In the hope I can do this more often, I'd like to give a bit of a more mundane rundown on what we're doing this week.
In first grade, we read and discussed a poem called 'An Easy Decision' by Kenneth Patchen. The students enjoyed it enormously. The students made short presentations about unusual people they've seen.
In second grade, the students read and discussed 'When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer' by Walt Whitman. That, likewise, went over very well. They students made quite good presentations about art vs. science, enjoying a thing vs. studying it.
In third grade, we tried to read 'Ulysses' by Tennyson. I realized that it would be difficult, but I thought the story would get them going. Unfortunately, even though we went over the vocabulary, the abstractness of some of the lines made understanding next to impossible. It's a lesson for the future: poetry is a real challenge when it's not in your native language. So, instead, we're replacing that with 'Acquainted with the Night' by Robert Frost. I'll let you know next week how it goes.
Next week, the first graders will work on their Special Project. The second graders will review verb tenses with me. The third graders will read a new poem.
The following week, the first graders will read a short story called 'Gonzalo' by Paul Fleischman. The second graders will read Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling. I'm a little worried about that one, but again, I'll let you know how it goes. The third graders will read 'Buried Poems' by Terry Tempest Williams. They've already responded favorably, and I think it will prove easier than Tennyson!