Friday, January 30, 2009

Pocket poems!

Here's a photo of a funky little jacket I created from three 2nd-hand jean jackets. This is the back of the jacket, which is basically all that's left. I cut off the front and glued down the collar to make it more lightweight to transport.

I keep meaning to decorate the pockets with stitching or glitter paint, but haven't gotten around to it. Besides, then it would lose its cool "Fonzie" attitude and look more like dorky decorated denim from a 1970s craft magazine. The one effort I made in decorative edging was to pull a few fibers from the edge of the pockets for a frayed look. Come to think of it, I also laundered the pockets after cutting and fraying them, for the same purpose. It does define the edges rather nicely.

I use the jacket for a variety of poetry activities during school visits, all loosely grouped under the title "POCKET POEMS." For one such activity, I print up a bunch of 5-line poems, (you'll find lots about those, including variations, with a quick Google search), cut them up into individual lines, then insert all 1st lines into the top left pocket, all the 2nd lines into top right, and so on. Then I allow students to pull out the lines, one by one, so we end up with a scrambled poem for them to read aloud. Some can be quite funny.

The jacket is tremendously sturdy and easy to carry. I transport it, rolled up, in a shoulder bag where it takes up very little room.

None of the pockets are buttoned in this picture, but those great little metal buttons are all there, and I do button them shut for transport. Keeps the snippets from falling out!

The pockets are simply glued on with craft glue. I asked a friend if I could borrow her sewing machine, and she said, "Sure, but glue would probably work just as well." She was right, clever girl! I hate sewing. Duct tape and glue are my preferred sewing media.

The jacket is just another way to add interest to information, even the most mundane. Kids love discovering what's hidden behind that next mysterious "door."

Kim Norman

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Storytime Boogie!

Just for fun, here's a video I created for my "Storytime Boogie," a song I wrote and often perform for younger students during my school visits. "The Storytime Boogie" promotes bedtime reading. I think it's a lot of fun, if I do say so myself!

Or, you can view my performance of the song at Coventry Elementary School in Yorktown, Virginia, back in the fall of 2008. Click HERE to view that video.

Kim Norman