Playing With Words: Podcasts, Performing Poetry and Plenaries

I took quite a while formulating a suitably illiterative title for this post, that sets out to share two new podcast episodes. I didn't intend to publish these when I planned the writing unit from which they come, indeed the writing outcome for our work was actually to publish a written anthology, which even as I write is awaiting lamination and binding.

Both podcast episodes were actually recorded in class as integral and incidental parts of our talking for writing process while we experimented and explored rhyme and rhythm during the writing of Limericks and Spells. The poems created by the students were recorded and then played back during literacy hour plenary sessions, inorder to support evaluation of written outcomes against the success criteria we had established for each poetic form. Recording and Listening to the voice recordings was a part of the students ongoing and assessment for learning process, a chance to externalise and share their internal voice, and to consider how or whether their poetry worked within the rules we had established together, as well as an opportunity to consider with their friends how they might improve not only their content but also to gain suggestions about things they might do to restructure parts of the poem before publication. There is for me anyway an incredible sense of satisfaction in these recordings in terms of seeing (sorry hearing) how far the students have moved in their emerging understanding of the relationship between reading and writing for an audience and speaking and listening as a presentational device. They were so keen to include expression and what they were learning that in one case particularly the evidence presented in the limerick shows how the student had so obviously used the spoken cadence and rhythm rehearsed not only during rehearse and write process, but also in his final presentation of his final poem. It is also obvious from the background sound that each poem was recorded in class. The internal mike on my current laptop being sensitive enough to capture not only the performers voice but also the rustlings and tappings of the more "kinaesthetic" members of my class. Fortunatley within the spell recitals these have added to the stormy atmosphere added through the inclusion of thunder claps. I hope you enjoy listening to these, but that also this post in support, offers another perspective on the potential role of digital voice recording and podcasting software in the classroom.

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