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Posts Tagged ‘student poems’

Today’s Poetry Friday Round up is with Dave at Leap of Dave.

Today was the first Poetry Friday of the new school year. Prompted by Kim Johnson who is writing daily to Dictionary for a Better World, I decided to begin at the beginning with the word Acceptance. Irene Latham wrote the model poem we read today. I have to admit starting with such a metaphor-driven poem was challenging. “I am a word with teeth– a crocodile” At first my students thought the poem was all about a crocodile. We had to work hard to make the connection between the title and the illustration.

From Dictionary for a Better World by Irene Latham and Charles Waters.

When it came time to write, I suggested using Irene’s form for an opening line. I am a word with ______. Adelyn chose the word Art. I adore what she wrote for her first poem of 4th grade gifted class.

 ART 

I am a word with imagination

A rainbow over my head

Some understand me, some don’t

Yet I don’t wait for supplies I improvise

I rest in a messy room

Full of markers, crayons and sketch books

As I dream of a

peacock flying overhead

by Adelyn, 4th grade

I am happy to be writing poems with kids again!

Here is my poem after Irene on the word Gracious:

Gracious

I am a word with wings–
a butterfly
landing on a red blossom.

Some want to catch me.
Others let me be.

Yet I do not waste time (as you do)
in the muddy banks
between despair

and hope.
I rest in freedom–
air, wind–
lightly lifting

as nectar fills my soul
with sweet gratitude.

Margaret Simon, draft, after Irene Latham

Consider joining me with my friends over at Ethical ELA for this weekend’s Open Write starting tomorrow through Wednesday.

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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.

On Fridays with my 6th grade gifted kids, we unpack a poem. We discuss everything from form to figurative language, assign tone and theme, and write a poem in response. This is my favorite lesson of the week. The Promethean Board with the annotation tool makes it even better.

Yesterday we focused on Irene Latham’s spring poems. She posts a video each week designed for homeschoolers, but it works for me, too. This week we watched this video:

Using Irene’s Art Speak Padlet, we located the poems she highlighted and selected one to unpack. My first group chose “because every day is a symphony in spring.” So many things to see, imagery, personification, word choice, rhyme…

When yellow rings,
green cannot await
its return.

As white fades
in discord,

yellow rings.
Once again

as purple, pink
orange, and red
splash the fields.

Jaden, 6th grade

When green season 
arrives, 

the rainbow comes out
from every direction
and all around
you. 

Red triangles grow with yellow spots
on green string,

orange sky falls
and the orange sky rises.

Yellow lights
shine through the heavy white marshmallows,

green spikes
poke out of the ground.

The sky’s blue
falling down in may,

with purple and pink petals
that have been waiting for 
this season. 

Green season, 
green season,
full of delight
and color.

Katie, 6th grade

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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.

Through blogging communities like this one (Slice of Life) and Poetry Friday, I’ve met many mentors for writing. Amy Ludwig VanDerwater is one of those special teacher-poets who generously gives of herself. During the pandemic shut down, she recorded videos in Betsy, her writing camper, every day. These can be found on her YouTube channel. Last year she went back to teaching, so she didn’t blog as much. Boy, did we miss her voice in cyberspace!

But she’s back and each week on Friday, she posts a mentor poem on The Poem Farm with student-friendly (and adult-friendly) instructions for writing your own poem. This past Friday, her poem came up on my Instagram and was just right for our writing time.

Crocheted wool hat by Margaret Simon

One of our kindergarten teachers is having a baby, so I crocheted a little hat for her new child. This was on my mind when I wrote alongside my students. I gifted the poem to Miss Heidi along with the hat.

The Wool Hat

after Amy Ludwig VanDerwater “Circles”

When sheep’s wool
becomes yarn
becomes crochet
becomes hat,
a newborn baby’s head
holds a sheep,
yarn,
hands,
needle,
warmth,
and I wonder
how prayers
offered for a stranger
growing inside a friend
becomes a child
wearing a hat
passed on
from sheep to hand
to heart
to warmth
to love.

