Hello, Great Readers of our series! Just In case you haven’t visited before, let me tell you a little about A Great Nephew and A Great Aunt. My great nephew, Landon (a sixth-grader) and I (his great aunt) collaborate. I write a poem which he illustrates. We started this collaboration in the fall of 2014 and have had so much fun with it that we decided to invite others along. Landon and I will continue to have a new episode on the second Friday of each month. The other Fridays are filling up quickly with guests.
I have created a page on my website to view all the episodes of A Great Nephew and a Great Aunt. Click HERE to visit the page and enjoy past episodes.
Every guest episode is delightful. But today’s episode is extra special due to the number of collaborators. Prepare to be wowed!
It’s my pleasure to share a creative collaboration from . . .
Ken Slesarik and His 1st-Grade Poets
From Ken: My after-school poetry club called “Poetry Rocks!” at Esperanza Elementary school in Phoenix, Arizona was inspired by children’s author Janet Wong‘s enthusiasm for promoting the genre and is designed to introduce core aspects of poetry to children in grades 1st through 6th while teaching them self-confidence.
Our Process in this collaboration was to read and discuss Laura Purdie Salas’ book “Water Can Be” with my 1st-grade group so we would have a model in which to frame our poem. We wrote it together after brainstorming ideas about a typical 1st-grade child and I would suggest an idea or rhyme and try to give just enough support and guidance to complete our poem. Some of the words are slang, but I think I have the common spellings. The artwork was a challenge at first because some of the kids would rush, but I’m very pleased with the final results. Each of my twelve 1st-grade students came up with a line and the corresponding artwork page so it truly was a collaboration. We hope you enjoy our efforts.
The Collaborative Poem
Poetry Rocks: 1st-Grade Poets
Poetry Rocks: 1st-Grade Artists
And here’s all the artwork together.
A Glimpse Into the Collaboration Phases
The group was inspired by Water Can Be by Laura Purdie Salas.
Enjoy these photos of Ken and the collaborators.
Many, many thanks to Ken and his 1st graders for being a part of the series. This collaboration makes my heart sing!
Meet Ken: Ken Slesarik is a special education teacher and children’s poet from Phoenix, Arizona. His “Heroes and Poets” assembly program has been well received by teachers, students, parents and administrators. When not teaching or visiting schools, Ken writes poetry for children with poems published in The Poetry Friday Anthology K-5 Edition, The Poetry Friday Anthology For Middle School, The Poetry Friday Anthology For Science, The Poetry Friday Anthology For Celebrations and Dear Tomato: An International Crop of Food and Agriculture Poems, two upcoming anthologies as well as an animal collection called Creatures, Critters, Beasts and Varmints. Ken’s mission is to empower students through the medium of poetry and he is a poetry advocate to children and teachers alike. For more information, please visit http://kenslesarik.com