As part of Grade 6 language arts and social studies, students read and analyze books, primary sources, newspaper articles, and photographs to gain insight into literature and history. They participate in literature circles to foster individual expression of ideas and the development of speaking and listening skills. Grammar and composition skills are honed through the use of writing workshops, during which students focus on a particular genre such as poetry or historical fiction.
Each fall, Middle School students, parents, and faculty gather for the Grade 6 Poetry Cafe presentations, which are a culmination of their work within the poetry unit. This year, more than 50 were in the audience as our Grade 6 students read their poems before the group.
Inspired by an initial reading by faculty member Sandy Pyatt, the students read their poems with confidence and poise. Some were short, others were long; some humorous, others intense. One was written and presented in both Chinese and English, another in Spanish and English. The topics were as unique as each student and ranged from worms, promises, and dolphins, to ice cream, amnesia, and rain. A sampling of lines included the following:
“Blue, like my mother’s eyes...”
“He’s a dog, after all.”
“I play with Yo-Yo Ma. I feel the beat in my heart.”
“I will always reach my destination.”
“We lie down for the last time on the grass.”
As each student finished, the room resounded with clapping and cheers of support. High-fives and thumbs-ups were plentiful. In Middle School, where our students enter the critical “peer years,” this kind of support is just as important as the curriculum unit. Congratulations to our Grade 6 poets!