Posts Tagged ‘science poems’

Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March Challenge

On Sunday I posted about using jeweler’s loupes with my students in science and writing poems.  I felt a little guilty writing poems in science class, like that was somehow not allowed.  But my friend and slicer Dani Burtsfield posted a link to a podcast in her comment.  The podcast from Heinemann featured Amy Ludwig VanDerwater talking with authors Valerie Bang-Jensen and Mark Lubkowitz about science and poetry.

Amy asks, “Is a poem a system?”

She continues, “”Do you feel if a poem is a system … is the reader’s intent and background, when a reader comes to a poem, is that energy that flows through that system?”

Later, Amy brings up genre study. “one of the things I see that happens with writing is that … sometimes writing is divided up into these little genres, and we do this for a few weeks, we do this for a few weeks, and we do this for a few weeks. But what gets lost, and what can get lost, is the bigger idea of how to notice these patterns. How to see how interlocking pieces of words work together in a text beyond genre, like transcending, flying over genre.”

Amy’s ideas led me to my lesson today with my science kids.  I wanted to use the patterns of poetry to notice the patterns in science, to fly over genre.

We were using jeweler’s loupes to look at plants, but today we were looking closely at mold.  Last week we set up mold terrariums using ziplock bags and a slice of bread and apple.  Following the weekend, guess what grew?  Yucky mold!

Mold on an apple

“What does the mold remind you of?”

“An old man’s beard.”

“Whipped cream!”

“Let’s write a poem about it.”

Moldy Poem

Mold is growing on our food.
We know it’s made of spores.
Now it looks like
an old man’s beard,
white and green like sour cream.

Mold is creeping like a fox
preying on a squirrel.
Decomposing apples and bread
like bacteria in my mouth.
A marshmallow made of spores.

Writing this poem helped solidify some science concepts through discussion and creativity, observation and discovery. I think we’ll write poems in science more often. Thanks, Amy, Valerie, and Mark for permission.

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Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March Challenge





I teach science to one of my groups of gifted kids.  While I think science is fascinating, I don’t feel like an expert in teaching it, so I’ve taken on a stance of discovery and inquiry.

We made nature journals to begin our study of food webs and plants. The school has an amazing garden that we visited to make observations.

Equipped with jeweler’s loupes from The Private Eye kits we ventured to the garden for “research “. I had my phone with me and enjoyed taking photos by holding the jeweler loupe up to the lens.

Back in the classroom we talked about how we can use analogies to write about something in nature.

What does a snail remind you of? We made a list:

  • a snake
  • green heart from Moana
  • fake snail on SpingeBob
  • curled up caterpillar
  • spiraled spider egg
  • Yin Yang symbol
  • a design with swirls
  • God’s eye
  • a seashell

We wrote a poem from their list:

I found a snail in the garden
like a snake curled up small
or a caterpillar in a cocoon.
It looked like a spiral spider egg
or a design on wallpaper–
God’s eye?
An E all swirled around.




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Poetry Friday posts are with Kay at A Journey through the Pages.

Monday, August 21st is the day. Here in South Louisiana we will get about 72% of the total eclipse. On this site, you can put in your zip code to see what time is best for viewing and how much you will see.

Kelly Gallagher sent out this article of the week for students to read closely.

NASA is full of interesting information.  I even found a lesson for my students here that I adapted for younger kids.

On Facebook for Laura Shovan’s 10 words project, Jone MacCulloch posted this:

My students enjoy writing poems about science.  This 10-word prompt worked well for those kids who don’t know what to write when given a more open topic.  By doing this activity, we discussed words we didn’t know and then used them in a poem.  What better way to incorporate science topics, vocabulary, and reading comprehension?  Poetry does it all!

Solar Eclipse

As the sky turns obscure

the shadow will reveal the corona.

The eclipse will collect luminosity

as if it is understanding

that it is interconnected

with the universe.

By now the Solar eclipse should be charged

since the last random appearance.

–Faith, 6th grade

I drafted a poem alongside my students.  Mine is not about the solar eclipse, but an eclipse of another kind.

Cicadas Sing to the Sun

Charged with luminosity,
cicada songs rise in a corona of sound.

My shadow follows their lead,
not to understanding, but
to hope.

When hearts are eclipsed
by misunderstanding,
we forget
our interconnected stories–
yours, mine, ours,
theirs, too.

Obscurity reveals our vulnerability.

When we are too close to the edge
of possibility, one step forward
can change everything.

Be careful where you step.

–Margaret Simon


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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.


If you follow my blog, you know I am a little obsessed with poetry. In the world of words, syllables, and sounds, I find puzzles in making them all fit together into something meaningful. Jane Yolen was recently featured on Michelle Barnes’ Today’s Little Ditty with a challenge to write septercets. This is a form Jane Yolen created with the pattern of seven syllables in three line stanzas.

I challenged my students to write septercets. And I played along.

I Spy

Looking for spinning spiders
hiding between limbs of trees
miraculous thread designs

Studying patterns of light
refraction reflecting bows
miraculous sky designs

Skipping stones from uncle’s pier
a ripple breaks the surface
miraculous water designs

–Margaret Simon

Can you write a septercet about the harvest moon above? Share in the comments and on Ditty of the Month padlet.

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