Day 29: Spine Poetry

Yesterday, Ramona shared a few writing quotes. My favorite one is, “Catch emerging words and begin to guide them into form, or not.” Susan Branch.

Here are some emerging words guided into the form of a spine poem. Thanks, Ramona!

The secret project

in the best interest of students,

59 reasons to write

a river of words,

wondrous words.

Write like this.

Write beside them,

writing toward home.

I received several new professional books last week. As I contemplated which one I would read first, I had an inkling of a spine poem tickling my brain. I added a few titles that were already on my shelf to create the above poem.

Getting teachers inspired to teach writing is a secret project that love to tackle. Often times many are resistant, but eventually they come around and end up say, “This is my favorite thing to teach.” or “Writing is my class’s favorite subject.” Then I smile because I knew it would happen.

22 thoughts on “Day 29: Spine Poetry

  1. mandyrobek says:

    Writing is so much fun to teach. I have Heard and Ray in my collection too and there you go again with the book 59 Reasons to Write! Friends are dangerous for me because I then need their books too.

  2. lindabaie says:

    That’s quite a set of wonderful titles, Elsie, and I love that you used “The Secret Project” as an opening to get your point across.Terrific!

  3. Oh Elsie…you are so crafty. Selecting your PD books to fill out the poem you were creating in your mind. This tells me how as a writing mentor you are multi-channeling your thoughts to provide inspiration. And you are so good at it. The poem is wonderful, and you are always so gently inspiring.

  4. Your spine poem is great, and inspiring, and your thoughts about teaching writing are so on target. Writing seems to be the one subject remaining today that can’t be multiple-choiced and conformed to the masses – it retains some sense of the wondrous individuality in each student. If we just take the time…

  5. I always find these spine poem books interesting not only because it gives a glimpse of someone’s books but also because of the way they fit together and convey a message.

  6. I love spine poems and this one is an ode to writing teachers past, present and future. Positioning writing as a “secret project” puts it exactly where writing should be: a place to discover.

  7. Judy C. says:

    So much meaning in this Spine Poem. It’s not as easy as is sounds and takes lots of thought to put together just the right titles. While challenging to teach writing, it is rewarding to see the results.

  8. I love your spine poem! I was just talking to a group of teachers about spine poetry yesterday–great timing! I think so many teachers are afraid to teach writing because it’s subjective and messy and always a “growth not mastery” subject to teach–which is why it’s also so fun to teach. Thanks for the inspiration this morning!

  9. I need to write a spine poem!! Thanks for the inspiration. I also liked your reflection. Perfect last line. You shared this secret that YOU know about and “Then I smile because I knew it would happen.” I love that feeling when we know and others finally do, too!

  10. You lured me in again, even though I simply must get back to sleep. No sleeping in today since I’m subbing in sixth grade. I love your poem! We’re trying to figure out how to do book spine poetry with our book club and not tear up the library in the process. My favorite book from your stack – Wondrous Words!

  11. I love this, Elsie! Your spine poem really worked – amazing! I also do not know The Secret Project and will look it up. One of my all-time favorites is in your pile – Writing Toward Home. Today, I have a list of a dozen of my favorite books to use with poetry reading and writing in the classroom. Thanks for sharing this great idea!

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