Posts Tagged ‘collaborative poem’

I am privileged to have the opportunity to write poetry with gifted kids. Their minds are open and in tuned to ideas. Most days they can’t wait to tell me what they are thinking about. Most days they want to write, welcoming the blank page. This week I shared with two of my young students (2nd and 3rd graders) photos of the full moon that I had collected from social media. I actually had another idea for them, but as we were looking at and discussing my picture of the moon above my neighbor’s house, they were full of questions and wonderings and a poem emerged. It was a happy moment because somedays little boys would rather be running outside than writing a poem with their teacher.

Click the image to see a larger view. Photo by Margaret Simon.
There are still a few dates available to sign up for the 2023 Kidlit Progressive poem. Click Here.

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Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for creating an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write and share.
Poetry Friday round-up is with Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference.

Today I am the featured poet on Laura Shovan’s #WaterPoemProject. My prompt comes from a tanka that appears in my book Bayou Song. Hop over to Laura’s blog to see the prompt.

On Wednesday I scheduled a Zoom meeting with my students. About half of them came. I shared my prompt, and we wrote a tanka together.

Rylee points at a treasure in her pond.

Rylee started us off with an idea about see what she thought was a treasure chest in her pond.  

Treasure chest mirage
Blue cotton candy clouds float
Frosty reflection

Blueberry snowball freezing
Rylee’s lovely winter pond.

Mrs. Simon’s Sea Collaborative Poem

I need to finish up the schedule for the 2020 Progressive Poem. If you’d like to sign up, comment on this post. There are still spots open.

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Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March Challenge



Inspired by Violet Nesdoly’s blog post Welcome Spring, my students and I wrote a collaborative poem about spring.

At first, I talked about the spring equinox and how it’s related to the rotation of the earth (to get in a little science content).   Then I opened a blank document on the screen.  Jayden said, “I hope we are going to write a poem.  I love when we write poems.”  My heart swelled.

We read it aloud to hear the beat.  We rearranged stanzas.  Landon suggested that we end the poem at night with fireflies.

First Day of Spring

by Jasmine, Kaia, Landon, Jayden

(edited by Mrs. Simon)

Happiness everywhere.
Let’s go to the Spring fair.

Easter is near.
Wind tickles my ear.

Green grass growing.
Dad lawn mowing.

Mom is cleaning.
I am dreaming.

Cherry blossoms blooming.
Sun’s light booming.

Bees buzz.
Dandelion fuzz.

When daylight ends,
fireflies descend.


On Sunday, our choir held an Evensong service.  My fellow choir member and friend, Brenda, recorded the service.  There were only 9 of us, but we made a joyful noise.  Here, she put one of our hymns on YouTube.  Enjoy Benedictus, one of my favorites. I sing alto.  Listen for me.

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poetry-friday-1 (1)

Poetry Friday round-up is with Carol at Beyond Literacy Link

Challenges can be fun. Challenges can be…well…challenging. Donna Smith posted a challenge to write a poem using all the lines given out by the visitors to her blog. She collected the following lines:

Buffy Silverman: ferocious women who never bring you coffee
Donna Smith: always leave a wild song
Linda Baie: dreaming women do art in poetry
Buffy Silverman: where wizards and wolves rush by in a blur of green and gold and gray
Kay McGriff: ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones
Linda Mitchell: waking the world to a new day
Margaret Simon: steam that climbs like smoke from a fire
Carol Varsalona: fearless women reach out, connect, and find joy in life’s intertwined moments
Tabatha Yeatts: little chest to put the Alive in
Joy Acey: wear loose clothing and a smile
Jan Godown Annino: I feel like there should be more stories out there for girls, and I try to tell them
Mary Lee Hahn: ferocious women do not exaggerate
Brenda Harsham: make a ferocious dinner that eats masks, drips truth and saves softness for dessert
Keri Lewis: radical at their core
Kiesha Shepard: ferocious women would rather drink the wind
Diane Mayr: out of endurance, exaltation

One of the rules was to break the rules, so I did. I didn’t use all the lines.

Here is my poem:

Dreaming women
wake the world
reach out
to find joy in life’s
intertwined moments.

They write stories
where wizards and wolves
rush by. Their stories
sing like steam
that rises, smoke from a fire–
a wild fire!

Ferocious women
never bring you coffee.
They make a ferocious dinner,
save softness for dessert
and a smile.

Take advice from us:
Ignore the awful times.
Dream on.
Leave a wild song.
Drink the wind.

To see other poetic responses, go to Donna’s site for the link up.

Now for a very important announcement: The winners of Here We Go! If you see your name here and you haven’t gotten an email from me, please send me your address by email.

1. Jane Whittingham

2. Joanne Duncan

3. Leigh Anne Eck

4. Linda Mitchell

5. Kimberley Moran

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Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Lake Martin sunset

Lake Martin sunset

2015ProgressivePoem (1) copy

Today is my turn to add a line to the Kidlit 2015 Progressive Poem. When I volunteered to do this, I chose day 12 knowing that the poem would already have an established meter and theme, and I’d just have to keep it rocking along. This year the poem is free verse which is comfortable to me. It also ended up in the cypress swamp right down the street from me here in South Louisiana. I am posting a few pictures from a fall canoe trip to Lake Martin, St. Martinville, LA, which is a natural bird conservatory and cypress swamp. We can imagine our mermaid here.

