Root Systems: Forest Canopies, Understories, and Floors of Language Learning
Laura Da’ is a poet and teacher. A lifetime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Da’ studied creative writing at the University of Washington and the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is Eastern Shawnee. Her first book, Tributaries, was published by the University of Arizona Press and won a 2016 American Book Award. Da’ has held residencies at the Richard Hugo House, Tin House, and Jack Straw. Her newest book, Instruments of the True Measure, is the winner of the Washington State Book Award. Da’ lives near Seattle with her husband and son.
This professional development workshop centers language learning, word choice, and vocabulary development in conversation with Indigenous language and literature. The metaphor of the forest will open considerations of multiple language traditions and underpin strategies to help students create their own etymologies, consider the nature and purpose of word connotation, and explore the narratives and lyrical possibilities within words. This offering will look at words and language as a source of creative fascination by connecting learning to place and offering new lenses to teach word choice, sentence structure, and word comprehension. Participants can expect to leave the workshop with a selection of new generative writing prompts, a recursive strategy for language learning and vocabulary acquisition, and suggestions for bringing literature informed by Indigenous languages into the learning space.
This two-hour workshop will fulfill OSPI’s Continuing Education clock hours (2) for all state educators, and meets the requirements for ongoing Racial Equity Training for teacher certification.