Archive for May 9th, 2014

Poetry Friday Round-up is with Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup

Poetry Friday Round-up is with Jama at Jama’s Alphabet Soup

Amidst the season of post tests and field trips, I am still trying to squeeze poetry in to the school day. For the letter G, I decided to teach poems of apology using This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness by Joyce Sidman. This is a delightful book of poems written by Mrs. Merz’s sixth grade class. Joyce begins this book with the classic apology poem by William Carlos Williams. Can you recite it?


This is Just to Say
I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

Find the full poem here.

The first character, Thomas, uses this form to write the poem “This is Just to Say/ I have stolen/ the jelly doughnuts/ that were in/ the teacher’s lounge…” to Mrs. Garcia in the office. Mrs. Garcia responds with her own poem ending with “Of course I forgive you./ But I still have to call your mother.”

When my students and I were writing poems of apology, some used the WCW title as first line. I love how this small poem from Kendall expresses a common problem among 6th graders, hurt feelings.

This is just to say
I am sorry for this day
that I have treated you this way
you don’t have to accept my apology but hey
I didn’t mean to offend,
it sort of just slipped out along with shame
I hope you did not take it the wrong way

I gave my poem to my principal to apologize for being late. She said I set the bar for apology notes. The funny thing is many of these things listed actually do happen and do make me late.

Mrs. Heumann , Mrs. Heumann,
I just want to say
I’m sorry for being late today.

The alarm didn’t shout;
the dog got out;

My coffee over-flowed,
while I watched oatmeal explode.

There was a 50 car-train,
a truck hauling sugarcane.

The bridge was open, cars were slowed.
A trash can blew into the road.

The sun in my eyes, oh the glare.
Then a cow, would he dare?

Enough, you say. OK?
Just sorry,
I was late today.
–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

And Kaylie stopped by the kidblog and saw all the Apolo-G poetry and added her own to her pencil.

I’m sorry, pencil, for dulling your head
Your sharp-tipped graphite point
I’m sorry for gnawing on your side,
My teeth-prints etched in your cedar

I’m sorry, pencil, for tapping your eraser on the desk,
For rubbing on the soft pink curls of your hair
And sweeping them away

I’m sorry for losing you and dropping you and trading you.
I’m sorry for putting your end in the pencil sharpener,
For tossing you away when you got too small.

Pencil, I’m sorry for hurting you all these years.
Will you ever be able to forgive me?

In writing this post, I found Joyce Sidman’s website and a great resource guide for using This is Just to Say in the classroom.

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