Harms – Author’s Under Construction

The Author’s Under Construction writing program at Harms has started “constructing” their writing that is presented by Wayne State’s “InsideOut – Resident in Writing”.

I stopped by one of the classes to see what our “Foreman Lauren” in action and I was so impressed and excited about the direction these children are taking.  So, let us take a ride with them.

Foreman Lauren

Foreman Lauren reads one or two sentences of a poem to the children.  She then tells them that they are going to “visualize” what she read in the poem… So let us “visualize” for a moment – close your eyes – let us think about a big fog coming over us….now compare that to how a little cat feels to touch – what do you see and feel?
Now open your eyes and let us talk about how the cat feels:

  • It scratches
  • It’s soft
  • It’s fur is smooth
  • It’s fluffy
  • It meow’s & purrs

As Lauren asks the children about what they saw or felt – you can feel the excitement in the children, because Lauren is excited about what they children are sharing.

Lauren then asks the children if they know what a “metaphor” is.  She shares examples like “a fog comes in like a cat – coming in sneaky”.  Or, fog becomes like a cat lying on top of the city.

The children are then given an index card with one word on it.  I sat with a very shy, troubled little boy named Emilio and he really didn’t want to participate, but Lauren encouraged him about how to write about the word on the card.  She passed out four words per table and the children had to write about how each word compared to the first word.

The kids visualizing.

The kids visualizing.

Some of the words for comparison were: Hands – Spaceship – Train – Highway.  This is what Emilio and I came up with:  “My hands are like a highway because they take me places in a train and spaceship.
Lauren gave the children praise as she went to each table and helped the children write their poem by using the skills, she taught them.

The children learned that hour that poems don’t always have to rhyme. They are learning how to visualize, compare and write what they feel.

It was one of the best mornings spent – being there with the children and seeing Foreman Lauren in action.

Renea Callery
Renea On The Go
EWI Chapter Historian
EWI Literacy Chair

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