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The Learning Page Community Center

Learning Page Chat, May 19, 2005:

Literature and Poetry

Room: ASO

LeniD joined the room.

BjB: |** ANNOUNCEMENT: The Library of Congress Learning Page Chat is starting in the After School Online room. The topic is Poetry and Literature. To participate click on the ONLINE tab to the left of the chat window, single click on LeniD and then click on the door icon at the bottom of the frame. **|

LeniD: Well those of you who are here have a real treat, tonight! Shall we get started, Michael?
MichaelH: sure, Leni...
LeniD: Thanks :-)
MichaelH: Hello, everyone, Welcome to tonight's Learning Page Chat
MichaelH: I was going to introduce Leni and the session tonight with the lyrics to the old Johnny Burnette song "Poetry in Motion"...
MichaelH: but I figured Leni would have a better intro for us tonight :)
LeniD: Awww...That's very clever, Michael!
GailP: If we only had sound.
MichaelH: you just don't wanna hear me sing, Leni :)
LeniD: It sounds as though Gail does!
AnneSa: Me, too!
MichaelH: No, Gail... NO!!!!
MichaelH: If Gail is at NECC, I'll sing then!
GailP: Lovely, Michael :-)
LeniD: You're on Michael!
MichaelH: it'll take at least a couple cups of tea to get me to sing, Leni!
CherylLe: We'll hold you to that

LeniD: How about some introductions, then we'll get started.
MichaelH: yeah, sounds good, Leni...
LeniD: I'm Leni Donlan. I coordinate the Learning Page project at the Library of Congress. I was a teacher for many years before joining the Library's staff.
GailP: I'm work at the Library of Congress - Learning Page - retired librarian from NY
CherylLe: I work on the Learning Page, also (and was a former teacher)
MichaelRu: Technology Integration Teacher, NY
MichaelH is a social studies teacher in southern Indiana (and the official tea drinker tonight)
AnneSa: I'm Anne Savage and I work at the Library of Congress, too. Former teacher.
GailP: Where, MichaelRu?
MichaelRu: Williamsville (suburb of Buffalo)
GailP: I'm from Rochester!
MichaelRu: once a teacher, always a teacher...
LeniD: Uh oh...small world time, Gail?
GailP: The older you get, the smaller it becomes
BJB2: I'm an art teacher in Pennsylvania and am always fascinated by Leni's sessions.
GailP: Well, she has lots to share tonight about LOC
MichaelH . o O (BJ has always wanted to teach social studies :)))
GailP: Poetry and Literature!

LeniD: Wonderful! Tonight we are talking about Poetry and Literature connections. Three of my esteemed colleagues have joined us and will share strategies they have been developing.
LeniD: Ill also be sharing a number of links that you wont want to miss!
LeniD: So.... let's start thinking about the connections that primary sources can provide to books, poetry, and language arts in general. Are you ready?
MichaelH: Leni, before you start... I should tell the folks about the links you'll be sharing...
MichaelH: Leni will be typing links that you can go to, but remember to only take a short time, and come back here, because we'll have even more to share
MichaelH . o O ( all links are in the transcript )
MichaelH: ok, Leni, I'm done :)
LeniD: Thanks, Michael.

LeniD: "Poetry connects us with our deep roots, our evolution as an animal that evolved rhythmic language as a means of transmitting vital information across the generations. We need to communicate not only with our peers but our ancestors and descendants, and the arts of poetry, writing, print, digital media serve that communication." ~ Robert Pinsky
GailP: Pinsky is a past poet laureate
LeniD: I think Pinsky describes the power of communication so well!
LeniD: And Ezra Pound said, "Great Literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree."
LeniD: Let's think about how we can reach our learners more deeply when we pair the power of this charged language with primary sources.

LeniD: Have any of you tried pairing literature or poetry and primary sources?
MichaelH has
CherylLe: Me too
GailP: Many times
LeniD: What happened when you did so?
GailP: Increased understanding - more meaning to the text
LeniD: Yep...So true, Gail!
MichaelH: I'll defer to Cheryl and Gail... I have done some PBS stuff for WW I on this.

