Golden Lines

For the second time this year, we celebrated our summative piece of writing using TCRWP’s golden line strategy. First, I ask students to record their favorite phrase or sentence from their persuasive speeches onto a yellow sticky note.  Then our class gathers into one circle with only our sticky notes in hand. I remind the students that we are going to create a collaborative poem using our golden lines.

Students stand awkwardly, clearly nervous about sharing a piece of themselves in such intimate proximity to one another. One student decides to begin the poem by bravely stepping into the circle and reading his words on the sticky note. The process continues as students decide when to step into the circle to share their golden lines, building the poem organically one line at a time.  

Despite the improvisational nature of this activity, the final product is moving and powerful. As we stand in the circle, the students support each other with encouraging glances and finger snaps. By the time the last few students share, the mood is lighter; we are proud. We bond as a community when our singular voices become one.

Here are our first three lines from fourth period:

“The journey was long, difficult, and filled with challenge, but they managed to make it here and live a great successful, happy life.”

“See ing how hard life can be helps me realize how extraordinary it can also be.”

“Music can be heard all over the world. It is a voice, it is a language, it is a spirit.”

6 thoughts on “Golden Lines

  1. You capture their hesitancy and then the waterfall effect with pacing of your sentences and thank you for including a sampling of your day. What a great idea! I wonder about your word choice for “despite” in the third paragraph; sometimes it is “because” of the improvisational nature that the end product is so.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The student lines are beautiful. So to is the essence of your post. You capture the hesitant, halting first steps and then your post gathers steam just as your students do when they realize they are part of something connected — honest and true. Thanks for allowing me to perch on the edge of your community gathering.


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