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Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

Guernica – Speaking to mankind

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

347598578_2055495130I’ve been asked to share the following project to ensure that as many people as possible hear about it and have the opportunity to participate. I wish I was a teenager again as I think I’d have jumped at the chance!

 

GUERNICA: SPEAKING TO MANKIND

“Guernica is to painting what Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is to music: a cultural icon that speaks to mankind not only against war but also of hope and peace.” Alejandro Escalona

80 years on from the start of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Picasso’s painting Guernica is as powerful and disquieting today as it was when the artist expressed in paint his revulsion and outrage over the first ever bombing of civilians within Europe.

The GAP Arts Project is looking for 20 motivated, creative young people aged 11-18 who are interested in immersing themselves in an exploration of the most controversial and moving anti-war painting of the 20th century, exploring its impact, its component images and reflecting on their resonances in today’s 21st century world.

Over three weeks the assembled company will engage in practical workshops, creative activities and rehearsals, working towards devising a collective artistic response – a performance utilizing a variety of artforms such as drama, movement, poetry and more, to be produced for a public audience.

If you are excited by this chance to work creatively as part of a team, to explore this key turning point in the history of Europe and to devise and perform your artistic response publicly, we’d love to hear from you. Whether your interest is in Drama, Art, Movement, Poetry or History, this project is for you. No experience needed, just enthusiasm, curiosity, an open mind and a willingness to explore.

Dates: 8 – 29 August 2016                   Times: Tbc (initially daytimes, potentially some additional evenings/weekends in last week)

Director: Ian Yeoman, formerly artistic director of Theatr Powys, 30 years experience of directing and devising theatre for and with young people. (Ian and all adults working on the project are DBS certificated)

Venue: The GAP, Jubilee Centre, Pershore Street, B5 6ND (city centre)

Cost: £80 per participant. This covers all rehearsals, costumes, production costs etc, PLUS membership of The GAP – Birmingham’s only young people’s arts space – and all the associated benefits –free arts events, free wifi, free tea & coffee, arts library, and the opportunity to be part of The GAP’s young creative community.

Contact: Ceri Townsend             07533456387

Reservation: To reserve a place please go to https://guernica-thenandnow.eventbrite.co.uk/

Payment: To confirm your place please pay online at www.gaparts.org.

Deadline is 9pm Wednesday 20July.     NB: Places are limited so please reserve and confirm your place asap!

Further details are attached here: GUERNICA

 

 

Seasonal poems

Thursday, June 26th, 2014
A journey through seasons by Luiza Vizoli

A journey through seasons by Luiza Vizoli

Having worked on adapting a verse of La Primavera by Antonio Machado last week (see here and here for previous posts about this) , Year 5 were set a new poetic challenge this week.

Whilst I was out of action with my broken ankle, some students from BCU taught my Y5 classes using the QCA SoW unit Las cuatro estaciones as their starting point. They taught about the weather, the months of the year and the seasons, and judging by the recap lesson we had, they were successful in their aim!

This week we reviewed the seasons and thought about how we might write simple poems about them. I suggested we thought of colours as everyone was familiar with at least 5 colours that they could match to a season. I  introduced other adjectives, including reminding them of ones we had used in connection to music (Autumn term) and the planets (Spring term)

I modelled a simple structure, saying we were aiming for something like a Haiku not a sonnet; about half of them understood what I meant!

La primavera es verde y amarilla.

La primavera es bonito y alegre.

Me gusta la primavera.

Having given a sheet with some adjectives on it (including some unsuitable ones for this task like alto and bajo) and access to dictionaries, off they went.

And I was really pleased with some of the results.

Amelia has missed most Spanish lessons since Christmas as she has spent Tuesday afternoons at a local secondary school doing some G&T work.  Today she wrote the poem below in 10 minutes.

photo 5And these children impressed too, especially this one from Sam who finds Spanish tricky at times.
photo 3

photo 4

photo 1

They are simple, yes. But they demonstrate to varying extents that they can

  • write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structure that they have learnt
  • broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced into familiar written material, including through using a dictionary
  • write phrases from memory, and adapt these to create new sentences, to express ideas clearly
  • describe people, places, things and actions … and in writing       (Languages Programmes of Study: Key Stage 2)

Looking forward to next week when we will continue in this vein and present our poems using technology!

