Great Mini-Grant Programs

Artistic Authors

Kathy Larson, Teacher
Forest Lakes Elementary
Oldsmar, Florida

How to make State Standards come alive in the classroom is a daily challenge for teachers. At Forest Lake Elementary, the approach was to make it personal. When students feel they have a stake, there’s no limit to what they can accomplish. The key, for these fourth-graders, was poetry.

With writing the focus of the fourth-grade curriculum, the students were assigned to create their own anthologies of original, illustrated poems. They applied the required writing stages—drafting, editing, revising—to their poems, and integrated art with watercolor illustrations. In addition, they each selected a poem to illustrate on canvas. The anthologies were published in hardcover volumes and the canvases exhibited for friends and family on Poetry Night. Making skills acquisition a creative and personal project, this ongoing program is catching on, becoming a school-wide poetry celebration.