Archive for January 16th, 2015

Find more Poetry Friday with Irene at Live your Poem.

Find more Poetry Friday with Irene at Live your Poem.


The shells went to school this week. Children are fascinated by shells. They loved picking out their own special shell to write about.

In her book Awakening the Heart, Georgia Heard writes about spinning metaphors, “Spinning metaphors and similes has the effect of spinning a kaleidoscope around to see the beautiful and multifaceted color variations.” On a clean notebook page, let’s see how many metaphors we can think of for our shells. Then we started spinning.

Wonderopolis has a number of seashell-oriented Wonders. We explored two of them: How Much is a Sand Dollar Worth? and How are Sea Shells Formed?

After enjoying the Wonders, shells, and discussion, we had a “sacred writing time.” During this time, I gave them the option to write a Deeper Wisdom poem introduced by Joyce Sidman at Today’s Little Ditty, Michelle H. Barnes.

The steps are:
1. Choose a subject. It can be anything: an ant, the Empire State Building, your father. Your poem will be called “What Does [your subject] Know?
2. Think about the greater Truths that this particular object knows, whether it is alive or not.
3. State these truths—six of them—in two stanzas, repeating your question before each stanza.
4. If you want, rhyme each final word—but this is not necessary. (Joyce Sidman)

My student Matthew met this challenge with an amazing result.

What does a seashell know?
It doesn’t know the Pythagorean Theorem
Or how to count by fives,
But it knows the ocean’s feelings.
It’s felt the sea god’s cries.
It knows it has an owner.
It knows that it’s a shield.
It has one life purpose—
to make the sea assassins yield.

By Matthew, 5th grade

I struggled with this form. Rhyme stumps me up every time. After quite a few tries, I tweaked the form a bit to write the poem I wanted to write.

Sea Shell Wisdom

Read Full Post »