Teachers Act Up!

Thoughts on Teaching, Language, and Social Change from Melisa "Misha" Cahnmann-Taylor

Visual Broadsides — Naomi Shihab Nye’s Poems

Another round of wonderful & visual interpretations of poetry! Spring 2018 we had hoped that Naomi Shihab Nye would visit us in Athens and prepared by reading her poems.  Her physical visit didn’t occur, but students in LLED 7710 Poetry for Creative Educators “visited” with Nye’s poetry by responding through an assignment called the “Visual Broadside.”  Departing from purely verbal interpretations, students made visual choices to display the aesthetic process of understanding one of Nye’s poems as it sits within the body of her work.  Please see this beautiful video Kathy Barrett made as well as visual broadsides by Megan Graham, Kuo Zhang, Ming Sun, Xinyi Li, Charlee Cain, Pamela Paradise, and Yupei Tang.

Ellsworth (2005) describes how successful pedagogical [and physical] encounters with art, media, and architecture can generate for the learner “sensations of being somewhere in between thinking and feeling, of being in motion through the space and time between knowing and not knowing, in the space and time of learning as a lived experience with an open, unforeseeable future” (p. 17). Through the visual broadside assignment, these emerging poets and educators become absorbed cognitively, somatically, and emotionally within the materiality of the poem as well as thinking about their own future practices as second language teachers. These experiences invite these educators to consider the kinds of artful language teachers they might become. Here are some quick snapshots of this recent work.  To view previous “visual broadsides”–type these two words into the wordpress search engine to see the wide variety of visual interpretations students’ have used in previous iterations of this assignment.

Ellsworth, E. A. (2005). Places of learning: Media, architecture and pedagogy. New York, NY: Routledge.

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