We have been discussing the poem "Introduction to Poetry" by Billy Collins the past two days in class. Yesterday the students did a close reading and discussed in groups and today we discussed as a class. I always wonder if it makes Billy Collins throw his hands up in exasperation to know that this poem is being broken down and dissected in classrooms across America since the meaning behind it is telling you to do the opposite. And yes, that irony is not lost, even on 6th graders.
One of the best moments from reading the comments and questions they wrote on the poem itself was one student's drawing of his interpretation of the poem:
And people always ask me how it is that I can teach middle school. Because middle schoolers are awesome, that's why.