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Posts Tagged ‘mask poems’

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Happy Book Birthday to In the Middle of the Night by Laura Purdie Salas!

I met Laura a few years ago at NCTE and have followed her ever since.  She is gentle, kind, and generous, everything a children’s poet should be.  I am inspired by her every week on her blog.  On Thursdays she posts an image with an invitation to write a 15 words or less poem. It’s a great space to show up in each week to read other poems and interact with the children’s poetry online community.

Laura is also a pretty awesome presenter.  In November, 2018, we presented together on a panel at NCTE, Writing Poetry in the Wild.  Here’s a link to the slides.

In her presentation, Laura encouraged us to look around and write about what we see.  Well, that’s not exactly what she did to write this latest book.  In the Middle of the Night requires more than just observation; it requires an imagination.  The poems are all written in the point of view of some object doing something during the night.

Twenty-six poems share the wild adventures that toys, food, and other household objects have at night while you sleep. Everything from stuffed animals to clothing to writing utensils comes to life under the cover of night. An overdue library book searches for the perfect place to hide. A paper clip skydives with a tissue parachute. A fruit snack unrolls to create a tricky racetrack for toy cars. Come sneak away for some moonlit adventures!

In my class, I wanted my students to experience this fun idea and Laura’s poetry. From the Table of Contents, my students selected a few poems they wanted to hear. I always start with “What do you notice?”  They noticed that the poems were written in first person (Cha-Ching! for that concept), and I reminded them that they are called mask poems.  They noticed rhyming and rhythm patterns.  With a little more prodding, they found alliteration and imagery.

In addition to working on close reading skills with poetry, we stretched our writing muscles.  We used this activity sheet from Laura to write our own poems.

Laura has a Padlet for contributors’ poems here. We placed links on the Padlet to our Kidblog site.  If you have a minute, stop by and place comments for my kids.

Made with Padlet

Click here to go to Laura’s web page.

Monday, 3/11           Mile High Reading

Tuesday, 3/12           Reflections on the Teche

Wednesday, 3/13    Poetrepository

Thursday, 3/14        Check It Out

Friday, 3/15              Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

Sunday, 3/17             Great Kid Books

Monday, 3/18           Simply 7 Interview/Jena Benton blog

Tuesday, 3/19          My Juicy Little Universe

Wednesday, 3/20   Live Your Poem

Thursday, 3/21         Reading to the Core

Friday, 3/22              KidLit Frenzy

                                    Beyond Literacy Link

In the Middle of the Night: Poems from a Wide-Awake House Author: Laura Purdie Salas
Illustrator: Angela Matteson
Publisher: Wordsong (3/12/19)
ISBN: 978-1620916308

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Poetry Friday round-up with Violet. Click here to read more posts.

Poetry Friday round-up with Violet. Click here to read more posts.

The end of the school year is coming to a close. One fun day that our gifted students look forward to every year is Gifted by Nature Day. We hold it in City Park and all the elementary gifted students in our parish attend. The day is full of games, art, and writing.

This year middle school gifted students (who fondly remember their own Gifted by Nature Days) led this year’s art activity. They presented a skit about endangered animals. Then our kids were encouraged to freely create their own favorite animal, real or imaginary.

I led a poetry writing activity as a response to the mask activity. And what better poetic form to use than a mask poem? The directions were simple: Write a poem from the point of view of your mask. Use your creature’s name as the title. Use I statements. We read a few mentor poems from Irene Latham”s Dear Wandering Wildebeest and Patricia MacLachlan’s Cat Talk.

The students were primed for creative thinking after making their masks. I am sharing some of the masks and poems here.

This is Erin as a narwhal, of course.

This is Erin as a narwhal, of course.

Call me watercat. I am guard. I am smart and curious. I run very quickly through prickly vines. I am big. I am blue. I am sneaky. I am fluffy. I am strong. I am a watercat. by Madison, 2nd grade

Call me watercat.
I am guard.
I am smart and curious.
I run very quickly through
prickly vines.
I am big.
I am blue.
I am sneaky.
I am fluffy.
I am strong.
I am a watercat.
by Madison, 2nd grade

How adorable is this puppy mask with a bow on its chin!

How adorable is this puppy mask with a bow on its chin!

Dis-Grace I am a disgrace. I am a mess of an animal. I am rainbow. I have three sets of ears. My mouth stays open. My nose is green. People come around me and say "uhoo." They must hate me. Then I hear people say, "That's cool." Maybe I'm not a Dis-Grace after all. by Emily, 5th grade

Dis-Grace
I am a disgrace.
I am a mess of an animal.
I am rainbow.
I have three sets of ears.
My mouth stays open.
My nose is green.
People come around me and say “whoo.”
They must hate me.
Then I hear people say, “That’s cool.”
Maybe I’m not a Dis-Grace after all.
by Emily, 5th grade

 

Shadow, by Jacob, 2nd grade

Shadow, by Jacob, 2nd grade

I was born in a magic cloud. Then I flew all day. I made a lot of friends and we played in the Milky Way. Then we found a top hat, black and a very light gray. I put it on and then I had the power to always save the day.

I was born in a magic cloud.
Then I flew all day.
I made a lot of friends
and we played in the Milky Way.
Then we found a top hat,
black and a very light gray.
I put it on and then I had the power
to always save the day. Jaci, 5th grade

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