Something old, something new #ililc4

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

My second session at #ililc4 was entitled Something old, something new and concerned the new 2014 curriculum.

My presentation is below, and I’ll explain briefly what I said as I couldn’t attach the notes without making the Slideshare look ugly!

And there are lots of links ideas and resources at bit.ly/oldlisibo (should have thought out that URL more carefully!)

Something old, something new. from Lisa Stevens

As I explained on the day, when you have to submit your idea so far in advance and aren’t entirely sure how your idea will pan out, it is quite tricky to come up with a witty/apposite title. My choice of Something old Something new was mainly because I envisaged sharing some old ideas and some new ones plus some borrowed from others. However, as I came to think in more detail I began to think more about weddings!

Primary languages have had a bit of a torrid love life, being loved and then rejected by the primary curriculum, nearly getting up the aisle in 2010 but being jilted at the last moment when all was going so well. So I set out to explore the ‘prenuptial agreement’ (or Languages Programmes of Study at KS2), how we can make this ‘marriage’ work, how to convince those that are nervous about married life and how we’ll keep the spark alive.

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 14.09.01

So I began by looking at the Programmes of Study, highlighting parts of the  document that I found interesting.

Purpose of study – Intercultural Understanding is still really important – it’s a vital part of language learning. Providing learners with building blocks AND mortar is key if they are to be able to express what they want in the foreign language. And ‘great works of literature’ doesn’t mean Don Quijote de la Mancha, A la recherché du temps perdu or Mein Kampf at Year 3; poetry is great literature and we regularly use an extract tom Machado in Year 5 as stimulus for writing.

Aims – It’s about a balance and variety of things; a breadth of experience that leads to progression. No arguments there!

The lack of detail in the Attainment target section could be seen as a bit disconcerting but doesn’t give much guidance. However, I’m hanging on to my Key Stage 2 Framework which is still a great document; follow that and you can’t go far wrong. Measuring progress in terms of I can statements is also helpful, and there’s been a great discussion on Primary languages forum this week on what we should be looking for in terms of skills progression. (Want to join in? Join the forum or ask to join the Sharing Primary Languages wikispace)

Subject content – I highlighted that whilst it says ‘substantial progress in one language’, this does not mean that looking at other languages is precluded; in fact, I’d positively encourage it as making links between languages  is a vital language learning skill. We discussed how a balance of skills can be achieved when some are more comfortable with speaking activities than the written word which seems more ‘serious’ and permanent. And we mentioned ‘the grammar question’ – it’s not such a bad thing! Nor is looking at languages such as Greek and Latin; very useful for understanding the formation of languages as I discovered on my year abroad at Universitat de les Illes Balears. Finally in this section we thought about laying those foundations for KS3. I referred back to a presentation I’d made at Language World called Bricklaying for Beginners and how bricks need mortar, and how it’s not a wall that needs demolishing at KS3; reinforcing but not knocking down!

I then took each  ‘pupils should be taught to..’ statement and split them into listening, speaking, reading, writing and grammar, suggesting ideas and activities that might meet them.

There are lots of links on the wiki to many of the ideas but here are some comments:

