Poetics of Place
Poetics of Place - July 2011
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Poetics of place:  stories from here, there and everywhere!

The dance of summer continues: hummingbirds, thunderstorms, fireflies.

Over the past few months, I’ve been doing a lot of partnership work with the American University of Kosovo, Center for Whole Communities, Dartmouth College, the Flow of History, Valley Quest, and the Winter Center for Indigenous Traditions. 

I also spent spring sprinting from school to school, with Quest projects in Groveton, Hanover, Hartland, Norwich, Plainfield and TWO Suttons – Vermont and New Hampshire!

Happy Summer,
Steve Glazer & Poetics of Place

SUPER QUEST!  A 12-town History Mystery
unlock the secret Two hundred and fifty years ago, Governor Benning Wentworth chartered the 12 "Middle Grant" towns. Super Quest – like the movie National Treasure – will lead you on a fun-filled wild goose chase in search of a dozen historical clues hidden in these 12 Upper Valley towns.   Read the clue to determine the location, and then travel to that destination in search of the hidden word!  Visit all 12 towns and a SECRET word will unlock the puzzle and win you a prize! Registering for Super Quest is not necessary - but is helpful. Please visit www.vitalcommunities.org for more information!

"Aren't quests great? We solve a puzzle that is fun and interesting, it feels great to get the stamp as the reward at the end, and you get to find special places near where you live that you would never have known about."
- Lucas, 9

ABENAKI HOMELAND lessons  Learn where you live
John Moody from the Winter Center and I collaborated to create a lesson that  introduces students to Abenaki language and place names, thanks to support from Flow of History’s Teaching American History (TAH) grant.  The lesson keeps getting better!  You can find the latest version at www.flowofhistory.org

"You taught me so much about Abenaki words and lands, and made it all fun."
- Carter

Help students learn to "read" their community’s landscape and history. Lorna Holcombe and the Groveton 5thGrade made a Groveton Village Quest this spring. She writes: 

"You have been inspiring my Social Studies teaching since we met in Berlin. Our questing time spent with you was wonderful! History came alive for all of the students in my class, and they were very motivated to learn about different places in town. I think the stamp at the end  - "Groveton Pride" - sums everything up nicely. Your teaching helps students feel pride in the place they live while giving them a  desire to ask questions and keep learning"

Gloria White, a Groveton community member wrote to me:

"I just wanted to thank you for allowing me to join in and observe your work at the 5th grade in Groveton the past couple of weeks. When I started I didn't know what a "Quest" would be. What I found was a very friendly and patient man bringing our Town of Groveton to life for the youngsters. When we all sat and shared an imaginary meal at the once great Eagle Hotel in the now parking lot one could almost see it and taste the food when you bring it to life with your poetic descriptions. It seems the adults around enjoyed it as much as they did. You seem to have a special knack to keeping the attentions and cooperation of your students without raising your voice at all. I found that amazing in itself! Your project sparked interest into these youngsters to find out what used to be around and the history of what is there now. This brings them to their parents and friends to share information - which may spark interest in more people. I believe this could start a new appreciation in these youngsters as they grow to adults. Thank you."

EARLY SETTLEMENT IN HARTFORD, VT Hartford, UK – Hartford, CT – Hartford, VT
Where did our town’s colonial settlers come from?  When did they arrive? Why did they move here? How did they form this town?  Hartford students asked and answered ALL of these questions while creating an EARLY SETTLEMENT QUEST.  Early settlement lessons are available on-line; or contact Steve to work with your community.

"I had a blast learning about history. Thank you!"
– Sydney


Plainfield 3rd graders walked from school to see the history of their community inscribed in stone. Lessons included: data collection, measurement, mathematics, graphing, procedural writing and constructing simple timelines. Lessons are available online; or contact Steve about introducing this project to your classroom.

"I loved making a Valley Quest! "
– Madison


FOREST QUEST IN SUTTON, NH Make a square.  Stop to stare.  Then compare!
What’s the (under) story? Who is on the floor? What’s up in the canopy? And what does all this tell us about WHO we are and WHERE we are? Steve mentored Kearsarge Regional School District (KRSD) 6th grade teachers, helping them develop an interdisciplinary, standards-based, forest unit. Contact Steve to help you connect YOUR curriculum, school and community.

"We used the quest lessons again this year and they were fantastic! The kids were so excited and engaged! Thank you for all of your help "
– Shelby

Responding to Genocide


In June, I helped students from Dartmouth College and the American University of Kosovo partner to restore a Jewish Cemetery in Prishtina. Read the Asociated Press story here. For more pictures from this trip, click here.




SIMON BROOKS CD features Steve on Guitar Transported by the power of story

"A Tangle of Tales" is the third CD from award-winning British storyteller Simon Brooks. His stories will inspire you, make you smile, and make children of all ages happy. I had the pleasure of recording the incidental music between the tracks. You can read about the recording of the CD here and order all of Simon’s CD's here.


ANOTHER STEVE GLAZER – same name, similar guy! Shedding light on hidden history

Discover the role of your town in the war that determined whether our country would survive - free and united. I had the pleasure of being the 1st purchaser! A recent review: "This book is beautifully written, scholarly and tightly organized. It is also serves as a handbook for using a computer to perform historical research." You can order your copy here.


Whole Thinking Retreat at Center for Whole Communities, Fayston, VT:7/12 – 18
Quest workshop, Feather River Region, Quincy, CA:8/ 5 – 8
Whole Thinking Retreat at Center for Whole Communities, Fayston, VT:8/25 – 31
Watershed Quest, Sonoma County, Sebastapol, CA:9/10 – 11
Quest consulting, Kearsarge Regional Middle School, Sutton, NH:9/27 – 11/3
Quest workshop, Erie, PA:10/17 – 20
History Quest, Abigail Adams Historical Society, Weymouth, MA:10/22
National Association for Interpretation, St. Paul, MN:11/8 – 11

Contact Steve to help your classroom, group, organization
or community connect with

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