LeniD: Cheryl has agreed to talk with us about work she has been doing with hyper-linking a Whitman poem. Would you tell us about this, please, Cheryl?

CherylLe: Here's what I've been working with:

CherylLe: "O Captain! My Captain!" by Walt Whitman
O Captain! my Captain, our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;

CherylLe: I made these connections:

CherylLe: (From the literal for the title)
CherylLe: "O Captain! My Captain!"

CherylLe: And then to selected portions of text
CherylLe: O Captain! my Captain, our fearful trip is done,

CherylLe: (To figurative)
CherylLe: The ship

has weather'd every rack

CherylLe: Stop me if I go too fast - chatting is a new experience for me.

MichaelH reminds everyone that the links will be in the transcript you'll all get at the end of the session
GailP: If you were doing this with your students, you would have a have a hyperlinked text file - the urls wouldn't get in the way!
MichaelH: You're fine, Cheryl
GailP: Cheryl is doing great!
LeniD: Perfect, Cheryl :-)

CherylLe: the prize
we sought is won,

CherylLe: Of course, it is less distracting when the URLs are "buried" in the link, but this is the general idea.
LeniD: Could you use this hyper-linking strategy with your students?
AnneSa: Cheryl, I think this is such an exciting idea.
CherylLe: I've been working in MS Word, but more sophisticated technologies would work, too
GailP: It could be poetry - or other types of literature with great language!
LeniD: I think it would make a wonderful web page.
LeniD: Can you think of other poems that might work?
LeniD: Do you think students would like creating such projects? It might be a good way to share their understanding with an audience.
MichaelH does
GailP: MichaelRu - would this be something that you could use with kids/teachers?
AnneSa: One more questions - Cheryl, Why did you choose a map image to represent the "ship?"
MichaelH: I think that the poetry of the Civil War (Whitman for example) definitely brings a new focus into that time.
CherylLe: I picked the map to represent the "ship" that Lincoln (captain) was guiding.
GailP: Thanks, Cheryl - that helps - and if kids do this activity, there would be no "right image" - up to each one!
MichaelH: Oh, Captain is probably one I would pick, but there are a lot of other Whitman poems
LeniD: I'll share some of that later, Michael :-)

MargaretTK: Not to be off topic, but I will be participating in a LEH (Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities) Summer Institute -- The Women's War: Re-visioning the Civil War.
LeniD: That sounds exciting, Margaret!
GailP: Surely does, Margaret - and maybe you can share this idea - focused on women in the war.
MargaretTK: This is my 4th LEH summer institute & 3rd with this professor. We may get to visit Ernest Gaines.
CherylLe: That sounds fantastic, Margaret.
MargaretTK: The prof developed the course after only finding a very few references to women in Ken Burn's companion book.

LeniD: Gail has been working with what she calls, Book Backdrops. Gail, will you share with us why and how you create these backdrops, please?

GailP: We have such a wealth of wonderful literature -and I think that using that to make primary source connections is a great way to hook kids.

GailP: Here is an idea for using historical fiction books to make primary source connections for your students and help them understand the time period of the novel.
GailP: I call it Book Backdrops Ill show you an example using the title Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan.
GailP: The story is set in the Midwest in the 1880s and is about a father who invites a mail-order bride from Maine to come live with his family on the prairie in Kansas.
GailP: Do you know this story??? You could use any title!
MargaretTK: I love that story, Gail.
GailP: Great, Margaret!
LeniD: One of my favorites, Gail :-)

GailP: The LOC has several collections that fit in perfectly with the topic of frontier and pioneer life. There is the Northern Great Plains, 1880-1920 Collection full of wonderful images from the period. Using these can help students visualize the setting of the story.

GailP: Here is an image of a sod house in Kansas

DavidWe: oooh, sod houses!
DavidWe . o O ( Thank goodness for the Sears catalog )

GailP: And a rural school in North Dakota

GailP: And another wonderful collection to explore - Prairie Settlement: Nebraska Photographs and Family Letters

CherylLe: I love this one

GailP: It includes this Solomon Butcher image of Orson Cooley with his mail order bride.

