Monday, May 28, 2012

For the final 'Folklore 2012' exercise at Valencia Middle School we took a fast trip along the spine of Appalachia, from Georgia in the south to the Canadian Maritimes in the north, including the Green Mountains of Vermont.
We used a terrific 'word harvest' activity to examine the colloquial tradition as it applies to post-Colonial American myth and legend - everything from 'A painter (panther) kilt muh chickens' to 'Course that blizzahd they had the lahst night theyah was wicked, ayuh,' referring to the horrific New England winter storms of 1888, and the equally devastating winter of 1816, known in legend as 'the year without a summer.' These and other events inspired the poetic voice of writers like John Greenleaf Whittier, Ezra Pound, Emily Dickinson, and Robert Frost.
The excerpt below is just a sample of verse that originated in those remarkable times and places. I hope you like it, the kids sure did!

'Months that should be summer's prime,
Sleet and snow and frost and rime.
Air so cold you see your breath,
Eighteen hundred and froze to death.'

No comments: