About a month ago, we watched Ann Whiting’s students in Malaysia read poems they wrote. We were so inspired that we immediately began thinking of what our own version of these poems would be like. You see, the poems were about different kinds of words. The words were not grouped in the typical way: syllables, nouns, adjectives, plural, or compound. These words were grouped by the way they made the poet feel … or by the way they felt during the act of being said.
So we played with words and their sounds and how they can touch, tiptoe, or even trample through a mouth on their way out. What a delightfully refreshing way to think about words. And how important to take a moment to remind ourselves why there ARE so many words. We need them – need them all – to be able to choose the right word for the right feeling, the right image, the right meaning.
The 7th graders in Malaysia have learned more about the history of words than we have. They can recognize that the way words sound and feel can be an indication of their roots. Such an idea arouses my curiosity! I need to learn more!