Food Poetry, Poetry Food
It has been quite a while since I have updated my blog. I have been bombarded with Hari Raya Festivals, traveling, class projects and camp planning. The month of June was a blur... with all of the holidays, I really just used it as a time to take a break from teaching lessons and get to know my students a little better.
In May, I began working on the students end of the year book project. The book is a Malaysian – American poetry and recipe book. Students from two American schools and students from my English and catering classes wrote poetry and submitted recipes for the book. The topic of the poems are, student’s favorite foods.
During the process, I was shocked to learn that poetry writing is not a part of the Malaysian curriculum. I had to quickly figure out the best way to teach my students how to write poetry in a month. I decided that I would teach three styles of poetry writing; acrostic, haiku and alliteration. I taught all three styles of poetry using visual aids, reading poetry examples, modeling each writing style, guiding students through the writing process and allowing students to write on their own.
After that, I split the students into three groups; alliteration, haiku and alliteration. Students were instructed to think about their favorite foods and write about them. However, this lesson was put on hold because of the two-week Ramadan break. Once we returned to school, students were still fasting and I decided that it would be best to wait until after Ramadan and all other holiday breaks were over before I continued with the lesson.
After the Hari Raya break, I reviewed the poetry writing lesson and asked students to continue working on their poems. Students completed their poems at the beginning of August and I begin the process of layout the book.
Throughout this process, I worked closely with my catering students and the catering teacher to translate the Malaysian poems into English. During my English class time, I allowed the students to work in groups, (breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, so on) to determine what recipes would appear in the book.
In my spare time, I stop by their catering class to watch them cook food. During Hari Raya, I attended celebrations, SMK Rusila and Marang PPD (school board), where my students catered both events. This gave me the opportunity to see my students in action. I was also able to take plenty of pictures of food for the book.
The book will be printed at the end of September. We are still raising funds for the printing costs. If you are interested in making a donation, please visit our gofundme page: www.gofundme.com/rusila