  • ‘joining in’  is very important and builds confidence as does repetition e.g storytelling, reciting rhymes and poems
  • making links between graphemes and phonemes is important to enable increased fluency e.g. listening out for phonemes in songs/rhymes, sorting words, reading with your Spanish/French/German glasses so you view graphemes not as you would in your own language
  • confidence with phonics is vital to teacher and learner; syllables and stress patterns too – hence my pupils’ love of stress punching!  (a post about this and ‘animal symphony’ will follow shortly)
  • books are brilliant – not just fiction though! Non fiction is very popular with boys and also is great for linking to other curricular areas: going back to my analogy, this ‘marriage’ is about give and take! If you can’t find suitable books, make your own as with my Storybird ¿De dónde viene el yak?
  • learners can decode more complex texts without knowing every word if you provide them with the confidence to do so, embed language learning skills and discuss how languages work  from the very start.
  • writing doesn’t have to be in a book; whiteboards, post-it notes, mini books, Padlet, labels, paper chains, posters, your partner’s hand; they all count!
  • structuring and scaffolding is fine – trapdoors are great as starters as is making human sentences and physically rearranging words. The Human Fruit machine with 3+ learners holding a large dice with 6 images of nouns/adjectives/verbs etc on them and spin is a great way of making make random sentences and exploring how you can substitute words in existing sentences to make new ones!
  • I loved grammar at school; I liked the logic of it all and the patterns. So why not exploit that and make verb flowers, grammar songs and raps, dice games and so on. Use highlighters/colour to clarify grammar ( I lived by my red=accusative, green=nominative and blue=dative when learning German) be it nouns, adjectival placement, verb endings/groupings or spelling.
  • Use activities that are used in other areas of the primary curriculum; learners up level sentences in Literacy all the time so why not in the foreign language? Word pyramids starting with a word and extending to a complex sentence at the base? And card sorting activities too.

So that’s the session in a (pretty big) nutshell!

(Written whilst lying flat on my back in pain so please excuse typos!)

National Poetry Month – Spanish ideas

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Spanish Playground is a great site packed with ideas, and their latest post is full of ideas for celebrating National Poetry Month – April. (It may not be where you are but I like poetry and any excuse!) I liked their suggestions and was inspired to share a couple of their ideas, and a couple of mine!

I particularly like Idea 6 which suggests using ETTC’s Instant Poetry forms. Once you get the idea of the structure, there’s no need to use the site although I like it for the reminder about structure. I had a go at a few…

A Lune (using the 3 word, 5 word, 3 word structure)

tulips La primavera viene 
Corderos nacen y flores crecen 
Hay vida nueva

 

A 5W, or in Spanish 5Q poem (each lines answer a question who, what, where, when, why)

Pocoyo 
Juega con Pato,
En el campo,
Después del cole,
Porque sí.
Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 17.12.04

A Quinzaine (7 syllables, 5 syllables, 3 syallables = 15 syllables)

icecream Me gusta el helado 
¿Chocolate o 
vainilla?

And a Verb Verse (think of something you do and six verbs that go with that activity.)

Respirar, esforzarse, disfrutar 
Subir , seguir, bajar 
Corriendo en el bosque
Pictgram_running_man

 

I also liked Idea 10, using ReadWriteThink’s Theme poem tool. I used the sun as my inspiration (hopeful, aren’t I?)

I took a screenshot but you can save the poem as a PDF and also share it via email.

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 15.52.31An alternative to this would be to write the words in the shape of the subject as a calligram like the cat one below (from here)

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 16.19.09

I also like the idea of using Wordle or Tagxedo with poetry, either to create word clouds of existing poems or to give shape to new ones. Here’s an example below that I made using Tagxedo and ‘A Mexican Night before Christmas’

night before

About 18 months ago, I posted about a lovely poem by Gloria Fuentes called Doña Pito Piturra and she has many others that could be used for reciting, learning and also making presentation/slideshows with narration. There’s a link on the Spanish playground post to a PDF of activities too!

I also wrote about the QCA unit La Primavera and taking part of the Antonio Machado poem La Primavera and rewriting it. This would be a simple activity to do as a celebration of National Poetry Month too. We posted our on a Padlet (was called Wallwisher) wall so we could share it with a wider audience.

I’ve found this post about Spanish poetry by Federico García Lorca, Jorge Guillén and Rafael Alberti (for older learners I’d say!) and these are more suitable for younger learners. And this post about using poetry to look at rhyming is also very interesting, using one of my favourite little poems –

Red_eyed_tree_frog_edit2

Sana, sana,

Colita de rana.

Si no sanas hoy,

sanarás mañana.

