Recycle Poetry Project

As part of the seventh-grade English class, students learned about how poetry can be used as a means of advocacy and social justice.
“For this generation of students, climate justice is one of the most pressing issues facing them,” said English Teacher Juliana Neves. “I wanted to find a way for them to express their feelings and concerns about climate change. Given the need for immediate action, I challenged students to communicate their feelings through a haiku. Although it may seem simple, creating a complete poem in just 17 syllables can be challenging.”
Students wrote their haikus with the goal of expressing themselves clearly and quickly to take away all the extra talk around climate change. What's the issue? How does it affect me? How do I feel about it? What should we do? In just 17 syllables, our seventh-grade students answered just that!
After writing their poems, students then had to create a visual display of their poems. Students had no restraints beyond using only recycled materials. They collected cardboard, newspapers, magazines, and plastic wrappers to create their designs. Turning what is typically viewed as trash into artwork can help us all imagine how we can create art.
The work will be on display in the spiral gallery at the Children’s Creativity Museum all summer. Students hope the work will inspire others to think about how to speak up about climate justice.
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