Education

Wichita high school students get poetic

An anonymous student created this short verse on the wall of Steve Maack’s classroom at East High School.
An anonymous student created this short verse on the wall of Steve Maack’s classroom at East High School. Courtesy photo

A few years ago, Steve Maack, an English teacher at East High School in Wichita, stuck several magnetic poetry sets on a wall in his classroom and posted a sign:

“I tweet good poems. #eastmagpoetry.”

Whenever students feel like it, during down time or passing periods, they move pieces around to create something snarky, poignant or fun. Sometimes it’s a line, sometimes a whole verse. Maack snaps occasional photos of the students’ work and posts them on Twitter.

“When you’re doing magnetic poetry, the things we talk about in English class about poetry become secondary,” Maack said. “Meaning isn’t really important, and students put things together just because they sound funny or silly.

“They just kind of play with language, and I think that’s pretty cool.”

Pretty cool, indeed. Here are some of the poems:

And one of Maack’s favorites:

Suzanne Perez Tobias: 316-268-6567, @suzannetobias

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