I Love Georgia Heard

I Love Georgia Heard

I love Georgia Heard. She is an inspiration to writers of all ages and packs powerful messages to teachers of writing in her books. Before starting this I-Search project, I had read parts of her book, For the Good of the Earth and Sun. I had an idea of where I wanted to go with the project and what I wanted to look for. I decided also to read her second book, Awakening the Heart. I looked at a few other resources, but I kept coming back to these two books. Having experience with the first and the impact it made on my teaching, I knew what I needed was in those books.

For me, Awakening the Heart was the resource that expanded my understanding of poetry and changed some of my thinking regarding my project. Heard includes lots of practical applications to implementing poetry in the classroom as well as creating a deeper understanding of meaningful poetry. Writing poetry with students is scary. I will be the first one to admit that! It is not so much the students – they have the power of poetry within them. We, the teachers, tend to dread it based on our experiences with poetry. With a knowledge of what makes a meaningful poem, how to create an environment for meaningful poetry, and how to help students go deeper with their poetry teachers can begin awakening the poetry inside all of their students.

Meaningful Poetry is…

  • From the Heart
  • Feelings/Emotional Life
  • Inner Life
  • Through the Heart Door
  • From the World
  • Open eyes to the beauty of the world
  • Surprise us by saying new things
  • Through the Observation Door
  • “work of letting knowledge pass through the heart” ( Awakening 118)
  • “not trying to be anything other than ourselves – that’s the stuff of poetry” ( Awakening xv)

Creating an Environment for meaningful poetry

  • emotional environment
  • nurtures the poet in all of us
  • “Marinate them in poetry”
  • A writer of poetry is first a reader of poetry
  • LOTS of exposure
  • Students create own understanding of poetry
  • Connect to lives
  • Poetry reading as discovery and joy
  • 3 Layers of reading poetry
  • “A classroom speaks of the ways children come to know their world” – Van Manan
  • Collected poetry
  • A poet’s room
  • Poetry centers
  • “open our heart and see poetry everywhere we are beginning to live our lives as poets” (61)

Digging Deeper

  • Revisioning
  • But I don’t know what to write about…
  • “Sharpening our inner vision”
  • Inner Poet
  • Self Portrait Poem
  • Heart Mapping
  • “Born of Natural Curiosity - everyday discoveries and transformations”
  • Six Room Image
  • Ordinary/Poetic
  • Earth to Heaven
  • Poetry Field Journal
  • Outdoor sketching
  • Drawing to see