Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Collaborative Project

Mr. Koch's volume is useful pedagogically, but also for personal exercises as well.

Included are two chapters on collaboration specifically, one on just two people, and another one on a whole class collaborating...

Here is a poem from Mrs. Weick's class of fifth graders who by now are probably in their late forties.

Goodbye, Mr Koch

Be sure to go to the German Alps and say hello to my Dad
Eat a lot of apple strudel in Germany
Maybe you can dig a tunnel and find another tunnel where
Prisoners are escaping from East Berlin
Eat all the Italian type spaghetti
Try making some pizza
Eat matzoh balls
Knock down the Leaning Tower of Pisa
And you'l have a lot of help: It'll be leaning already
Go to Naples and drink wine
and visit Sibernus for me
You can roam around Rome
Feed somebody to the lions at the Coliseum
Or go chariot racing
Eat the bottom ring of the ice cream in Naples
Be the third Columbus
Take some Spanish dancing lessons
See the bullfights in Madrid
But don't faint
When they pick you to be the matador too
Run a million miles away
Don't eat any enchiladas
They're too hot
Don't forget your bathing suit
Make sure you don't drown
We want you back
Don't go crazy with your language
Don't forget to button up your overcat
Send us a couple of cheeses from Switzerland
Don't Break your leg skiing
Send me a sample of snow
In a hot stove
Don't go on any Israeli Airlines
Don't meet the Wolfman
Don't work in the Radium Dial Company
You'll get Leukemia
Mrs B. works there-they call her that- she had leukemia
Make your hair grow long and join the Beatles or buy a wig
Hold your ears at 12 o'clock when you're near Big Ben
Don't watch the girls in miniskirts (this is a recording)
Bring an umbrella and bring an overcoat
Go see Queen Elizabeth and bring back some of her jewels
Bring Charlie Chaplin with you
Install windshield wipers on your eyeglasses
Visit Camelot and steal King Arthur's crown
And meet the stupid Knight in Red
And marry Guinevere
Don't run into a bobby
Go on top of the Tower and don't fall off
England swings like a pendulum do
With the crown and jewels buy an airplane
Get some feathers and make them into wings and fly back
Walk back so you won't get highjacked
Swim the English Channel and fly back
Go by boat and take some seasick pills
(Don't forget to take Guinevere)
Don't forget to write

Koch, Kenneth. Wishes, Lies, and Dreams: Teaching Children To Write Poetry New York: Perrenial, 1970, 62-63.

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