Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More Animoto Video Poems: Based on "The Red Wheelbarrow"

We have made more amazing poetry videos using the animoto website. First we looked at our third William Carlos William poem of the year. Previously we wrote poems based on "A Locust Tree in Bloom" and "This is Just to Say". This time we had fun with "A Red Wheelbarrow".

Who know what is so special about the red wheelbarrow in the poem, but it is fun to speculate. The mystery behind the wheelbarrow and why "so much depends upon it" makes the poem enjoyable. We discussed the "rules" that the author followed to write the poem primarily describing something seemingly insignificant as important without telling why. We also looked at the structure of the title, stanzas, and lines.

Here is a Library of Congress recordings of William Carlos William reciting the poem in 1945.

William Carlos Williams - The Red Wheelbarrow
Found at bee mp3 search engine

Here William Carlos Williams talks a bit about the poem (from 1952).

William Carlos Williams - The Red Wheelbarrow
Found at bee mp3 search engine

Next I reminded the class about the story I have been reading to them: "The Tale of Despereaux". We then wrote about something from the story that wouldn't seem that important at all to someone who may have not have read the book but carries loads of tragic meaning to a person who does know the book. The poem we wrote together is called "The Red Tablecloth".

In the story a rat steals a red tablecloth from a man sent to a dungeon and in doing so takes away his only comfort. We later learn that the man had earlier traded his daughter for that same tablecloth. It ends up being an object in the story that "so much depends on".

I then gave each student a photograph that I had cut our from old "National Geographic" magazines. I had them look for an object to write about and to write a creative poem of their own inspired by William Carlos Williams. Then I used my digital camera to get close up images of the photograph as well as lines from the poem that had been printed out by each student poet. What do you think of these "poetic" videos? Please note that I am using the music on the Animoto website. I try to match tunes to poems, but there is only a limited number of songs and it is hard to find songs without words. However in most cases the songs match up wonderfully to the poem.

In a couple of weeks I will be reading the class one of my favorite children's books, "Love That Dog", by Sharon Creech. In this excellent book a boy learns to enjoy and write poetry with the help of his teacher. The teacher uses famous poems to model poetry writing to her class. William Carlos Williams' poem "The Red Wheelbarrow" plays an important role in this book. The class will be thrilled when this connection is made!

"The Big Mustache" by JB

"The Black Dog" by AA

"A Girl Catching Fish"

"A Sweaty Working Man" by WP

"An Old Cow" by IM

"The Brown Gourd" by TE

"The Brown Wooden Swing" by LE

"The Head Band" by JP

"The Big Paper Umbrella" by EV

"The Red Flowery Dress" by SV

"The Walking Stick"

"A Sitting Down Dog" by CA

"A Hole in a Wall" by JR

"A White Furry Goat" by JS


Mr. Doreian said...

thanks for hosting the clips of Williams reading his poem. Especially nice was the comments he had about "so much depends on beauty" and the woman in Boston who asked "what does it mean." best in your teaching!

Jim Hansen said...

Thanks for visiting. I was excited to find the audio clips!

borderst said...

The students did a great job of selecting one particular item in their picture. Who knew you could write a poem about a headband or a flowery dress? The music clips added to the presentation. Very creative!

Jim Hansen said...

Thanks Linda,
We had fun with it!

Mattj said...

Inspired use of what Animoto does best, Image mixing.
I sat and rewatched the clips and it has sparked some ideas for my ICT class.
Thank you for sharing your students learning.

Jim Hansen said...

Thanks Matt,
Glad you were able to use the ideas to develop your own.

karen said...

These are great examples of using Animoto. Would you be able to post a link to the file in Animoto so I could share it with some of the teachers I work with? Thanks much!

Jim Hansen said...

Karen, I am presently in Nairobi, Kenya teaching in a slums school. I should be able to do something once I return.