Walking Through Words

What is the most creative tourism ad you have ever viewed? Bar none, for me, has to be a video highlighting my province’s lush landscape set to exquisite spoken word poetry.

A powerful poem by Canadian spoken word artist Shane Koyczan about the wild within British Columbia, Canada.

This video was today’s hook for our poetry lesson. The spoken word poetry provided a powerful anchor text for students. My friend had her grade 2s and 3s write their own poems inspired by Walking Through Words in British Columbia.

Here is the process:

1. View video

2. Think-Pair-Share : What do you notice about language, images, mood, subject, word choice? (reverence for nature)

3. How did the poet structure his poem?

4. Model creating a poem based on Shane’s structure.

5. Brainstorm on chart paper a list of topics – items from nature.

6. Select a topic and collaboratively create a class poem using the structure:

Its just a _______

Until it verb. . .

Until it verb . . .

Until it verb . . .

7. Send students to their desks to write their own individual poems. Pause to read aloud completed poems, highlight powerful phrases or effective techniques.

In the future I would like to have a follow up lesson. I’d print out the word’s to Shane’s poem and have small groups of students highlight or circle various elements of the poem. I’d prompt students to answer, “What did Shane do to provide such rich imagery?” I’d then have students write another poem using the same structure seeing if they could further evoke imagery.

This video evoked awe and wonder. I hope it inspires you and your students to write your own poems.


7 thoughts on “Walking Through Words

  1. Oh wow. That is one powerful ad.
    I love the lesson you outlined. I’m teaching poetry to my 10th graders, and I just might incorporate this into one of my lessons! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am going to use this poem with students and pass it along. What a gem. I have used Shane’s poem “To This Day” with my middle schoolers in several different ways. I know they would truly love working with this glorious inspiration.

    Liked by 2 people

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