Do you know about the famous Fibonacci Sequence? The ages old sequence that creates a spiral, a shape found in nature? The mathematical sequence is 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8…Do you see the pattern? More information (including algebraic equations) can be found at Math is Fun.
I had forgotten about using the sequence in poetry until a colleague introduced it to our 6th grade enrichment group. We are working on Unsung Hero projects. Our previous meeting had been a field trip to see and hear about heroes in our own town. She asked the students to recall the field trip by writing a Fib poem. I wrote about the Buddhist Temple in our local Laotian community.
humbly giving self,
Temple of golden ornaments,
Temple of sacrifice,
meditate on lasting love.
A Fib poem follows the syllable count as in the mathematical sequence, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8. And if you are feeling wordy, you can tack on a line of 13 and 21.
A few years ago I had used this form with my students when we were sharing The 14 Fibs of Gregory K by Greg Pincus.
I tried out the form on my other students. I asked them to write about our field trip to New Orleans, the Aquarium and Insectarium, last week. The exercise was quite a challenge. I, too, struggled. But that’s what writing is all about, right? We made a padlet.
Each afternoon, I read aloud another chapter of Fish in a Tree. We usually write notices and wonders to add to the Voxer chat with other classes, but yesterday, I asked Jacob to write a Fib poem with me about Ally, the main character. We started over 3 times. Jacob was being very patient. Each time he’d write the syllable count down the margin of his journal page. Finally we liked what was coming, but we couldn’t quite get that last line. Then Jacob just blurted it out. Some days my young students blow my mind. We recorded it on the Voxer chat.
thinks she’s dumb,
so afraid to tell,
hates being locked up in her brain.
Using strict forms can be frustrating, but when it works, when we discover a winning line, we can say “Boom, Gotcha” to that Fib!