Poetry project at WA allows creative expression

March 14, 2019

MT. PLEASANT — Students within Ms. Wolf’s Wasatch Academy (WA) English II class recently studied poetry in depth while creating unique, multimedia presentations of the poetry they researched.

Each student selected a poem and then illustrated the poem with a variety of mixed media including glass, paper, paint, animal skulls and more.

“Our students are visual learners,” says Wolf, “I thought they would connect more to the poems if they could create a visual representation of the ideas.”

The students first did a unit on poetry, in which they learned how to explicate (dissect and analyze) poems. Each student then chose his or her own poet and wrote a biography of that person.

Then each student chose a specific poem to explicate that was written by the chosen poet. After the poem explication process, each student created an art board to represent some aspect (or all) of his or her chosen poem.

The art board to be created had to contain at least one line of the poem (although it could have the entire poem written on it) and also had to be three-dimensional in some way.

Each student then wrote another paragraph explaining why the particular poem was chosen and how the art piece specifically represented the poem.

All the participants connected deeply with their poems. Some students did not realize they could consider themselves to be “artists,” they thought they had to be taking a formal art class.

The poetry project allowed students to express themselves in authentic ways while still meeting the writing standards for the unit.

“I love watching students draw their own personal connections with the poems and their own lives,” says Wolf, “I also enjoy witnessing the organic process of working with raw materials (bones, buttons, paint, feathers, glass, etc.) to create original, inspiring art pieces.”