And to finish off, as a 15 year old I was captivated by Joan Manuel Serrat singing poems by Antonio Machado so Dedicado a Antonio Machado (Cantares)

Nanas de la cebolla

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Another of the poems suggested by Joaquín Moreno in his presentation about poetry in Spanish teaching and learning was Nanas de la cebolla by Miguel Hernández.

He played us the poem sung by Joan Manuel Serrat – here it is below, along with a perfomance of it in spoken form and also the words.

Spoken version

Nanas de la cebolla

La cebolla es escarcha
cerrada y pobre:
escarcha de tus días
y de mis noches.
Hambre y cebolla:
hielo negro y escarcha
grande y redonda.

En la cuna del hambre
mi niño estaba.
Con sangre de cebolla
se amamantaba.
Pero tu sangre,
escarchada de azúcar,
cebolla y hambre.

Una mujer morena,
resuelta en luna,
se derrama hilo a hilo
sobre la cuna.
Ríete, niño,
que te tragas la luna
cuando es preciso.

Alondra de mi casa,
ríete mucho.
Es tu risa en los ojos
la luz del mundo.
Ríete tanto
que en el alma al oírte,
bata el espacio.

Tu risa me hace libre,
me pone alas.
Soledades me quita,
cárcel me arranca.
Boca que vuela,
corazón que en tus labios
relampaguea.

Es tu risa la espada
más victoriosa.
Vencedor de las flores
y las alondras.
Rival del sol.
Porvenir de mis huesos
y de mi amor.

La carne aleteante,
súbito el párpado,
el vivir como nunca
coloreado.
¡Cuánto jilguero
se remonta, aletea,
desde tu cuerpo!

Desperté de ser niño.
Nunca despiertes.
Triste llevo la boca.
Ríete siempre.
Siempre en la cuna,
defendiendo la risa
pluma por pluma.

Ser de vuelo tan alto,
tan extendido,
que tu carne parece
cielo cernido.
¡Si yo pudiera
remontarme al origen
de tu carrera!

Al octavo mes ríes
con cinco azahares.
Con cinco diminutas
ferocidades.
Con cinco dientes
como cinco jazmines
adolescentes.

Frontera de los besos
serán mañana,
cuando en la dentadura
sientas un arma.
Sientas un fuego
correr dientes abajo
buscando el centro.

Vuela niño en la doble
luna del pecho.
Él, triste de cebolla.
Tú, satisfecho.
No te derrumbes.
No sepas lo que pasa
ni lo que ocurre.

 


				

Doña Pito Piturra

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

 

Image By Erinisfunky

Ages ago I bought a book of little plays and poems by Gloria Fuertes, and have to admit that I haven’t looked at it much since I bought it. However, I was reminded of it on Thursday at the ALL NorthEast Spanish day in Gosforth when Joaquín Moreno was talking about using poetry in teaching Spanish.

He mentioned using a particular poem by Gloria Fuertes to read aloud and act out in order to practice getting English mouths around Spanish sounds – in this case, ‘rr’ is particularly practiced.

The suggestion was to chorally repeat the odd numbered, repeated  line “Doña Pito Piturra” and for volunteers to read the even, varied line, with feeling and an action to accompany it.

A very simple idea that I shall be using in my classroom soon!

Below is the poem, and also a Slidecast of a young man called Vadim reciting it with images to accompany.

DOÑA PITO PITURRA

Doña Pito Piturra
Tiene unos guantes,
Doña Pito Piturra
Muy elegantes.

Doña Pito Piturra
Tiene un sombrero,
Doña Pito Piturra
Con un plumero.

Doña Pito Piturra
Tiene un zapato,
Doña Pito Piturra
Le viene ancho.

Doña Pito Piturra
Tiene toquillas,
Doña Pito Piturra
Con tres polillas.

Doña Pito Piturra
Tiene unos guantes,
Doña Pito Piturra
Le están muy grandes.

Doña Pito Piturra
Tiene unos guantes,
Doña Pito Piturra
¡lo he dicho antes!


vadim Doña Pito Piturra