Margaret Simon

Jaden, 6th grade, has started a new trend when he writes his gratitude poem. If he makes a mistake, he turns it into a picture. I noticed his little designs and complimented him. He said, “Oh, I made those dots and stars because I messed up.” That sounds like a poem to me. And so he turned his mistakes into stars into a poem.

Recycle Poem

Old mistakes
become rainbows
and new designs
old mistakes 
become new inspirations 
when I look at the designs
will I remember the old mistakes? 
will I think of new ideas?
shapes like stars and squares?
or something new?
what will the new mistakes become?

Jaden, 6th grade

One of the fourth grade teachers is raising monarchs. Katie was inspired by this and wrote her circle poem about the life cycle of a butterfly.

Life Cycle Poem

Out of a small egg
comes a small, slimy, bean.
A bean that squirms
and grows and grows.
Grows into a small
chrysalis where it stays for a while
until it’s ready to fly.
Fly into the real world
with beautiful, colored, wings
and to reproduce
another small egg.

Katie, 6th grade
Monarch hatchling by Margaret Simon

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Bridget at wee words for wee ones
.

Bridget Magee, our Poetry Friday hostess, just released an anthology around the number 10. I ordered it from Amazon and received it yesterday. I jumped right in and read poems from many of my Poetry Friday friends. Here is what Bridget wrote about her motivation for curating and publishing this anthology:

As the TENTH child born into a family of TEN children in the TENTH month, I am fascinated by the number ten. Add TENACITY to that fascination and the idea to create this anthology was conceived.

Bridget Magee, introduction to 10 x 10 Poetry Anthology

Every week I post a photo that begs to be a poem here on Reflections on the Teche as well as on my classroom Fanschool space. This week I was particularly struck by how the photo of a close-up of dragonfly wings inspired metaphors. Stained glass, mosaic art, prehistoric maps are a few that appeared in the small poems in the comments.

I was able to grab the student’s own writing to teach and reinforce the concept. Children can use figurative language long before they have a name for it.

dragonfly wings by Amanda Potts

Avalyn wrote “like a chandelier” in her notebook, and I took the opportunity to teach her about what she had just done. She had created a “simile.” I told her she could use the colored markers to underline it in her notebook and write the word simile in the margins. Her next line was “a clear shower curtain and the outline of your window.” I directed her to choose another color to mark the metaphor. Then I read her my poem and allowed her to mark my poem with the same colors. I was almost giddy with delight to be able to notice and note a gem in my second grade student’s writing.

This experience makes me wonder about photography and writing. Did the writing change if I told the children the photo was dragonfly wings? I told Jaden what the image was before he wrote, so he decided to google “dragonflies” and included a science fact in his poem.

Wings
like glass designs
shedding light
zipping through the sky
30 wing beats every second
bzz-bzz the dragon fly
slips by.

by Jaden, 6th grade

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about retirement. I envy my poet-teacher-friend Mary Lee Hahn who has a poem about retirement today. But moments like these in my classroom writing alongside such gifted and talented writers inspires me and makes me a better person. I think I’ll stick with it a little longer.

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Poetry Friday round-up is here today! Put your links with InLinkz at the bottom of this post.

Last week the Sunday Night Swaggers posted Nestling poems, like Irene Latham in This Poem is a Nest. I couldn’t stop there. I had to share the concept with my student writers. I had planned to teach the inaugural poem by Richard Blanco, One Today. I have the picture book, and it’s just an amazing poem all the way around. It’s especially full of nestlings for writers to find.

I filled two notebook pages with them. I copied a few into a Canva design. (My student helped with titles.)

Kaia and I wrote this one together, each choosing lines back and forth.

millions of faces 

arrayed

all of us 

we keep dreaming

many prayers

buon giorno

every language spoken

into one sky

by Kaia and Mrs. Simon

trains whistle

like a silent

drum tapping

on every rooftop

a birthday tune

by Chloe (She asks you to guess the title)

For the Winter Poem Swap, I received a gift poem all the way from Australia, along with the cutest little carrying bags with an original print of an echidna. Kat Apel and I muse about how similar and how different our landscape is. We often post similar pictures on Instagram of canoeing and walking about. Her poem is a delightful back and forth about our similar, yet different homes.