LeniD: Now there is definitely a story to tell in that image!
DavidWe imagines that the current version is "e-mail order brides"
AnneSa: These are wonderful, Gail. Does everyone know that you can click on the "thumbnails" of images to get a much bigger one?
LeniD: I suspect David may be right.
MargaretTK: David--don't laugh. I think this is going on right now. I think I know at least two.
DavidWe nods to Margaret

MargaretTK: I think I will check out American Memory for my course. Louisiana Digital Library is also a very neat site. How many other states have similar sites?
LeniD: Margaret, many states now have such sites and they are wonderful!

GailP: Take a couple of minutes and explore - then I have a couple more links!

MichaelH: Gail, do you have students read the entire book, or just selections from it?

GailP: Well, Michael - being the librarian :-) - I give the teachers the ideas and it is up to them. I think it depends on how they structure the "reading experience"

GailP: And we have MAPS! Students can explore an 1897 map of Kansas from the Maps Collections

DavidWe loves old maps
MichaelH: I didn't know if a typical class would have enough time to read the book...
CherylLe: This one rewards a close zoom, too.
MichaelH: I guess they could watch the video as well...
GailP: This one is wonderful - so much detail - and you can zoom in on the LOC maps to see detail!

GailP: The bride came from students can view an early map of Maine

GailP: And even view cybercast of the author Patricia MacLachlan who was a presenter at the 2004 Book Festival.

GailP: If you link to the festival site, you'll find Patricia MacLachlan's name (and many more)
GailP: Then if you click on her name, you will link to our webcast of her'll need RealPlayer loaded to view it!

LeniD: I love this idea, Gail. I think you are really "on" to something wonderful for teachers and students.
DavidWe isn't a classroom teacher (and doesn't work with history teachers that much) but wonders if students today have difficulty relating to the trials and tribulations of pioneer life
LeniD: David, I think that's where primary sources can really help.
DavidWe agrees
CherylLe: How often do you encounter a sod house these days?
GailP: Absolutely, Leni - how can you really paint a picture in your mind of a sod house -
DavidWe: Well, students in different places HAVE MADE straw bale houses
GailP: but seeing a picture gives it meaning!
DavidWe nods
DavidWe: Making it would be a great project - even a small one, a sod dog house, perhaps
LeniD: Yes, the hands on experience is pretty important, too, David.
DavidWe agrees with Leni, as usual
MargaretTK: What about "bousillage"? (mud & spanish moss)
LeniD: Oh, that sounds intriguing, Margaret!
DavidWe: Is that a French word, Margaret, or...?
MargaretTK: Mais oui!
DavidWe . o O ( Cajun? )
DavidWe smiles
DavidWe . o O ( bien sur )
MargaretTK: Mais yeah, cher
DavidWe laughs

GailP: The possibilities for connections are endless you can use picture books or novels - the technique works for almost any historical fiction book you choose!
GailP: I have uploaded a file in my Tapped In office with a dozen titles and links - you are welcome to go there and download the files!
LeniD: Thanks, so much Gail!

LeniD: Anne has been working with ways to re-mix content and to encourage reflective thinking. Anne, would you share Found Poetry ideas, please?
CherylLe: I think Anne left the room
GailP: I'll find her links
LeniD: Oops... So she has!

CherylLe: Found Poetry Source Article

CherylLe: This article includes an example of student-produced poetry from a historical document.
CherylLe: It links to the Found Poetry Lesson Plan

LeniD: Playing with text to re-mix the "stuff" of history Is really intriguing.
LeniD: Take a look at the article and see if it triggers some good ideas.
LeniD: I think it is a fascinating strategy with so many possibilities!
GailP: Is the "found poetry" term familiar?
CherylLe: My son was talking about creating found poetry from a news article.
GailP: I've heard teachers say that this "levels the playing field" - all students can do this, because the language is provided for them.
DavidWe: Anyone have a definition?
GailP: They make the choices!
CherylLe: The idea adapts well to a variety of text sources
GailP: That is a great idea, Cheryl
CherylLe: David, it's the process of "finding" poetry in prose.
LeniD: "Found Poetry" is a poem made from "found" text.
GailP: Or you could use a document - like the Constitution - the Gettysburg Address -
DavidWe nods to Cheryl
GailP: It makes the kids really look at and read the words!
LeniD: First person accounts, news articles, etc, would also work.
LeniD: It also allows kids to make the content their own, bringing reflective thinking into it.
GailP: Good point, Leni!
GailP: Again - there is no "right" answer or poem!

