Dear Monna… a mutual love of poetry grows.

DSC_2263Dear Monna,

Please come to our class and listen to our poems. We will help you by drawing for your poems. It would be great if you were here.


Grade 1 Students,

That is terrific news. I am so happy that you said yes.
I will provide the list of illustrations by Monday 5 October!
I am very much looking forward to hearing your poems.
Have a super-fun weekend.
Monna McDiarmid
We have been approaching the teaching of writing through poetry. We read poetry and write poetry as a class and as individuals. As educators we were inspired by the work of Reggie Routmann and Nancy Atwell. We have been taken on this pedagogical journey of writing poetry at the beginning of the year, by Alie Quinn, who works with us at YIS. She shared some of Nancy Atwell’s findings that writing poetry at the beginning of the school year, rather than the much used personal narrative recounts (things that happened to you), helps build children’s vocabulary.
We are finding this to be true, the language is richer, the ideas are diverse and everyone has been able to put ideas onto paper. The children are building up large collections of personal pieces.
It was with great excitement that they received the email from Monna McDiarmid, our high school counselor and creator of a course about being the poet laureate in your own life. The children have been asked to illustrate the poems for her course.
Monna offered some rewards:
  • Write the class a story
  • Read the class someone else’s story
  • Take portraits (photographs) of each student in the class
  • Prepare some treats like apples and cookies for the class

I suggested one more idea… listening to the children’s poems. They loudly and enthusiastically stated they wanted Monna to come and listen to their poems.

It is a daily inspiration to be around such empowered poets who love to create and share with others.