This year, my students have been working to learn stories related to our Sundance School story by digging into the artifacts housed in our building and working closely with Elder Saa’kokoto. Now at the end of April, we come to the point where it’s time to put finishing touches on the work.
Students have been working on orally telling the stories to buddy classes for months and have become quite good and they are now ready to record them and pay them forward to our community of learners. Our initial set of four stories will be shared as podcasts. Students have already recorded pre-assessment versions of these stories and are now working to share a polished version.
The next set of three stories (Beeta, The Wee Mouse, Thunder) will be shared as shadow puppet plays.
I had the good fortune to participate in a writing workshop with writing teacher Robert McKee some time ago, which I used to develop a script writing workshop to include in our weekly writer’s workshop sessions. Students are in the midst of writing scripts now. These will be the “shooting scripts” they use when it comes time to record.
The shadow plays, will be presented using wire sculpture characters created with talented sculpture artist Diana Hume, who works in Paverpol but will be guiding us in making far simpler works of art.
It has been amazing watching these storytellers working with such a sense of purpose. There is still so much work to be done, but I am very much looking forward to sharing their final projects!
1. They say a week in nature will reset circadian rhythms and that trees speak to each other. I wonder if a tree shivers the same excitement at seeing me that I do when I walk into the shadow of the forest and the cool shade greets me and the earth absorbs my worries? I wonder if the trees in my back yard are too tame and too far from wild trees to whisper how much I need them? Do blades of grass play telephone, telling the woods to call me? I wonder if they are embarrassed for me when I can’t greet them by name?
2. A prairie wildflower, transplanted, she lost her childhood home to flames, victim of a serial arsonist and realized home wasn’t a house.
3. Carigana pods snap in summer heat, raining seeds. Sun bakes. Lake hair.
4. Chinook winds blow but who knew they weren’t warm, just the “snow eater”
5. “Home isn’t a place,” she reassured her mother, nervous about letting go of land, “it’s people. ‘But do carrigana seeds pop where Chinook winds blow?’ she wondered, not having noticed carigana here..
7. Home is known as home by how it feels.
**I am participating in #30daysofpoetry, in part to show my students I am a learner, too.
A poem is when you read words more with your heart than your mind.
A poem is when you do something you love and you fill with sunshine..
A poem is a long lingering coffee with an old friend who knew you before all the things happened and loves you more because of all the things.
A poem is splashing water on your face before you dive into a cold lake so it won’t be such a shock.
A poem is the quiet before the rest of the house wakes up.
A poem is what a risk looks like on paper.
* Today’s poem inspired by This is a Poem that Heals Fish, which I used to help my students define a poem. I love that they took a risk in learning even though they didn’t all love it, they all tried it on.
What’s that word for future missing; being in an experience and knowing someday it will fondly remembered and deeply missed? Trees reach dark fingers toward black sky, while snow floats gently down and gathers on your eyelashes as we chat about work, and errands, and other banalities.
* I’m writing 30 poems in 30 days to take a writing risk for my students. Eek… it’s hard.