Yesterday, Kim gave some grandmotherly advice to our maiden as she glides through the water. I added in my One Little Word and my blog title to complete the metaphorical advice. I was thinking of this photograph by my friend, Marjorie Pierson (cousin to my husband), who is using her fine art photography to promote saving the wetlands. Her image makes dewdrops look like jewels. If you need images to help you when adding your own line, I suggest flipping through the slides on her site.

As I pass this on to Doraine at Dori Reads, I wonder if we will stay in the swamp. Does she have a friend in the trees? Perhaps an egret or a roseate spoonbill? Does she have a friend in an alligator or nutria? I wonder where this poem is going. That is the joy of a progressive poem. You must send her out in the wild like this mermaid.

She lives without a net, walking along the alluvium of the delta.
Shoes swing over her shoulder, on her bare feet stick jeweled flecks of dark mica.

Hands faster than fish swing at the ends of bare brown arms. Her hair flows,
snows in wild wind as she digs in the indigo varnished handbag,

pulls out her grandmother’s oval cuffed bracelet,
strokes the turquoise stones, and steps through the curved doorway.

Tripping on her tail she slips hair first down the slide… splash!
She glides past glossy water hyacinth to shimmer with a school of shad,

listens to the ibises roosting in the trees of the cypress swamp–
an echo of Grandmother’s words, still fresh in her windswept memory.

Born from the oyster, expect the pearl.
Reach for the rainbow reflection on the smallest dewdrop.

Follow the progress below:

1 Jone at Check it Out

2 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy

3 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe

4 Laura at Writing the World for Kids

5 Charles at Poetry Time Blog

6 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page

7 Catherine at Catherine Johnson

8 Irene at Live Your Poem

9 Mary Lee at Poetrepository

10 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty

11 Kim at Flukeprints

12 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche

13 Doraine at DoriReads

14 Renee at No Water River

15 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge

16 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town

17 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog

18 Sheila at Sheila Renfro

19 Linda at Teacher Dance

20 Penny at A Penny and her Jots

21 Tara at A Teaching Life

22 Pat at Writer on a Horse

23 Tamera at The Writer’s Whimsy

24 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect

25 Tabatha at The Opposite of indifference

26 Brian at Walk the Walk

27 Jan at Bookseedstudio

28 Amy at The Poem Farm

29 Donna at Mainely Write

30 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

Canoeing through the trees in Lake Martin.

Canoeing through the trees in Lake Martin.

Today is DigiLit Sunday, a link up of blogs using digital literacies in the classroom. If you are joining in for DigiLit Sunday or Digital Poetry, please link up your post below.

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Find more Poetry Friday with Paul at These 4 Corners

Find more Poetry Friday with Paul at These 4 Corners

Silence in the Snow by John Gibson

Silence in the Snow by John Gibson

We don’t get snow here, but the colder weather made me think of presenting Robert Frost to my students. I started with the beautiful Susan Jeffers illustrated book, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Then we read together Frost’s poem Acquainted with the Night and talked about rhyme scheme. A terza rima is a difficult form to write even for gifted kids, so we worked together. We started with a line from my own poem, Snow Day from Illuminate. My first group of students incorporated a repetitive pattern that I reminded them is called anaphora.

Collaborating, stealing lines, playing with rhyme, and writing from an image worked together to result in a nice poem.

Lost in the Snow
a terza rima after Robert Frost

I wake to a field of white
where a bunny rabbit hides,
where a night owl takes flight,

where Santa’s sleigh slides
where I stand on the ground
where a snowflake above me glides,

where something is lost, not found,
where sight begins to fail,
where a whisper is the softest sound,

where dreams set sail
and miles to go before I sleep
I am strong, not frail.

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I wake to a field of white.

–A collaborative poem by Mrs. Simon’s class

Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost

My second group of students was larger, so the collaboration became more cumbersome. Too many different ideas don’t mix well with strong wills and sensitive writers. I don’t think the poem is as strong, either; however, I am struck by the sense of loss and sadness and overcoming that permeates each one. The images of snow covering the page and the words of Robert Frost set a tone for both of these poems.


Snow fell silently through the night.
These streets I have walked across
into the darkness, out of sight.

The sun I have lost,
Frosting over the glass in this faded frame,
The windows are covered in frost.

Each pattern has its own fame.
Sun rises, suddenly the cold vanished.
Once it is gone, it will never be the same.

Stars above shining bright.
Snow fell silently through the night.

a collaborative poem by Mrs. Simon’s class

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bayou stripes

Every week I get an email from Poets & Writers called “The Time is Now.” You can sign up, too. They send out prompts for writing. A few weeks ago, the poetry prompt suggested collaborating by email or text on a poem with each person adding a line until the poem felt complete. I invited my new poet friend, Clare Martin, to participate with me. We composed it using Facebook messenger. We each revised to create our own poem. I am posting my version.

Stained Glass

Reflection of bare trees
stripe the still bayou.
See into the reflection.
Clouds become water.

Water holds a dark harm–
dangerous depth,
deceiving beauty.
The surface holds the whole sky.

A single tear
breaks the glass.
Slip within the sky.
See your self in the depths.

Slice of Life Challenge Day 4

Slice of Life Challenge Day 4

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