Poetry for a Sustainable Future

Explore Instapoetry with your students!

During the Christmas holidays, students and teachers at Söderslättgymnasiet in Trelleborg, Sweden have read poetry. “One poem each day” has been on the agenda and will continue until World Poetry Day on March 21.

With the guidance of teaching teachers and librarians, the students have chosen different poetry books. It is very exciting to see what collection of poems they have chosen to read. It will also be exciting to take part in the exchange between the students when they have the opportunity to tell each other about the poems.

The idea is that the students should be responsible for the introduction to each teaching sequence by presenting poems to each other. The reading and the conversation about “today’s poem” takes about 10 minutes of teaching time. A great way to start teaching, catch everyone’s attention and create a reading-promoting community!

Many students have chosen to read Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, so there is no doubt that the students are curious about instapoetry. Some have also started following her on Instagram. Have you started exploring instapoetry with the students? If not, you must! It is highly recommended.

Maria Glawe, Söderslättsgymnasiet, Trelleborg, Sweden.

Youth Climate Action

Here are two poems written by students reflecting on the COP25 and the need for Climate Action.

Maria Rita Pepe, teacher at ISS “G. Peano – C. Rosa”, Nereto, Italy

My language is my freedom – Translanguaging in school

Since society and today’s school are characterized by linguistic and cultural diversity, teachers need to become better at making multilingualism a visible resource in students learning. The monolingual norm that often dominates school teaching is challenged by Sustainable Poetry. Working with the project makes all languages important and visible.

My language is my freedom is created by Gaiath at Söderslättsgymnasiet in Trelleborg, Sweden.

Translated into English:

My Language

I didn’t know my language was a treasure

I did not know that my language is my freedom

I did not know that my language is my strength.

When I left

now I know the value of my language

my native tongue

is a crown on my head.

Translanguaging is also about identity; when the school dares to challenge the monolingual norm and allows multiple languages in the classroom, regardless of subject, the multilingual students gain greater confidence in themselves and feel pride in their background. (Translanguaging develops language and identity – Pedagog Gothenburg)

We collaborate beyond subject and language boundaries and create a learning community where everyone can read, create and share poetry on equal terms. It is a human right to speak one’s own language, to learn to read and to give voice on important life issues. The teachers Alice and Riitta has done a great job with the students!

Maria Glawe, Sweden

Inspiration from Uzicka gimnazija, Serbia

Class IV1 did William Butler Yeats’ poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree as part of their curriculum. After reading and analysing the poem, they discussed the differences between living in a city and in the countryside, and its advantages and disadvantages.

Then they experimented with some poetic forms in which they had to use the ideas from the discussion. They were mainly black-out poems, haiku and stem or frame poems. Apart from having to write poems both in school and at home, they were asked to use some digital tools to represent Yeats’ poem.

They made, two posters created using canva.com and postermywall.com, and movie poetry by using Youtube.

Example 1

I like the village because the thought about it brings me peace
I like the village because of its enchanting summer breeze
I like the village because my grandma makes a delicious pie
But I hate the village because insects often drop by

I like the countryside because that is the best place to hide
I like the countryside because everything I like is easy to find
I like the countryside because there my grandma became a bride
But I hate that place because I must pick grapes

Example 2

What I love about the city
Is the glimmering light coming out of the windows of the buildings
What I hate about the buildings
Is that they took the place of a lot of trees
What I love about the trees
Is that I get to have picnics underneath them on a nice day
What I hate about the day 
Is that it never lasts long enough on this planet
What I love about this planet
Is that it gives us air to breathe, at least until it’s ruined by people
What I hate about people
Is that they’re sometimes rude on the train
What I love about the train
Is that it takes me to my favourite place.

Jezero Inisfri (Serbian translation)

Sad ustaću i poći i doći na Inisfri
Napraviti kolibu od gline i pruća
U mojoj bašti biće pčele, cveće i mir,
Livada zlatna biće moja kuća.

I čekaće me spokoj što dolazi polako
Silazeći s jutra u kom cvrčak peva.
Tu podne gde sija, a ponoć blago seva
Prohladno veče želeo bi svako.

Sad ustaću i poći, jer celu noć i dan
Čujem tihu vodu kod obale bele.
Dok stojim uz pločnik, niz puteve cele
Ona mi se stalno zavlači u san.

Read more poems in our FB-page Sustainable Poetry.

Svetlana Gavrilovic, Serbia

The journey towards World Poetry Day 2020 has begun

Through digital collaboration with the support of surrounding social actors, we cooperate with schools, mainly in Europe, but also with schools outside Europe. It has been an exciting global collaboration during 2018-2019 and we will gladly continue to develop the project. Through, among other partnerships, eTwinning (part of Erasmus +) has given us opportunities to collaborate digitally in international partnerships.

Now the journey has started towards World Poetry Day 2020 and our common challenge of creating poetry for a sustainable future. Together, worldwide, we celebrate one of humanity’s most treasured forms of cultural and linguistic expression and identity. Practiced throughout history – in every culture and on every continent – poetry speaks to our common humanity and our shared values, transforming the simplest of poems into a powerful catalyst for dialogue and peace (UNESCO).

It is easy to become a co-creator in Poetry for a Sustainable Future. Make room for sustainability issues and Agenda 2030 in teaching and create poetry with children and young based on one or more of the global goals. Use your imagination and creativity to create poetry in different languages and through different expressions. We value multimodal storytelling! An important part of the project is also to work with a library / school library in the teaching. Watch the movie clip to find out more about the project and meet the the school librarian at Söderslättsgymnasiet in Trelleborg, Sweden.

Announce co-creation through the contact form.

Best regards

The Sustainable Poetry Team

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