Friday, October 3, 2014

A Single Leaf Finding Fall

It was one of those quiet evenings just before the last fleck of light folded the night into darkness when I walked out to the deck. Much to my amazement, I found one single leaf waiting for someone to caress its patterned shape. The leaf was a signal for me to to find joy in nature's simple autumnal beauty. 

Because the season of autumn has always been one of my highlights of the year, I ask all those who are interested in capturing its images through the lens of a photographer and poet to join me in  finding fall. 

In tribute to the journey of a single leaf finding fall, I created a 30 second video that was supposed to air on DigiLit Sunday, hosted by Margaret Simon, last Sunday. Since the tasks of the week got the best of me, I am showcasing the Animoto video here.

Narrative for Video:
We relaxed, reflected, and recharged searching for summer serenity. Now summer turns to fall and I ask that you come reflect with me about the majesty of autumn. Find fall among the leaves, the changing temperatures, the shortened days. Dream big. Search!

To spark children's interest in writing poetry about autumn leaves, I suggest starting with a favorite fall activity from my childhood. Ask students to take a nature walk, find a special leaf, preserve it with wax paper and an iron, and bring it to school the next day. When class begins, ask the learners to complete an admit ticket for a reflective writing first task.  The prompt would be: What 4 words describe your autumn leaf? A read aloud of the poem, Fall, leaves, fall by Emily Bronte would follow with students engaging in a collaborative conversation about the author's purpose in writing this poem.

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night's decay
Ushers in a drearier day. 

To continue the creative writing activity, the short poem and video I created can be introduced as an example of the artistic practice of transmediation, the combination of various "expressive media types" for a multi-sensory experience. Through the models presented, learners will see how technology can be integrated into a literacy lesson to stimulate the senses and allow for the experiences of reading, analyzing, interpreting, evaluating, and communicating. Students will delve into the theme of finding fall through different mediums. Ultimately, they will create their own poem based on the leaf they found or an image of one from an active internet search. 

Poetry Friday is being hosted this week by Jama Rattigan at Jama's Alphabet Soup. You will be delighted by Jama's pain au chocolat that graces her site. Not only are there yummy treats but wonderful offerings from a range of writers. 

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