"Wild Words"

Earlier this spring, my students got to participate in a fabulous "Artist in Education" program sponsored by the Ontario Arts Council. The incredible Eleanor Crowder, an award-winning actor, playwright, director and artist (I researched you, Eleanor, and you deserve every glowing word!!), spent ten hours with my students and each of the other junior classes at my school over a period of three weeks.

Eleanor taught my students about the sound and voice skills required for performing, fun physical punctuation, led them through very detailed imagery activities that became the foundation for their own poetry writing and art, and coached them toward performing at their very own Poetry Jam.
It was inspiring to watch Eleanor bring my students out of their shells. They went from giggles at the wild voice skills practices to standing in front of an audience to present their very own poems in just ten hours!
For me, the best part of this program is watching the creativity of each of my students shine through the watercolor and drawing pieces they created. I truly was amazed by each and every one of them. Eleanor led the class in several very structured visualization activities, taking them to a place that was a vivid and meaningful one in their own life. These visualizations led to painting light and shadow using watercolors, followed by overdrawing with fine-tipped pens. Here are some of the works-in-progress:
(I KNOW the teachers reading this can see the concentration and effort in these photos...!)
As they created their art, and heard poems written by others, the students became inspired to write themselves:

And, boy, DID they write!! Here are some of their original pieces:
 Wake Up
As the monster opens the door,
I feel a slight shiver.
It's creeping closer.
I pull the covers from my bed over my head.
It's right next to me,
It's right there.
I be as quiet as I can,
My eyes are closed,
As he pulls off the covers,
I can feel the cold breath on my neck,
The smell of death as I open my eyes;
A light flashed before my eyes,
I see a bright light...
I wake up.
Written By Morgan

The feel of the paintbrush, the wind gentle in her hair, a young artist paints the Eiffel Tower in the pale moonlight. She paints for a love so strong that started when she was very young. That was the time when we were both friends and I wish only to see her again. But she is so very far away, finally in the dream she always thought of and forever she will stay. A best friend that moved away.
Written By Michelle

Outside crouched down, with a container full of corn. 
Here comes a deer without any horns. 
She is very close about 5 inches away. Down I go, almost to a lay just so I don't scare her away. 
Feeling her fur I don't think anything could be softer than her.
Written By Rebecca

 My hockey stick is a windwheel
blue and black
My skates are Warriors
They cost two hundred dollars
When I tie them on I am happy
My toes can wriggle like they're warm in the sand.
They sink in to the foam bed.

I'm a warrior on the ice
when I skate and shoot.
I'm facing Alex. I get the puck
I skate past. He tries to check
My dad yells, Go Cole!
I go like the wind.
I shoot
I'm scared
The universe is never fair
But today, my shot explodes off my stick
Catches in the back of the net.
The goalie doesn't stand a chance.
My team mates cheer.
I feel like Number One.
Written By Cole

I am so proud of what they accomplished! Thanks, Eleanor! I look forward to seeing you again next year!


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