannot make it drink", keeps getting reinforced as I try different things with the kids...

At 8:45 PM, Blogger ranjani.sathish said...

Dear Ana,
You are just awesome ! I read all your poems and they are so beautiful and well thought out. My favourite is the limerick. I am going to show these to my kids. I liked the author profile your mom has made :-). Keep at it, with the same enthusiasm and love. Would love to see more of your works !

Ranjani Aunty

At 8:48 PM, Blogger ranjani.sathish said...

Ana,inspired by you, my daughter also spends a lot of time creating her own story books. She has a story book chest, with around five books to her credit now :-). Her latest is the one on Olympic heroes of India !!

Sheela, thanks for sharing all these on your blog....for people like me, you are a wonderful reosurce of creative ideas :-)

At 12:11 PM, Blogger Sheela said...

Dear Ranjani Aunty,
Thank you so much! I would love to read your daughter's books, especially the one about Indian Olympic heroes. I was so fascinated with Olymics swimming and archery and gymnastics and horse-riding.

At 9:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome Ana! Sheela;you are doing a great job in nourishing her creative streak.


At 10:45 AM, Blogger Choxbox said...

Awesome Sheels. Hug to Ana :)

At 12:30 PM, Blogger Sheela said...

GG: Thanks, very kind of you!

Choxie: One hug (plus a few more) delivered :)


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