McCamey Middle School

The Poetorialist
April 2012 Featured Poets

McCamey Middle School

McCamey Middle School
McCamey Middle School is located in the small West Texas town of McCamey, whose 1,800 residents reside about an hour south of Odessa.  Energy has always been a focus of the city's economy, and indeed it was founded as an oilboom town in the beginning of the last century. McCamey continues to play an important role in the energy sector and it is now a recognized resource of alternative energy.  The Texas legislature even declared McCamey "the Wind Energy Capital of Texas" as a result of the large number of wind farms built in the area.

There is another side to McCamey that involves a very different type of energy resource. You might call it "creative energy".  Indeed, a more fitting appellation for the town might be "the Poetry Captital of Texas".

McCamey Wind Farm                                                                                                        Image by Bob Daemmrich

Type "McCamey, Texas" into the search box on any page of MWW, and the search will yield more than 10 pages of poetry composed by the students of Ms. Terri Hall's fifth and sixth grade language arts classes at McCamey Middle School.  To say that Ms. Hall's young poets are prolific would be an understatement.

We first noticed a large number of poetry submissions coming from this Texas community back in September 2011. We knew that either something unique was in the drinking water of McCamey, or this was a school project. We made contact with Ms. Hall and learned about her very progressive approach to teaching poetry, one that combines traditional methods with an interactive digital model.

The results have been overwhelming. The students learn about a particular genre of poetry, then craft their own verses according to this genre and submit to MWW for publication.  They are so involved in the work that they take the time to read and critique the submissions of their student colleagues through our reader comments feature.

McCamey Football Helmets

The online aspect provides a great way for the families of the students to participate in the project. This is evident in the large number of comments they submit and this is certainly an additional source of motivation for the young poets.

What is most inspiring to us is that the students are now submitting poems that are not part of their classroom assignments.  The poems cover subjects such as friendship, familial relations, life challenges, and so much more. This is perhaps the greatest proof that through the use of digital resources, teachers have another compelling, efficacious approach in the quest to motivate students to write.

McCamey Cook Off & Festival                                                                Click here for info on McCamey Cook-off and Festival

The collaboration with Ms. Hall and the students at McCamey Middle School has been tremendously rewarding for us. We believe it can serve as a model for other schools in a variety of subject areas. 

Learn more about McCamey, Texas at the City of McCamey Website, and about McCamey Middle School at the McCamey Middle School Website

It is our priveledge to bring you the poetry of Ms. Hall's 5th and 6th grade Language Arts poets. We have also included a poem by Ms. Hall herself.

Please click on the links below.

© McCamey Middle School * 2012 * All Rights Reserved


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