In the final poem of the unit, students must refer back to the original quote by Suniti Namjoshi, "Poetry is the sound of the human animal." Considering all that they have learned, students must write a final "Animal" poem. Taking into account the various techniques, crafts, and sounds students have learned, they are to reconsider the form of their inner creature and write from its perspective.
An excellent way to inspire students is by taking an outing to a zoo or aquarium or even a museum like the Peabody and exploring different creatures. Ask students what size are their inner beasts? What do they sound like? What colors do they have? How do they make sound? What movements do they make? What descriptions can they include? What do they survive on? How do they connect to it? How does it survive? What can it be compared to? In answering these questions, students can connect to their inner human animal and begin to tame it to paper. This final poem, which will blossom from all the other skills we've practiced, will answer all these guiding questions.
The model poems to use here will be "Anteater" by Shel Silverstein, "Little Trotty Wagtail" by John Clare, and "The Donkey" by G.K. Chesterton. However, in their poems, encourage students to be the animal and speak from the first person perspective rather than just observing the animal. It is natural for children to identify with animals and what better way than to be the animal. Koch writes, "Children feel close to animals and objects, close enough to talk to them, close enough to identify with them," therefore it is fun and enjoyable for students to use this fundamental poetic talent
. The children are to feel the animal rather than just observe it as Koch did in his class. This poem along with others written in the unit, can be used as assessment tools during the unit study.