Thursday, August 17, 2023

A Template for Student Math Poems

      Earlier this month, mathematician, songwriter, and poet Larry Lesser posted a link on Facebook to an article (found here at "The Conversation") about ways that Penn State University Professor Ricardo Martinez combines mathematics and poetry in a course entitled "The Ways Math and Poetry Can Open Your Eyes to the World."   When asked, "What prompted the idea for the course?", Martinex responded:

I have always enjoyed writing poetry. As a high school mathematics teacher, I recall telling my students that everything is and can be connected to math, even creative writing. Then, as a graduate student, I read about people using “I am” poem templates for young people to express who they are through a series of “I am” statements, and I thought to myself, where is the “I am” math poem template? So I created one.

Here is a portion of a template that Martinez has created to use with students: 

Opening lines of poetry template for students by Professor Ricardo Martinez.
     An important characteristic of both mathematics and poetry is that they open our minds to new images, new ways of thinking, new thoughts.  The process of completing this template is, indeed, a mind-opener -- and I look forward to the challenge of creating a template of my own.
    Mathematician-Poet Larry Lesser, who alerted me to this Martinez math-poetry project, has a newly published poem in the latest issue of the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics.  Lesser's illustrated poem about sharing a cookie is available here.  AND, lots of other math-poetry ideas are also found here in JHM.

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