Sunday, April 1, 2012

Singing Contralto - Found Poem

When Marian Sang:  The True Recital of Marian Anderson, The Voice of a Century - Pam Munoz Ryan

Last year I found this biographical picture book.  I fell in love with it.  There are so many ways to use it in the library and the classroom.  First it is a biography.  Second it has to do with the Civil Rights Movement.  Then I think of Core Standards and I think of what primary sources are available.  I also think of research.  My question - Did the DAR prevent Marian Anderson from singing at the DAR Constitution Hall or was it the decision of the manager, Fred E. Hand?

I recently learned of “Found Poetry”.  The poem -“Contralto Singing” is the found poem I wrote based on the text at the site It is my first found poem.

I am also experimenting with audio and qr codes for the classroom.  My idea is to open a “Poetry Cafe”.  Students will read aloud their own work and share it with their families online.

Tools I’m experimenting with:
      Voice Thread
      Garage Band

QR codes
      QR stuff

Poetry Cafe

Singing Contralto - Found Poetry

You can also listen to the recording by going to

Singing Contralto (Found Poem by Ruth Ferris)

Family on Webster Street
Simple dignity, charming

A voice

Lincoln Memorial Concert -1939.

A voice heard
Once in a hundred years

Emotional impact
Broke color barrier - 1955

Emotional impact
A  singing legacy

Marian Anderson


  1. This is lovely, Ruth.  I like that repeat of "singing", because that's what it's all about, isn't it?  I worked with a couple of students last year & we came across this book about Marian Anderson, then looked up the singing on YouTube.  Even with the rather raw sound, it was inspiring to listen to.  I see very well how excited you are.  Great that you did the research too.  I see that you're doing more with tech, too.  I've done QR codes with the students, much fun.  Some of them used them to share bibliographies on their Expo displays.  I'm still a little intimidated by Garage Band, so let me know how you like it.

  2. Ruth Ferris/StorykeeperApril 1, 2012 at 5:36 PM


        Garage band is a little much for me right now.  I used Sound Cloud for this and it was very easy, very non-threatening.  I will probably stay with it until I gain more experience. AudioBoo also looks good to me. 

    Have you gone to the Library of Congress and looked at her photos?  They also have some of her vocal recordings.

    How did you set up and use the qr codes for your expo displays? 

  3. Hi-Pretty easy, once you download the apps needed. You can find the QR code generators here, as well as you will need a smart phone or IPad to download the reader (I think). - scroll down for the QR stuff. I started down this path from a post by
    Ruth. It's a good post here:

    The students just pasted in their bibliography text & the code is made-instantly-very cool!

    Have a good week!


  4. Reading, writing, learning, sharing.  Thanks.  I haven't read this book.  I have tried found poems.  For the last day of the SOLC I was working on a found poem about my friend Jim's monthly full moon alerts (he sends a monthly email around.), and I found it was his birthday, so I posted it.  Now I see the writing challenge from Bud.  This is a whole new world.

  5. What a full and rich post!  I am so glad to have found you.  I would love to hear more about how it goes with your Poetry Cafe and about how it goes publishing this way with students.  Good good luck with it.  Lovely blog!  a.

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