Pop over to Kat’s post to see how Robyn wrote in a similar style in her poem for Kat. It’s a small world after all.

Please leave your Poetry Friday links below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!Click here to enter

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Michelle Kogan.

One of my favorite things about teaching Reading and Writing to elementary gifted students is our weekly poetry reading and writing. We’d gather around the center table and read a poem together, talk about it, annotate, and write “like” the author. While it looks different this year, I have not given up teaching poetry. This week we worked with Teach this Poem and Joy Harjo’s poem Perhaps the World Ends Here. I love this poem, the universality of it, the simple profound language, and its accessibility to young students.

When Jaden suggested we steal a line, I knew exactly which one I wanted to steal: “This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.” After a few false starts, I am pleased with my poem. I am also posting Jaden’s because it shares wisdom beyond his 10 years.

The Writing Table

At this table,
dreams are written
in decorated notebooks.

There’s a pocket for poems
and clean blue lines open
to ideas.

At this table, there are
scraps of paper,
colored pens in a coffee can,
a tube of glitter-glue.

Today, this table is empty.
A screen glows
while children type 
& breathe through cloth.

Words still float onto an empty page.
Poems still light a spark.

This table is a house in the rain,
An umbrella in the sun,
a dawn in the darkness.
Come taste the sweetness.

Margaret Simon, 2020

Why all
the gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. 
So has it been since creation, and it will go on.

The gifts have been laid out through history
traveling through our mind.
The table of gifts has been the energy of life in our heart.
The gifts of the table have been tampered with.
The gifts in our heart have been bruised.
The table is the immune system 
shielding the gifts of the earth.

Jaden, 5th grade

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Jama today.

I enjoy playing with a new form, and this week I had a few to try out. One was invented by my very own student Chloe. This has happened only a few times in my teaching career when students become so comfortable with poetry that they venture into creating a new form. Chloe was writing to a prompt from Write Out, a collaboration between the National Writing Project and the National Park Service. The prompt asked students to draw a bird and write a journal entry for a day in the city. Chloe decided to draw a peacock. Then she wrote a very P heavy peacock poem. The aha came when she realized there was a distinct rhythm to her words. Voila! A new form!

Her form uses the syllable count of 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. We talked about the number five and decided that Penta-poem (more P words) had a nice ring to it. There is an optional rhyme scheme.

Peacock by Chloe, 5th grade
Peacock Penta poem by Chloe, 5th grade

I used another Write Out prompt to play with Chloe’s form. This prompt asked us to write from the perspective of an underground creature.

Some of our Poetry Friday peeps have also tried the Penta-Poem: Responses to This Photo Wants to be a Poem and Linda Mitchell uses a variation with a found poem.

I was introduced to a few other new-to-me forms on Ethical ELA Open Write this week. Anna J. Small Roseboro presented “Take a Word for a Walk” like the 5-finger exercises that pianists use. Writing to a daily prompt is exercise for the poet. Read Anna’s prompt here.

Why Worry?

worry that I’m not good
enough to worry about myself when
I give in, worry for the sake
of all my silly worry lists
waiting for nothing but for worry.

Margaret Simon, draft

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Brenda Davis Harsham is hosting Poetry Friday today.

We talked about descriptive poetry, writing so that your reader can visualize your topic.  I have the privilege of working with small groups of students, so I am able to collaborate with an individual student on a poem.  Chloe wanted to write about a swan.  I shared a poem from my book Bayou Song that was about the white ibis.  The poem was in a triptych form.  Chloe and I wrote a poem using the same form writing description from a photograph of a swan.  In the process, she learned the word cygnet, and we both learned that a swan tucks her cygnets under her wings.

