Thursday, December 10, 2009


Concrete Poetry Projects by Sharon Blumberg

With a Concrete Poetry Project, the selected word could be illustrated into the concept that it signifies. For example, the word fire in Spanish – fuego – could be illustrated with flaming letters of orange, yellow and red, surrounding the letters in the words. So the word fire would appear as if it were on fire. Young adults enjoy creating these artsy projects because they can symbolize things that are meaningful and personal to them. They can also utilize their creative talents. Students enjoy working on these projects either alone or in small groups. As they work among their classmates, they talk, unwind, and express their unique or common interests. For example, the word for friends in Spanish is AMIGOS. I remember a small group of friends taping silly pictures together and displaying them along a sheet of construction paper or poster board.

At the end of the school year when I ask, “Who would like to have their projects laminated?” students say, “I do!” Then, when the projects are no longer displayed along the classroom walls, students make sure they take their projects home. They enjoy owning these projects as keepsakes because of the social nature of creating them. There is a personal connection to the assignment when friends are dancing, jumping in the air, or making silly faces together.

Another related project that I enjoy having my homeroom students work on in the beginning of the school year, is what I refer to as Name Bubbles. This is a wonderful idea that I borrowed from one of my colleagues.

Name Bubbles

Name Bubbles are creative projects in which students write out the letters of their names or nicknames to encase a theme. For example, let’s take the name Ali. Within the A, students could write about their favorite vacations. Within the L, students could write about their favorite movies, and within the letter I, students could list their favorite books to read. The students have the choice to make up their own themes, use whatever name – first, last, or nickname – that they desire. Some students even ask if they can stand up in front of the class and talk about their name bubbles, while explaining what each letter stands for. What I love about students creating Name Bubbles is that the theme categories they select from are endless, and the projects make beautiful student work displays.

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Mayra Calvani said...

These are great tips for projects with children, Kathy. Thanks for sharing them.

kathy stemke said...

Your welcome. Thanks for visiting.