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…let it …be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Kahlil Gibran
WRITING DOWN MY FAMILY
Using Oral Histories as research for autobiographical poems. William Stafford Archive with Lewis and Clark College: 2009/2010 By Robin Judd
WHAT IT IS
Oral Family History meets autobiographical poetry. Using Stafford’s poems as a backdrop for word order, organization, and word choice, students will write poems about their families. In a workshop
Where students generate their own discussions, their own writing prompts, their own writing circles. Where students will receive feedback from the teacher, the principal, and their peers. Where students will learn about themselves by hearing the stories other students share.
one parent to interview Start with five urgent questions – ask about the things you want to know really badly but might not have been brave enough to speak about honestly before now. Transcription: You may use recording devices and tapes or cds if you have them available to use at home. If you have a recorder on a cell phone, you may use that. Otherwise, you will be handwriting your interview questions and responses and typing the information you record in class.
MODELING QUESTIONING AND LISTENING: ON SPEAKER PHONE WITH MY MOM
Model the interview process for students by having them call my mom Have students ask one question before they meet her Once she begins talking, have students prepare questions as she responds: they must listen carefully for this The best speakers are the best listeners: interrupting can disrupt the conversation You can formulate more interview questions using the way your subject responds:
To clarify confusion To go into more depth and detail about the same topic To formulate new topics and questions about related topics
POEMS BY WILLIAM STAFFORD: FROM THE LEWIS AND CLARK ARCHIVES
Poems will be used for daily reading and writing activities: as a springboard for students to think creatively about their lives. “Parentage”: Heroism “Some Shadows”: Home “Listening”: Hearing his father “A Memorial: Son Bret” As a parent reflecting on the suicide of his oldest son. “Remembering Brother Bob” As an older brother reflecting on the death of his younger brother “Elegy” As a son reflecting on the death of his father. “Troubleshooting”: Seeing his father
is your father?
To you To your family To everyone else
does he belong? What do you want from him?
SOME SHADOWS: WHERE IS YOUR HOME?
Mom: Is she happy? How has dad changed her?
Dad: was/is he happy? How has mom changed him?
Oldest sister of four Her mom was severely depressed after Joan (mom’s older sister) committed suicide. Cheerleader Average student Devoted Loving Controlling She spit in his face during the only argument I ever witnessed. Neurotic Present always Thorough Honest
One younger brother LAPD dreams Good student, active student life Surfer Comic relief Loving Devoted
Respectful Questioning Honest He went to the ER after sampling some of my brother’s marijuana: I called for the ambulance.
LISTENING: (USING WORDS TO SUPPORT THE SENSES)
All that his father could hear
A little animal step A moth in the dark against the screen Voices from the soft wild night The walls of the world From another place, he’s still listening Sound Quiet That other place Places Hear Spoke Called Listening Waiting Inviting
Nouns for Listening:
Verbs for Listening:
A MEMORIAL: SON BRET
Questions to support comprehension: Why was Bret brave? Describe the relationship between the narrator and Bret. What happened to Bret? Taking it a little deeper: What are the responsibilities of parents? How have your parents succeeded/failed with you?
REMEMBERING BROTHER BOB
Brothers and Sisters
Name and describe your siblings:
Describe your favorite sibling memory:
Ryan Kristen Judd: born September 15, 1976 in West Covina, CA. He is currently married to Katherine Elizabeth Sanders, has been for 7 years. They are raising their first son, Lukas Ryan Judd: born December 31, 2009.
I remember sitting in front of Carrows waiting for my mom to get off work with my brother. We were on a bench talking and laughing as usual. I must have been 15 which would have made him 18 or 19. I don’t remember what he said, but I do remember laughing so hard I fell out of the bench and onto the cold hard concrete sidewalk.
How do you define loss?
What are all the ways you could “lose” a person? What are some healthy strategies/alternatives that you could use in the future?
How do you cope with loss?
[el-i-jee] –noun, plural -gies. 1. a mournful, melancholy, or plaintive poem, esp. a funeral song or a lament for the dead. 2. a poem written in elegiac meter. 3. a sad or mournful musical composition.
TROUBLESHOOTING: PARENT SYMBOL
Choose a parent and describe him/her: Dad
Describe and define their symbol: 2-lane asphalt road
Larry Norman Judd
Loves reading and thinking. Crazy about his grandson – resident babysitter – and his kids. Always finds ways to make people laugh. Catholic: he’d say his symbol is the crucifix, but I know better than that.
Symbol: 2-lane asphalt highway
Freedom Responsibility Running – for the longest time my dad was a runner from problems, conflicts, disagreements and a hider. There’s something concealing yet vulnerable about a highway at night.
a parent to find more information about their families. Use interview responses and questions to infuse creative writing with relevant information, stories, and family anecdotes. Define and use active verbs, lively adjectives, and interesting nouns in autobiographical poetry. Analyze and discuss major themes in poems by William Stafford. Brainstorm, write, and revise original, autobiographical poetry.
OREGON STANDARDS TO SUPPORT INSTRUCTION
Increase word knowledge through systematic vocabulary development; determine the meaning of new words by applying knowledge of word origins, word relationships, and context clues; verify the meaning of new words; and use those new words accurately across the subject areas. Listen critically and respond appropriately across the subject areas. EL.HS.LI.02 Demonstrate listening and reading comprehension of more complex literary text through class and/or small group interpretive discussions. EL.HS.LI.13 Evaluate the impact of word choice and figurative language on tone, mood, and theme. EL.HS.WR.08 Revise drafts to improve the logic and coherence of the organization and controlling idea, the precision of word choice, and the tone—by taking into consideration the audience, purpose, and formality of the context. EL.HS.SL.17 Analyze how language and delivery affect the mood and tone of the oral communication and make an impact on the audience. EL.HS.SL.05 Analyze the occasion and the interests of an audience, and choose effective verbal techniques and language to convey ideas.