Expressing themselves: Vertical Skills Academy students recite original poetry

Deb Hurley Brobst
dbrobst@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 11/21/22

Writing poetry is like taking your heart and putting it on paper.

That was how Wynston Unger, a fourth grader at Vertical Skills Academy, explained his second attempt at writing poetry. Winston and his classmates read their poetry and explained their inspiration for their topics at a Poetry Jam on Nov. 18 at Bivouac Coffee.

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Expressing themselves: Vertical Skills Academy students recite original poetry

Posted

Writing poetry is like taking your heart and putting it on paper.

That was how Wynston Unger, a fourth grader at Vertical Skills Academy, explained his second attempt at writing poetry. Wynston and his classmates read their poetry and explained their inspiration for their topics at a Poetry Jam on Nov. 18 at Bivouac Coffee.

Wynston noted that he’s had a pretty tough year, but now attending school at Vertical Skills Academy, he said he wanted to find ways to make the world a better place. Vertical Skills Academy located in north Evergreen is a private school that specializes in teaching students with dyslexia and related language-based learning issues.

Wynston and his classmates agreed that writing poetry was much easier than other forms of writing because there is more emphasis on content than on the mechanics of writing.

Their teacher, Emily Kemp, agreed.

“When they have the freedom to write however they want and realize poetry has no rules unlike the majority of writing we do, they have been really, really excited about that,” Kemp explained. “It’s the art version of writing because there is no wrong answer.”

As part of the expeditionary learning unit on poetry, the six students in fourth and fifth grade — Caleb Cook, Wynston Unger, Grayson Carty, Lida Fromm, Wynne Romley and Abby Manley — studied possible poetry structures, stanzas, rhyming, meter and rhythm. Then they were given the opportunity to write their poems in any style they wanted.

“They had the freedom to write (the poem) how they wanted and not worry about punctuation, grammar or complete sentences," Kemp said. "That goes out the window, and they are free to use their imaginations. It showed them what they were capable of.”

The students also learned about motivation as it relates to writing, especially poetry, and they concluded that anything can inspire someone to write poetry.

That’s why poems were about soccer, math, their pets and siblings.

Caleb in his poem said the reason he does math problems of all kinds is “because I simply just love it.”

He explained that he has a lot of stories to tell and could have written about many topics.

“That’s the nice thing about poetry,” he added. “It’s nice to write and to share.”

Wynne Romley said in her poem,“We’d rather play soccer than stay in,” and she explained that she was inspired to write about her soccer team because of how supportive her teammates have been.

Lida Fromm wrote about her baby sister Heidi: “I felt so excited to see Heidi for the very first time. So, so small. So, so cute.”

Abby Manley wrote about her experience swimming with dolphins when she was in San Diego, saying she wanted to write about it because she may never get the opportunity to swim with dolphins again.

“I want to remember (that experience) forever," she said.

Vertical Skills Academy, Emily Kemp, Poetry Jam, dyslexia

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