Posts Tagged ‘Amy Ludwig Vanderwater’

Poetry Friday is with Irene and Live your Poem

On Wednesday I presented to my students Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s “Writing the Rainbow” poetry project.  We were on the letter C for our poem-a-day writing, so we wrote crayon cinquains.  The cinquain syllable pattern is 2,4,6,8,2.

Amy suggested this video of Mr. Rogers’ visit to a crayon factory.  The kids loved it, especially when the crayons appear in the tray like magic.


I will share a few of our poems here, but you can go to our Kidblog to see more.



Erin’s orchid bouquet

Erin chose the crayon “orchid” and drew the picture above. I encouraged my students to use metaphor in their poems. Erin imagined that the orchid bouquet was a crown for a woodland princess.

Blooming Flower
Wonderful Pristine Crown
Perfect For A Woodland Princess
by Erin, 5th grade

When Madison colored in her journal with the crayon “Cadet Blue”, she saw a sky before the rain. I love how the name of the crayon informed her metaphor.

Cadet Blue Sky
Thunder Beating on Drums
Lightning Marching Through the Clouds
by Madison, 3rd grade

I randomly picked a crayon from the box of 24 crayons and got “blue bell.” Of course, at first I thought about Blue Bell Ice Cream. Then I did a Google image search and found bluebell flowers. I drew a picture in my journal using the blue crayon. When Lynzee saw my picture, she said “It’s a fairy skirt.” So I stole that and used it in my poem. This form is fun to work with because it makes you think harder to get the syllables right.

a fairy skirt
balancing on a branch
hang like church bells in the steeple
Ring! Ring!
by Margaret Simon

Go to Amy’s padlet to see more of this crayon color poetry craze.

Read Full Post »

National Poetry Month 2017

Over at The Poem Farm, Amy is selecting a crayon from her box of Crayola Crayons to inspire a daily poem.  For our classroom poem-a-day, I chose to do color cinquains for the letter C.  Instructions include using the cinquain form of 2,4,6,8,2 syllable count as well as adding a metaphor and simile for the color chosen.


I decided to write one as a model.  I closed my eyes and picked out “Goldenrod.”  Of course I thought of the wildflower.  I drew in my journal alongside other words for goldenrod.  I did some research and discovered the medicinal properties of goldenrod.  There seems to be no end to my trail.  Metaphors were hard to make fit to the syllable count.  This work helps me relate to what I am asking my students to do.  Not as easy as it seems.

sea of sunshine
dusting fairy brushes
Throw some on your dinner salad

by Margaret Simon

Andrew knew he would be missing class today due to testing, so yesterday we wrote one together on the color dandelion.  Here’s a link to our poem.  Others will be added during the day on our Kidblog site. 

Amy’s collecting class poems on a padlet here.


Read Full Post »


Searching for the muse this morning, I read Amy VanDerwater’s poem for today.  She is choosing crayons out of the Crayola box to inspire daily poetry.  Today’s crayon was carnation pink.  The color reminded me of the beautiful lilies that have opened up, post-wedding, filling up my kitchen with their strong scent.  I took out the carnation pink and colored a picture in my journal.

As I wrote about the flower, I played around with word forms, searching flowery terms like pollen, stamen, and anther.  Pollinic won as a new word choice.  I found that my lines were tending toward the haiku syllable count, so I chose to write a tanka which uses the 5,7,5,7,7 syllable count.

This poetry month I will attempt to write a poem-a-day.  I’ll write about my process.  The muse will come from other poets or from my own poetic heart.

Jama is gathering the Kidlit blogging events.

I’ll be joining Irene Latham’s Progressive Poem and have posted the schedule in the side bar.

Happy National Poetry Month!  Celebrate Poetry!




*The image is a photograph using my phone, enhanced by Painteresque.

Read Full Post »


Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

This week was state testing week. We made it through. Because I am an extra teacher, I was assigned a small group to test. The routine was changed. I stayed at one school all day.

When on Friday the test was over, I resumed my routine. My students were so excited to see me again. They truly missed me. I think they also missed the flexibility of our days. It was as though they could breathe again.

I celebrate the love I share with my students while I am sad to realize the year is quickly coming to an end. So many activities planned; end-of-the-year picnics, talent shows, and field trips will interrupt my class again and again.

I want to stay calm about it all, so I planned a creative end-of-the-year project. We are making re-purposed books. They will paint the pages of a discarded book and add art and writing to them. They are already excited, and the mess making has begun. I celebrate creativity and mess making.

I am altering a book as well. This inspires the creative side of me. No one sees it, really, so I let go of my inhibitions about my art talent and just do it. Here’s a page I’ve painted waiting for a poem.


Pass the scissors
then the glue;
I am pasting poems
in a book.

Make a mess
filling the pages
with happy words.

Anyone can make a book.
Let’s make a book today!

National Poetry Month is at the end. I thought it would never come. Writing a poem a day has been a challenge. I celebrate all the poets out there writing daily and inspiring me and my students to do the same.

I celebrate Irene Latham who blogs here. She generously Skyped with my students on Poem in your Pocket Day. She listened patiently while they shared their own poems and responded with nothing but kindness. She even answered a question about whether or not she felt haunted. (Kids say the darnedest things.) But Irene handled it like a champ. She told my students that she likes to visit graveyards and feel the presence of people who have gone before.

