A woman I know who works in a high school library told me about a great project she did with teens. In honor of National Poetry Month she created floor poetry. What’s floor poetry? It’s sort of like magnetic poetry. Instead of words on magnets the library volunteer created large word strips. She “marked off” a section of the library floor as floor poetry and put the large word strips in the floor poetry space. Then she let the teens at it.
The library volunteer reports that the floor poetry was a huge success. Teens were all over it. It didn’t matter what social group a teen was in, he or she was on the floor moving the words around creating poems. From football players to drama kids everyone participated. Teens who didn’t want to get in the middle of the creation wrote down the poems for the floor poets. That’s another sign of success of this passive program. Teens understood that the nature of the poetry was that no poem was destined to live long. So, in order to make sure the work wasn’t lost forever, teens wanted to have their poems recorded.
This is such a great example of creating a library space and a library program that is welcoming to a wide-range of teens. Creating an atmosphere where teens want to create and collaborate. It’s web 2.0 without the web.