One of the most fun parts of the build-up to March Madness Poetry 2013 is taking the extra time to savor the words that I read and hear every day. Five to ten times per day, a word splatters across my windshield — commanding my immediate attention and action. Sometimes, I spray the cleaner and wipe it away, but more often than not I stop the car, get out, and take a closer look:
I have an incentive to do this. The more words that I consider, the better prompts I can give during the March Madness Poetry tournament, and the more fun the event will be.
But I’ve been thinking … maybe there’s a way to allow other people to share in the exploration of words the same way I’ve been able to leading up to #MMPoetry. More specifically, maybe there’s a way to allow KIDS to share in the exploration of words in a new, fun way.
With that in mind, I am pleased to offer the following challenge to teachers and students who may not themselves be poets (yet), but who want to participate directly in #MMPoetry in some way:
IF your classroom plans to follow #MMPoetry2013 and is willing to help spread the word about the event in your own unique way,
THEN I will grant your classroom the power to choose any word you want to be assigned to an #MMPoetry authlete in the first round of this year’s tournament! The more innovative your idea, the crazier the word your classroom will be allowed to pick. For example:
- You tell me your class will create a hand-made poster and hang it in the hallway of your school to attract other classes to follow the event? That might earn you the right to pick a word in the 3-5 seed range (think “mangled”, “boiling”, “numb”).
- You tell me your class will create a human pyramid that spells out the word P-O-E-T-R-Y, snap a photo, and send it to your local paper or TV station? That might earn you the right to pick a word in the 8-10 seed range (think “rancid”, “grapple”, “sequester”).
- You tell me your class will paint a series of giant murals on the side of the school that highlight your favorite matchup in each round, where pairs of students take turns tending to it around the clock, repainting it with up-to-the-minute vote totals and then power-washing it all away as soon as the clock strikes zero? That might earn you the right to pick a word in the 14-16 range (think “befuddling”, “virtuoso”, “androgynous”).
Maybe I’m crazy, but I think that’s a great way to get kids to think more about the wonder that is our English language.
There are 64 spots open for the taking. First come, first served!
Instructions (NOTE: These have been edited since the original post.)
1) Talk to your class about #MMPoetry2013 in general and this post in particular.
2) Decide what you’d all be willing to do to help spread the word about the event. (Sorta like those old “What would you do for a Klondike bar?” commercials.) Whatever you decide will determine the level of difficulty of the word you can select. Submit a comment below with your school name, grade level, city/state (and country if outside the U.S.), AND your idea.
3) Decide what one word you’d MOST like me to assign to an authlete during the first round of this year’s event. The difficulty of your word should be commensurate with the impact/creativity of your idea. Generally speaking:
- If your idea involves your classroom alone, you can suggest a 1-4 seed word (something interesting, but pretty INTUITIVE for kids’ poetry)
- If your idea involves your entire school, you can suggest a 5-8 seed word (something kinda tough, but REASONABLE for kids’ poetry)
- If your idea involves friends and relatives outside your school, you can suggest a 9-12 seed word (something ODD for kids’ poetry)
- If your idea involves your community or the general public, you can suggest a 13-16 seed word (something SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE for kids’ poetry)
After you submit a comment below with your idea, send me an e-mail (see form on right sidebar) or PRIVATE message through the Ed at Think Kid Think Facebook page with your chosen word.
4) I will send you a private confirmation. While I do not plan to enforce the guidelines in Step 3 too strictly, I will provide some coaching if I feel that your suggested word is inappropriate (e.g., too difficult — “antidisestablishmentarianism”, too easy — “park”, too gross — “cloaca”, too topical — “photosynthesis”).
That’s it. Have fun! And help spread the word to other teachers/librarians/students ASAP before it’s too late …
WORDS SELECTED BY STUDENTS SO FAR: 1
|School||Grade||Location||Leader||Word Seed Range|
|STAR Prep Academy||6th||Culver City, CA||Hannah Wilde (Teacher)||13-16 (Seemingly Impossible)|
WORDS REMAINING TO BE SELECTED: 63
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