I’m rather thrilled to be asked to judge the Primary category of the 2019 Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards. As a teacher, I used these awards to give students a real audience. I know what a big deal these awards are in the classroom! To be on the other side (and expecting to read thousands of students poems) is exciting – and a wee-bit daunting.
But mostly, it’s a huge honour – because of course, Dorothea Mackellar’s ‘My Country‘ has been burnt into my mind since first learning those impassioned words. (My overseas readers, if you haven’t read it, then you must, here.) ‘Waltzing Matilda’ is all well and good – but if we were ever to talk about a new, Australian anthem? Look no further than ‘My Country’!
It inspired my Australia Day golden shovel (above left) during #MoPoetry2019 – using the strike line from the final stanza of ‘My Country’’, Dorothea Mackellar’s iconic poem, above right.
Intrigued? You might enjoy learning more about Dorothea, with this YouTube, by Libby Hathorn.
If you’re a classroom teacher and want a poetry form to kickstart kids writing, the golden shovel is a great form to try!
- Find a strike line (any length) from an existing poem and attribute it.
- Put each word from the strike line at the end of individual lines in your poem… If your strike line has 4 words, your poem has four lines. (The strike line in my poem is written are in bold. )
- Now fill in the gaps to make your poem. Lines can be any length.
See also Seeds of Hope for another example of a golden shovel.
Today’s Poetry Friday is hosted by Irene Latham, creator of the Progressive Poem I took part in earlier in the month. (You can catch up with the poem as it builds at the links below.) Thanks, Irene, for hosting today (during your month of happy poems!) and for sharing the Progressive Poem with the world. 🙂
The Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem – April 2019