An umbrella, hats, a bug zapper and plenty of warm smiles – what else does a poet need in Indonesia? Our (too short) visit to Surabaya International School was a blast. What a welcome! They gave us all that we needed to feel at home and more. After a couple of assemblies, we were happy to join writers putting words on paper. Michael and I split up to visit all grade levels.
Third Graders in Liene Leiskaine's class were just starting a unit on money and trade so we collaborated in small groups to write questioning poems based on a lesson in High Impact Writing Clinics. What is money for? Who invented it? What will money be in the future. Are coins better than paper? At the end of class we shared our poems aloud. A true test of a successful visit (as far as I'm concerned) is if the kids are writing after we leave. Guess what? I received an email the next day from Liene with the following questioning poem that her student had written that night.
By: Subin Park
Why is the earth a sphere, not a square?
How do we compare?
Who gets to create the nature and how?
Isn't it cute when a paw meets a paw?
Why is an ocean deep?
Why don't we see green sheep?
Why is the nature so green?
Why is the nature so adventures for me?
How cool is that? Thank you Subin for extending the lesson and making me imagine paw meeting paw. And why indeed don't we see green sheep?????
Another primary class gave me a send off that made me cry.
In the upper grades we talked about how poems can be starter seeds for longer essays stories and essays. We wrote "bump in the road" poems, which are really story poems about triumph.
And many many thanks to librarian Leslie Baker and her kindly and professional assistant (whose name I have no chance of spelling correctly) for the hours of work put into making the visit happen. We move on leaving poems and friends behind. Thank you, thank you, thank you my friends!