LeniD: We don't have a great deal of time left, but I want to give you a peek at some resources you won't want to miss...
LeniD: So fasten your seat belts...
LeniD: Here we go!
DavidWe steadies himself

LeniD: Explore the poetry and literature offerings of the Library of Congress...
Poetry and Literature Center

LeniD: If you use poetry with your students, I think you will love this resource created by our current Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser...
American Life in Poetry

CherylLe: Kooser's poetry is very accessible
LeniD: Kooser is very accessible :-)
MargaretTK: Looks neat. BTW, any of y'all did anything for National Poetry Month?

LeniD: Explore this guide to the poetic endeavors of U.S. Presidents...
Presidents as Poets

GailP: This would be an interesting addition to the traditional "President Report"
LeniD: Definitely :-)
GailP: And kids could even make "found poetry" from their speeches
LeniD: Yep!

LeniD: And this article from the Learning Page's The Source, is sure to touch off some ideas of your own..
LeniD: Blessed Ted-Fred: Famous Fathers Write to Their Children

MargaretTK: We have a big poetry unit in grade 8 (probably other grades) in the new Louisiana comprehensive curriculum.
GailP: Margaret - could you somehow share that with us later? Or can we find it online?
LeniD: Excellent!
CherylLe: Old dead guys, Margaret? Or do they branch out?
LeniD: LOL!
GailP: Cheryl lives with teenagers

LeniD: Don't miss this excursion into American literature through literary maps, photographs and quotations from works by American authors...
Language of the Land: Journeys Into Literary America (a personal favorite)

GailP: This is a wonderful, wonderful resource
DavidWe looks
CherylLe: some unexpected treasures
GailP: Especially the literary maps!
MargaretTK: No--all really neat stuff. Mainly PBL things (project based learning) I'll get you the URL.
GailP: Explore your area of the country and you will find them (literary maps)
CherylLe: Great, Margaret
GailP: Thanks, Margaret!
LeniD: Would love that, Margaret.
MargaretTK: Here are the links to all the comprehensive curriculum:
GailP: Perfect, Margaret!
MargaretTK: Just check out the English Language Arts for the difference grade levels.
LeniD: Thanks! That site calls for some lengthy exploration.
GailP: This is a thank you link for Margaret! Louisiana Literature! Explore later

LeniD: Learn about the Harlem Renaissance in this section of the African American Odyssey exhibition...
The Harlem Renaissance and the Flowering of Creativity

LeniD: This chapter from the online presentation - The World of 1898: The Spanish American War - covers some of the prominent authors from countries involved in the war. Stephen Crane, Walt Whitman and Mark Twain are featured American authors. Entries include information on how their lives and works related to the war, lists of their major works, and relevant excerpts from their writings...
Literature of the Spanish-American War

LeniD: You can listen to a selection of audio interviews with several poets who have read their work at the Library of Congress...
Poet and the Poem

GailP: The webcasts at LOC are increasing daily!
MargaretTK: I'm having good luck sampling our goodies tonight.
GailP: Great, Margaret!
DavidWe wonders if the US Poet Laureate has an office at the LOC
LeniD: He does, David!

LeniD: Here's another article that may be of interest from The Source...
The Quilt as Metaphor

DavidWe: Oooh!
AnneSa: Wow! There might be a connection in that last one for you, BJB2, as an art teacher.

