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Fifth Grade Celebrated by Poet Georgia Heard

On April 8, St. Luke’s fifth graders hosted the annual Fifth Grade Poetry Showcase, where they performed pieces from a portfolio of poems they each developed over the course of their poetry unit. Parents, St. Luke’s community members, and Georgia Heard — an accomplished poet and internationally renowned author — watched and listened as the Class of 2031 poets inspired us with their poise and wisdom. You can read their poems here.
Leading up to the showcase, students explored poetry and poetic devices and worked directly with Heard, St. Luke’s Poet in (Virtual) Residence. Heard worked with the students for four sessions, helping them draft and revise their poems and sharpen their presentation skills. Poets used Heard’s concept of the “Five Doors of Poetry,” metaphors for larger poetic themes or topics from which poets get ideas and inspiration to create their pieces. The five doors include the Observation Door, the Heart Door, the Concerns about the World Door, the Question Door, and the Memory Door. Heard then taught students how to analyze works of art and write ekphrastic poems, an ancient form that vividly describes a scene or work of art.
“Throughout the unit, our fifth grade students showcased their poetic talents and remarkable growth, confidence, and eloquence,” shared Elaine Juran, St. Luke’s fifth grade English teacher. “I am immensely proud of their hard work in not only publishing one poem, but also in presenting it with such grace and confidence. Their dedication and sense of community are truly inspiring.”
Georgia Heard has been working with St. Luke’s fifth graders since 2020. Over the years, she has formed a special relationship with the school, Juran, and our students. Heard is so fond of our students' work that she featured several SLS student poets in her recent book, Awakening the Heart: Teaching Poetry K-8
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In the acknowledgments, she says, “I would like to extend a heartfelt appreciation to Elaine Juran, a remarkable fifth grade teacher at St. Luke’s School in New Canaan, Connecticut. Despite the unexpected circumstances caused by the pandemic, Elaine embraced the challenge, and together, we embarked on my very first virtual residency during the month of April 2020. Now, four years later, we continue this tradition, allowing me to spend two weeks each year with the extraordinary St. Luke’s fifth grade poets. Thank you, Elaine, and the entire St. Luke’s School community, for your outstanding commitment to fostering a love for poetry and empowering the next generation of wordsmiths.”
See photos from the Poetry Showcase here
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St. Luke’s School is a secular (non-religious), private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving over 35 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.