River of Words Poetry Workshop at Lansing STEM Academy

The RCAH Center for Poetry at MSU

By Kelsey Block and Jenny Crakes

Photos by Kelsey Block

On November 8, the RCAH Center for Poetry was proud to sponsor a poetry workshop led by intern Jenny Crakes at Lansing’s STEM Academy.  Approximately ten students in grades 6-8 worked with Jenny, Kelsey, MSU Writing Center outreach coordinator Ashley Gulker, and mentor and volunteer Mrs. Karen Duquette, to create poems themed on environmental issues for the River of Words poetry and art competition.

Since the students were writing personification poems, we started out with a short writing activity on getting into character as the voice they were speaking from. Some subjects the students had chosen included winter, water, deer, Michigan wolves, and even a PS3. We considered questions such as what their character wants or hopes for, what it fears, its favorite sight, sound, and taste, what its voice sounds like and to whom it is speaking.

Next, we…

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