Walking the Talk


#sol20- June 23, 2020

Summer is always my time to recharge and if you know me at all, you know that lots of professional development is included in this. This summer, as in previous summers I am participating in the Book Love Summer Book Club (it is not too late for you to join!). Usually, I am in the US by now and have been able to get my hands on the book club books, but this is a different summer. I ordered the books through a local store, but sadly orders take about two months, so because I ordered in late May, much of the discussion will be over by the time I get my books. Luckily for me, the first book in the elementary club, Dictionary for a Better World, is available to read on Epic. Once I read it back in May I pushed it out to all of my students. I read it quickly all the way through that first time. Last week I read it again, over the course of a few days, savoring the words more carefully.

This week we are looking at the book, so today when I met with my grade 3 writing group (only one student came today) I knew I wanted to write based on the book. I had seen Kathleen Sokolowski write a nonet inspired by the book and I wanted to try my own. I started by thinking about what my topic would be and then brainstormed some words and ideas I might include.

A nonet, the book taught me is ” a 9-line poem that begins with a one-syllable line and builds to a nine-syllable line, or the reverse.”

My draft is here, inspired by the poem “Hope”:



we write

who are we

making meaning

it’s all personal

our voices are our strength

sharing our thoughts as we grow

together we can be the change.

How can we make a difference now?

(obviously, there is scope for revision!)

I then was inspired to try a golden shovel poem after “Excercise” and finally a persona poem inspired by “Acceptance”. I have just seen that Fran wrote today from the same book here. This book is one that should be in every home and classroom. It will inspire so much thought, conversation, writing, and action. I cannot wait to hold a physical copy in my hands to linger over more. I can see this framing our year ahead around, as I scribbled notes to myself to connect various poems to different routines in our class. There is nothing quite like summer pd to inspire me for the year (and challenges) ahead. I am grateful to be a part of many learning communities.

2 thoughts on “Walking the Talk

  1. My own summer reading stack is ambitious – all deep and inspiring, like Dictionary. I love the nonet form, how it flows – have composed a couple and they are more challenging than they look! You’ve expressed such truth here in “Writer.” To be a writer is often to capture the essence of Now, what it means, how it feels, how we interpret it – “making meaning” and “our voices are our strength” and growing by learning from one another, indeed. What a poem-profusion your muse has brought you! Savor every moment of this recharge and keep creating … we all need that ongoing ripple effect of inspiration,.

  2. Your poem is inspiring! And yes – Dictionary is a gem! I am in the book love book club as well. The conversation and ideas are just amazing. I look forward to diving deeper into all the texts! Yes – great summer of learning.

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