The first thing Mr. Dunning's students may have noticed when we walked through the classroom was our 5-foot tall dressmaker's mannekin wearing layers and layers of hats, scarves, t-shirts and jackets. We brought our inanimate friend along because the theme of our workshop was "Fashion & Clothing: What I Wear and Why I Wear It."
After discussing how sense imagery is a tool writers use to give life to flat words on a page, we asked students to touch and feel clothing and then describe the tactile imagery of a wooly hat, the visual imagery of a checked scarf, the auditory imagery of stomping tennis shoes.
We also read three poems in which the characters expressed a strong connection to the shoes they wore, then discussed how a person's clothing choices can influence personal identity, as well as how others perceive you. Mikelle illustrated by pulling articles of clothing off our mannekin and asking students to shout out what kind of a person would wear that: "A preacher!" "A business person!" "An old lady!" "My teacher!" Though my favorite (considering many of the clothes were mine) was "A bum!"
Later we discussed how symbols are used in poetry and how they show up in clothes as logos. Students talked about what they thought the purpose of logos are and why a person would buy one brand over another. Then the students did a hands-on writing exercise, writing a poem on fabric about what their OWN brand of clothing would be like, if they could design something that represented them and drew an accompanying logo. Other students wrote stories about their most or least favorite clothes and illustrated their writing with an image of that piece of clothing. Mr. Dunning's students were excited readers and creative writers and we had a wonderful time working with them!