DavidWe needs to share a Math Forum -
Textile Museum collaboration: Symmetry and Pattern The Art of Oriental Rugs

BJB2: absolutely, Anne. I often use quilts as a connection to math and lang arts
LeniD: Great one, David! Thanks ;-)
MargaretTK: That would be great. I need to do a materials correlation for K-6 math. In our comprehensive curriculum math has a lot more words than numbers.
DavidWe: Sure, Leni
AnneSa: That's wonderful to hear, BJB
DavidWe . o O ( Article about Stanley Kunitz - former Poet Laureate - in today's NYTimes, I believe )
LeniD: I'll have to look for that, David. Thanks.
DavidWe: He's a gardener, in Provincetown, Mass.
DavidWe: Do you know about the Math Forum, Margaret?
MargaretTK: I'm assuming that the Math Forum is on TappedIn?
DavidWe . o O ( Math Forum - )
GailP: Here is a link to info about Ted Kooser, Poet Laureate and the position of Poet Laureate.

LeniD: One of our staff favorites... by a former Poet Laureate...
Favorite Poem Project

LeniD: We would be remiss if we didn't share...
I Hear America Singing

MichaelH looks at the clock on the clubhouse wall...
LeniD: We could go on and on...
LeniD: There are cybercasts, lesson plans, collection connections...
DavidWe nods
LeniD: There is content from the Wise Guide and from Americas Library to use directly with your students...
LeniD: You can find all of this and a good deal more in the Literature and Poetry Community Center! Enjoy...

DavidWe wonders if LOC is coming to the NECC conference in Philadelphia
DavidWe . o O ( or at least some of the LOC people )

LeniD: We will all be at NECC, David!
DavidWe nods
DavidWe: Me too!
DavidWe: I'll bring coffee and bagels
AnneSa: Looking forward to seeing you there!
GailP: Come and visit us!
MargaretTK: LOC was at NECC in New Orleans last year.
BJB2: me three!
MichaelH: I'll be drinking tea.
DavidWe nods
LeniD: Wonderful :-) We will have to have a Tapped In get together :-)
DavidWe tries to remember that Michael likes tea
GailP: Served by Leni, Michael :-)
MichaelH: long story, David, you should have been here earlier.
MargaretTK: I did NECC last year in N'Awlins.
DavidWe listens to Michael's long story
MichaelH: oh, I had a request from the LOC folks wanting me to sing...
DavidWe: Really, Michael?
MichaelH: I suggested I didn't want to put them through that sort of torture.
DavidWe: Do they know how you sing?
MichaelH: and I suggested it would take several cups of "tea" to get me to sing
LeniD: We are hoping to find out at NECC :-)
DavidWe knows that Michael is a humanitarian at heart.
MichaelH: hey, David, the government teacher in me says, "no cruel and unusual punishment"
LeniD: We all have our strengths, don't we?
DavidWe . o O ( Long Island Iced Tea, Mr. Hutchison? )
AnneSa: I'll sing with you, Michael :)
MichaelH pours Anne a cup of "tea"
AnneSa smiles
DavidWe appreciates that part of the Constitution
MichaelH: sounds good...
DavidWe locks the liquor cabinet
MichaelH has the key to the tea...
MichaelH . o O ( that's almost alliteration! )
DavidWe hums "Tea for Two"
MichaelH: wonder if we'll have a Philadelphia Tea Party, David?

LeniD: Thank you for joining us, tonight.
LeniD: We hope you will come back for our final chat of this school year on Thursday, June 23 at 8:00 P.M. when we will be talking about using primary sources to teach about the environment.

DavidWe: Thank you, O Library of Congress!
GailP: This was a great chat and thanks for your ideas and sharing
MichaelH: Sounds great, Leni!
LeniD: You are welcome. Thank you all for sharing your ideas!
DavidWe: You guys are the best!
MargaretTK: I really got some great sites.
MichaelRu: Lots of great ideas and resources - thank you so much
GailP: Great, Margaret.
LeniD: Good to hear, Margaret!
LeniD: Night all. Thanks for joining us.
DavidWe: Thanks, Leni. Bye
MichaelH: goodnight, Leni!
AnneSa: Night, all! I'll get my computer tuned up before the next one. Thanks, David.
SusanR: Thanks Leni
LeniD left the room (signed off).

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Last updated 05/23/2005