LEWISBORO, N.Y. – Lewisboro Elementary School (LES) fourth graders are poets and they know it.
As part of an ongoing unit on poetry, Shari Robinson's fourth grade class recently celebrated learning and poetry by treating parents to poetry readings, analyses, a reception, and a lively musical presentation.
The poetry unit actually began last fall with a class read-aloud and discussion of “Love That Dog,” by Sharon Creech. Throughout the year, students have participated in poetry clubs in which they read, analyzed and discussed a wide range of poems and learned about poetic devices such as repetition, alliteration, onomatopoeia, metaphor, and simile.
In addition, all LES fourth grade students took part in the “Thinking Through Art” program in partnership with the Katonah Museum of Art . Pam Hart, poet and writer-in-residence at the museum, presented paintings of New York City and taught students methods of examining artwork, constructing a “word palette,” and using sensory language to compose poems based on the paintings. On several occasions, Hart visited the school and worked with the students in order to help them hone their writing skills.
When asked about their favorite poems, most students responded with, “our own!” Their second choices included “Scale” by Shel Silverstein and “Could It Have Been a Shadow?” by Monica Shannon.
The “Thinking through Art” program will culminate in the spring with all of the fourth graders reading their poems at the Katonah Museum of Art. Placed beside them will be the photos of the artwork that helped to inspire their ideas. The partnership was made possible by funding from the PTA and educational grants from Target and ArtsWestchester. The partnership with the museum was pioneered by teacher Gwen Kopeinig and librarian Diane Moller, along with Pam Hart and Karen Stein, education director at the Katonah institution.