Kevin Johnson of JC Media just sent me the first 15 minute rough-clip of me teaching. I learned SO much by watching myself teach.  On this particular day, I was teaching my students how to use colorful verbs while writing their stories. I had put blank spaces where the verbs were suppose to be so they could fill them in as we listened to the poem read.

This is my shameless plug for JC Media. If you need help with video, graphic design, web-design or any sort of promotion for you or your business contact the genuises behind this company. This is just the rough-footage of one of my favorite moment’s from the day they recorded, I can’t wait to see the finished product:) Check out some of the other films they produced by clicking here

This is the poem we were exploring for those of you who want to follow along with this exercise. I left blank-spaces where the bolded verbs are so they could recognize the talent of James Weldon Johnson in creating this poem. I actually didn’t create this activity, I stole it from Terry Kay when he presented at the National Council for Teachers of English Conference last spring. Being a good English teacher is all about being a glorified thief, anyway. As long as we give credit where credit is due. I learned so much from Terry Kay that day about how to help high schoolers write their stores. Having so much fun teaching them how to express themselves.

The Creation

And God stepped out on space,
And he looked around and said:
I’m lonely–
I’ll make me a world.

And far as the eye of God could see
Darkness covered everything,
Blacker than a hundred midnights
Down in a cypress swamp.

Then God smiled,
And the light broke,
And the darkness rolled up on one side,
And the light stood shining on the other,
And God said: That’s good!

Then God reached out and took the light in his hands,
And God rolled the light around in his hands
Until he made the sun;
And he set that sun a-blazing in the heavens.
And the light that was left from making the sun
God gathered it up in a shining ball
And flung it against the darkness,
Spangling the night with the moon and stars.
Then down between
The darkness and the light
He hurled the world;
And God said: That’s good!

Then God himself stepped down-
And the sun was on his right hand,
And the moon was on his left;
The stars were clustered about his head,
And the earth was under his feet.
And God walked, and where he trod
His footsteps hollowed the valleys out
And bulged the mountains up.

Then he stopped and looked and saw
That the earth was hot and barren.
So God stepped over to the edge of the world
And he spat out the seven seas–
He batted his eyes, and the lightnings flashed–
He clapped his hands, and the thunders rolled-
And the waters above the earth came down,
The cooling waters came down.

Then the green grass sprouted,
And the little red flowers blossomed,
The pine tree pointed his finger to the sky,
And the oak spread out his arms,
The lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground,
And the rivers ran down to the sea;
And God smiled again, 
And the rainbow appeared,
And curled itself around his shoulder.

Then God raised his arm and he waved his hand
Over the sea and over the land,
And he said: Bring forth! Bring forth!
And quicker than God could drop his hand,
Fishes and fowls
And beasts and birds
Swam the rivers and the seas,
Roamed the forests and the woods,
And split the air with their wings.
And God said: That’s good!

Then God walked around,
And God looked around
On all that he had made.
He looked at his sun,
And he looked at his moon,
And he looked at his little stars;
He looked on his world
With all its living things,
And God said: I’m lonely still.

Then God sat down–
On the side of a hill where he could think;
By a deep, wide river he sat down;
With his head in his hands,
God thought and thought,
Till he thought: I’ll make me a man!

Up from the bed of the river
God scooped the clay;
And by the bank of the river
He kneeled him down;
And there the great God Almighty
Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,
Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
Who rounded the earth in the middle of his hand;
This great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till he shaped it in is his own image;

Then into it he blew the breath of life,
And man became a living soul.

4 thoughts on “Rough-Footage

  1. Katie,
    I’m so excited to be able to watch you teach! You are wonderful and have such a presence in your classroom. I think Peg would appreciate it greatly if you sent her a link…just an idea 🙂 Hope you’ve had a fabulous break.

  2. Just watched the video of you teaching,I cried and laughed,awesome stuff!!! Remembering back to small groups under the tree,when you would teach us.There so lucky you get to be there teacher.You remind me of the teacher from freedom writers

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