As a WITS writer, I try to help students realize that the knowledge and experiences they already have are the perfect fodder for their writing. Last week I noticed that the third graders were completing a unit on earth science. To help students review what they learned about landforms, I came up with a new lesson.
What would it feel like to be a canyon, a mesa, a desert, or a mountain?
I split the class into groups of three or four and assigned each group a different geography. In groups, students brainstormed a list of ideas about their land form. Each group presented their ideas; the audience gave positive feedback and also suggested ideas that could be added to the list. After defining personification, I had the students help me write a class poem on a land form that no groups were assigned.
Now it was time for students to write individually. Each one wrote a poem that personified their chosen formation.
If I Were a Mountain
I am a mountain,
I start as a low piece of land.
Then when an earthquake or lava
Comes out of earth,
I keep expanding
When these things happen.
Now I’m so high
I can see through the sky.
I’m so high
I see through space.
by Mary, 3rd Grade
posted by Amy Lin, Writers in the Schools
(photo by iguana jo via flickr)