I love the word bowdlerize-not because I love censoring (to bowdlerize is to censor/expurgate materials), but because I love the story behind this word’s origin.
The word bowdlerize comes from the man Thomas Bowdler, who, in the early 1800’s, found Shakespeare’s ribald innuendos so appalling that he published The Family Shakespeare –a censored version of Shakespeare’s plays more appropriate for women and children. He later did the same with The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon (“Thomas Bowdler”). While I disapprove of Bowdler’s actions, I am fascinated by the fact that there is a vocabulary word based on his actions!
I joke with my students about what it would mean to “Resslerize” a text (I go by Ms. Ressler in the classroom). I tease that I would simply add extra vocabulary to a text rather than take words away.
So this week I challenge you to have your students “-ize” a text according to their favorite vocabulary words and their own similes.
First, have all students pick their top five vocabulary words from the year. Then, have them think about what makes someone lovely or ugly and write down three similes for pretty and three for ugly. Then give every student a copy of one or both of the downloadable Shakespearean sonnets (in honor of both Bowdler and April as poetry month) and use their similes and their favorite vocabulary words to rewrite Shakespeare’s sentiments as their own, then call their work the “_________(last name)-ized” version of the texts.
This method can work with any text-fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose, and kids will definitely buy in because they are personalizing tough texts. You can appreciate that your students are expressing complex thoughts in new and interesting ways.
Common Core Standards:
Reading Literature/Informational Text Standard 4. Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text
Reading Literature/Informational Text Standard 5. Analyze the structure of texts
Reading Literature/Informational Text Standard 6. Assess how point of view or purpose shapes a text
Reading Literature/Informational Text Standard 10. Read and comprehend complex literary texts
Language Standard 3. Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts
Language Standard 5. Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meaning
Scavenger Hunt Vocabulary
Round Robin Vocabulary Story
Summer Vocabulary God/Goddess
Daniel Handler Author Interview
photo © iStockphoto
We are halfway through National Poetry Month! Luckily there is still plenty of time to take part in this month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets. The more I research ways to incorporate poetry into my classroom, the more excited I get. Here are a few resources I came across this weekend that are inspiring me to get my students celebrating poetry!
The NYT Learning Network published a post in 2010 called, "11 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month With The New York Times," and they didn't stopped there. Every spring since 2010 they have added resources and ideas to the article! If you're a teacher looking for poetry ideas, click here!
Potatoe Hill Poetry was founded in 1994 by Andrew Green, a former English teacher in the Vermont public school system. Seeing a need for teachers and students to discuss and explore poems, Mr. Green has made it his mission to promote all things poetry! Check out his 20 ideas for celebrating National Poetry Month.
Record-a-Poem on SoundCloud is a resource I came across on the Poetry Foundation website. Record-a-Poem is a group that invites everyone to post audio recordings of themselves reading their favorite poem. Once your recording has been published you can share your poem via Facebook and other social media platforms!
If you're hesitant about having your students upload audio files to Record-a-Poem create something similar for only your classroom using free online recording tools!
Poem in Your Pocket Day is Thursday, April 18, 2013! The idea is simple: select a poem you love during NPM then carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends. Don't forget to share your poem on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem. Here are some resources to get you started!
More Poetry Ideas:
Create a PoeTree for your classroom
Reading Rockets Poetry Learning Library
The Miss Rumpus Effect
The National Poetry Map
Web English Teacher's General Poetry Archive
The Poetry Foundation Learning Lab (for teachers!)
I can't believe it's already time to celebrate National Poetry Month again! It's seems like yesterday I was writing these Ingenious Ideas posts... With poetry on my mind I went looking for apps that could encourage students to explore this literary art!
Funny Kids Poems (Ages 4-6) is a great app for early ed and elementary students! With beautiful graphics, friendly narrations, and interactive illustrations, this child-oriented poetry app will be a hit with your students and their parents. To learn more about the Funny Kids Poems app, click here.
iF Poems is an acclaimed iPad or iPhone/iPod poetry app for 'children ages 3-93' that features a collection of 270 classic poems. This beautifully designed app allows students to record themselves reading a poem, tap on words for dictionary definition, search by age groups, and more! The iF Poems app is the perfect app for students.
The Poetry App (Ages 12+) is a free app from the Josephine Hart Poetry Foundation that will draw you (and your students) into a 'parallel universe' of over 100 poems! With this app students not only explore poems from sixteen of the greatest poets of all time, but can listen and watch powerful narrations by over 30 world class actors and performers. To learn more about The Poetry App, click here.
This week I decided once again to spotlight poetry resources! With so many educators celebrating National Poetry Month the twittersphere has been brimming with incredible resources. As I clicked through links, read lesson plans, and played interactive games I was reminded how powerful poetry can be in encouraging students to write AND learn new vocabulary words!
We're all familiar with the wonderful works and words of Shel Silverstein, but have you taken advantage of his Ingenious Ideas for Teachers and Parents?
The Teaching Channel has hundreds of amazing videos for educators! Check out their poetry videos for inspirations and ideas.
Finally, The Childrens Poetry Archive is a great resource for classroom activities and discussions. Dedicated to bringing the sound of words alive, The Poetry Archive is a place where everyone can listen to poems.
Have you been celebrating National Poetry Month? If not, use the next couple weeks to explore poetry in your classroom. Here are a few ingenious ideas I've come across while looking for poetry resources.
Poets.org has an array of resources for celebrating National Poetry Month. Learn why we celebrate National Poetry Month, get a month's worth of poetry activities, and watch past celebration highlights.
While researching ways to get students interested in writing and reading poetry, I stumbled upon some promising apps! Poetry (from the Poetry Foundation), Instant Poetry, and Poetry Creator each offer a unique concept that may get students playing with words and reading famous poetry works. Do you have a favorite poetry app?
With the belief that poems can inspire and encourage us to be better members of the human race, Billy Collins set out to create Poetry 180 a site aimed to get poetry in American high schools. With Poetry 180, students can easily read or hear a poem on each of the 180 days of the school year!
Check out the "Word of the Week" on iWords
The Magnetic Poetry website is a fun resource where students can create a poem or story using a provided word bank. After creating a poem students can save their creations or email them to a friend (or teacher!) As a teacher, you will appreciate that Magnetic Poetry offers various word banks tailored to reading levels- Check out FirstWords, Kids, and Original
Shape Poems is a simple poem generation template that can help get students interested in writing poems. The Shape Poem generator provides four categories that may pique interests! Once students have chosen a category, Shape Poems guides students to identify words that associate with their chosen shape. Once they've completed their Shape Poem, students can save, listen or print their creation.
How will you be celebrating World Poetry Day? Do you have an ingenious ideas?