Today, some of our students worked with Ms. Jenn to explore poetry through theatre. After warming up their actors’ tools, they played a game of Zip-Zap-Zop to the rhythm of a metronome. This led to a conversation about poetic rhythm and tempo.

Next, the students listened to the poem “The Rowing Song” by Roald Dahl, and connected hands with a classmate whenever they heard a long “O” sound. They discovered that the long ‘o’ sound are even present in the title and the poet’s name. (Some of the students suggested that they read a poem by Poe next.) This repetition of vowel sounds is called assonance. 

 

We explored the poem physically next, creating high, medium, or low body shapes every time we heard a long “o.” When asked how they felt physically after that exercise, the students realized that they felt like the sailors on that crazy ship: a little dizzy and a bit confused.

We ended the session by putting all of those elements together: some students read the poem aloud, focusing on rhythm, tempo, and assonance, while other students created a high-medium-low stage picture.