The Story

Poemasabi Jr. was started as a way to try some Web 2.0 tech in a k-2 school. The project had other motivations too. After reading, and watching online videos, a lot about how student proficiency, willingness to write and quality of work improved when they were posting work online, we wanted to see for ourselves.

To be honest, that first year, two months actually, of Poemasabi Jr. we looked at as "just getting started". You know, trying it out a little before we really dove in. Boy, were we in for a surprise!

The effect on student excitement, improved attitude to writing and the quality of their writing was fast and absolute. Students wanted to write and they worked on their writing to make it, in their eyes not ours, worthy of publication. Then the abstractions came...

We were amazed when poem forms took on a life of their own. Students in second grade created abstracted forms of poetry based on what they had learned of the forms we were working on. The students in one second grade class would form groups around a particular author and define new rules or forms. Then the group would begin to write using those new forms and adapting the forms as needed.

An explanation of various cinquain forms led to a second grade student creating a letter count cinquain that we call a chowcheck or chaycheck poem. In it letters, not words are counted 2,4,6,8,2.

An explanation of Haiku, Tanka and Senyru led to the various word count forms. 3-3-3, 5-7-5 and 5-7-5-7.

All in all we think, a tremendous success in three years now with over 240 poems, 6000 page views from six out of seven continents. We can't wait for next year!