Irene offered excellent advice about finding new words; brainstorm a list of words about your topic. Then mark them all out and start again. This forces you to find new and unusual words.

I also want to thank Laura Purdie Salas whose putrid poetry gave my students permission to write about poop and other yucky stuff.

And what would NPM be without Amy Ludwig VanDerwater? She wondered with us all month long and inspired my students to write about their world.

Thank you to all my readers who stuck with me each day as I attempted to entertain the poetic muse. Here’s to another wonderful National Poetry Month. Do not be mistaken, though. Poetry is made for every day!

Donna has the final line to the Progressive Poem and it is just right!

Donna has the final line to the Progressive Poem and it is just right!

Read Full Post »


Yesterday, my student Lani was featured on Today’s Little Ditty with a reverso poem inspired by the book Water Rolls, Water Rises by Pat Mora.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is writing a poem a day about daily Wonders on Wonderopolis.  I love how her website speaks directly to students about the writing process.  On Monday, Amy wrote, “I began thinking about the value of sharing our stories, the sad ones as well as the happy ones.”  Her poem was a before/after poem that held universal truths about the sadness of broken marriages.

There’s a sadness weighing on my mind.  It’s not my loss, but even when others suffer a loss, we grieve.  It’s the way of the world.

My writing friend, Catherine Flynn wrote a poem about Crystal Rapids in the Grand Canyon, but the poem was about so much more.  This stanza speaks to that deep grief that comes back over and over.

The path is altered,
a chasm opens.
Never fully healed,
full of fissures that can crack
without warning,
bringing us to our knees.” (Catherine Flynn)

Sometimes writing poetry is about diving into the sadness, entering in, and letting it all go.  Inspired by Amy’s and Catherine’s poetic honesty, I wrote this poem for B.  She’s probably not ready to read it.  But I needed to write it.

A Tree Grows near the Pier

when the sun rose,
so did he,
fishing pole in hand,
tackle in a box.
His heart full of hope.
His mind full of lures.

the boat lost him,
so did we,
as a tree grows
near his tackle box;
Its branches open wide
for resurrection fern.

–Margaret Simon

resurrection fern

Ruth has the Progressive Poem today.

Ruth has the Progressive Poem today.

Read Full Post »


Poetry Friday round-up with Michelle at Today's Little Ditty

Poetry Friday round-up with Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty

This month as I go through poetry every day with my students, inevitably favorite forms emerge.  From her blog, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater introduced my students (and me) to the abecedarian form.  One by one my students are trying this out.  I have said it’s a very challenging form.  Some rise to a challenge.

Kaiden has risen to this challenge not only using the form, but also repeating the word wonder.  When he got stuck on a letter, he searched a list of Shakespeare words.

All the time wondering
Batty in the night for wonder
Can’t get any sleep from wondering
Dying to quench my thirst for wonder
Enclosing myself in books of wonder
Fascinated by wonder
Going insane from wonder
How did it become this way
I have no idea
Judged because of my wild hair from wondering too much
Kindling the fire of wonder
Loving every drop of wonder
Mourning without wonder
Not having any time for doing work because of wonder
Oblivious of all my dirty and messy ways
Prowling the library for wonder
Quivering without wonder
Rest is impossible with all this wonder
Sleep I can’t
Tearing up books
Unfortunately, I am addicted to wonder
Vigorously turning pages
Withering with out wonder
Xhaling because my wonder is filled
Zzz’s I can finally catch

–Kaiden, 5th grade

Earlier in the week we danced with paintbrushes, making watercolor abstract paintings while listening to music.  One selection led some of us artist/poets to think of water (rain).  It’s been raining every morning for the last few days.  I wrote a more playful poem while my 5th grader, Tobie, is thinking deeply and writing serious poems.


Tobie's painting of water

Tobie’s painting of water

As I sit intently
listening to the music that played
I thought of how there were many others
much more
than you could even imagine

Before you think
of planets in space
imagine drops of water in a sea
grains of sand on a beach
every blade of grass in a lawn
every second before dawn

–Tobie, 5th grade


Rainy Day

Rainy Day by Margaret Simon

Rainy Day by Margaret Simon

Popping in puddles
painting balloons.
Sprinkles bubble.
Wet air
Wet hair.
I don’t care.
Let’s play anyway.

–Margaret Simon




Follow the Progressive Poem to Matt Forrest's Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

Follow the Progressive Poem to Matt Forrest’s Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme


Read Full Post »


Also inspired by Amy, quick watercolor in the sketchbook.

Also inspired by Amy, quick watercolor in the sketchbook.

The kidlitoshpere is wildly growing with poems. Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is writing daily to wonders from Wonderopolis. I found a poem in her post, How Sweet is Honeysuckle?

The line “Words live on like echoes” came from Barry Lane’s song “Sammy Miller” from Force Field for Good.

I wrote two poems today,
one from an open window with honeysuckle
and rhyme, but this time the poem
felt not ready to be shared.

Words live on like echoes…

I need to let a poem sit
read  words over and over
Trust the feeling,
Move on.

Words live on like echoes…

Poems make me happy.
Poems make me sing.
I pretend to be a mother hummingbird.
I like the sounds of words.

Words live on like echoes…

Poems make me fall in love
with hummingbirds. I want to
plant a garden of milkweed,
trumpet honeysuckle,
& love poems
for you.

Words live on like echoes.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »