T&W writer Amina Henry is collaborating with small groups of third- and fourth-graders of PS 188Q The Kingsbury School through lesson plans based on the poetic form renga and designed to deepen the students’ exploration of specific detail and imagery, while also including an introduction to poetic form or “rules.”
Renga, meaning “linked poem,” began more than 700 years ago in Japan to encourage the collaborative composition of poems. Poets worked in pairs or small groups, taking turns composing the alternating three-line and two-line stanzas. Linked together, renga were often hundreds of lines long, though the favored length was a 36-line form called a kasen. Several centuries after its inception, the opening stanza of renga gave rise to the much shorter haiku.
Here are some poems that our students cooked up!
Mix in acorns and red crunchy
leaves rustling in the wind
Next roast the breeze slicing my
then boil the smell of candy and
After that stir in apple cider with
Finally pour in the north wind
Serves: 1 million people (or a big fat witch)
Ms. Garcia’s class
(Enoch, Rachel, Ryan, Nathan, Emerie, Alexandra)
First, rustle some red, yellow, and brown leaves from the leaves. Use a wind whisk and mix the leaves.
Next, gather some candy corn and lollipops into a bowl. Microwave for 5 minutes and then add a pinch of crushed acorns.
Then smash some apples, about 5, and add 3 pumpkin seeds with a sliced pencil and a grinded notebook.
After that, mix some turkey feathers with autumn rain. Add 1 cup of rich soil with a baked sweater.
The sweater must be red and bake for 30 minutes.
Finally use a mixer and mix all the things together. Put it on a plate and add an acorn on top with apple peel shavings. Now it is ready to serve.
Ms. Wingenfeld’s class
(Anita, Selena, Megan)
First, add a handful of leaves to your pot.
Go trick or treating for candy. Then, add it to your pot.
After you do that, go to a cornfield maze,
go through the maze,
then add the corn cobs to your pot.
Then go to Starbucks and get some pumpkin spice latte.
Make some pie with some pumpkins.
Then collect apples from some trees and add to the pot.
Get some candy apples, put in the pot.
Go to Target and put some costumes in your pot.
Serves: Our side of the equator
Lasts 2 1/2 months
Ms. Toth’s class
(Madison, Ethan, Joyce, Sophia, Collin, Michelle, Emily, Chloe)
First, chop up 3 apples
Into the empty bowl they go!
Light a jack-o-lantern (don’t burn it)
Mix pumpkin with apples
Then put in 3 cups of caramel
Rustled leaves go in the blender
Stick leaves in pies
and grind up some fresh corn
Bake it for 60 degrees for 5 minutes
Freeze it in a refrigerator for 2 minutes
Mr. Carneiro’s class
(Victoria, Madison, Jayden, Jeffrey, Louie, Ihsan, Ashley)