Swan Triptych

1.
It’s the way
white wings swim
in the crawfish pond.

2.
It’s the way
mother swan protects
her cygnets
tucked into her wings
softly.

3.
It’s the way
the beautiful swan
is reflected on the water.

by Mrs. Simon and Chloe

With Landon, we used metaphor dice.  The dice turned up “My soul is a silent trophy.”  I suggested changing trophy to garden.  He loved the idea and guess what? The line was eight syllables long, perfect for the first line of a zeno. (See more about zenos here.) I asked him, “What did you see in the garden?” He remembered a praying mantis hiding in a bush.  As we continued to discuss the word choices for this poem, we decided to break the rule about the one syllable words rhyming.  Sometimes when you try to rhyme, you lose meaning.

Garden Zeno

My soul is a silent garden
Praying Mantis
Stealthy
Stands
camouflaging
into
leaves
The small garden
is their
home.

by Landon and Mrs. Simon

Collaborating with students on poems or even having students work together can result in rich conversations around word choice and produce a poem that all are pleased with.

 

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Click over to Steps & Staircases for more Poetry Friday.

 

Inspired by Project 1,2,3 originated by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and continued by her daughter, Lisa challenged us to make a metaphorical poem from an object/image.  Many of us took the challenge.  To see more poems, click over to Lisa’s blog to read more posts.

I brought this idea to my students and combined it with a lesson from Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s book Poems are Teachers, “Make Metaphors” on page 136. We looked at model poems and talked about how an object can become a metaphor.  In one class, I passed around a paintbrush and said, “A paintbrush is…”  In another, I blew bubbles and said, “Bubbles are like…”  Each of these inspired beautiful responses from my kiddos.

  • A paintbrush is your imagination.
  • A paintbrush paints your path.
  • Bubbles are sparkling rainbows.
  • Bubbles are in orbit flying around Saturn.

As I wrote with my students, I grabbed a pink marker and made three swirls on my paper.  Back at home with a little time to craft (snow day!), I cut and pasted pink swirls in an art journal.  Thanks, Lisa, for the fun prompt.

 

Swirl of pink
sparkle-sky
diamond bright
stars of night

Swirl of pink
puffy parting clouds
play peek-a-boo
with the sun

Swirl of pink
licky-lick
sticky-lip
lollipop

–Margaret Simon, 2017

 

Chloe’s Bubble poem

Trace’s pink paintbrush poem

Austin’s wooden flute poem

Lynzee’s angel poem

After we wrote and shared our poems, Andrew had an idea.  “Why don’t we take a line from each of our poems and make a new poem?”  Sounds like a great idea.  Here’s the resulting poem.

To dream it, all you have to do is start.

Don’t erase yourself from the real world.
Paint your true colors.

There is no fright.
Not to lose but to gain.

Flying high above
a swirl of pink puffy parting cloud,

The sea is my world.
The sand is my happiness.

–Caneview GT Allstars

 

 

 

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Poetry Friday round-up  is with my birthday sister, Julieanne.

Poetry Friday round-up is with my birthday sister, Julieanne.

rainbow sno-cones

THAT WAS SUMMER
Marci Ridlon

Have you ever smelled summer?
Sure you have.
Remember that time
when you were tired of running
or doing nothing much
and you were hot
and you flopped right down on the ground?
Remember how the warm sun smelled and the
grass?
That was summer.
Read the whole poem here.

That was Summer was the first poem for my students to unpack this year. Yesterday was my birthday. (I share the day with two PF peeps, Linda Mitchell and Julieanne Harmatz.) To celebrate my day, we had popcorn. Somewhere online over the summer I saw pictures of a teacher’s classroom eating popcorn and discussing poetry, thus “popcorn poetry.” We started this fun tradition this week.

After reading and discussing That was Summer, I suggested that my students try out the form. Some did. Some chose another form. That’s OK. No requirements, just write what you want to write.

Madison and Jacob both chose to write about the taste of summer.

That was Summer by Jacob

Have you ever tasted summer?
Sure you have.
Remember that time
you rolled in the mud?
That was summer.

Remember that time
when you ran into
a field of flowers?
That was summer.

Remember that time
when you were so hot
you drank the ocean?
That was summer.

Remember that time
when you jumped into
a pile of leaves?
That was summer.

Summer by Madison

I tried out the form and enjoyed finding my own memories of summer.

That was Summer
after Marci Ridlon

Do you miss summer?
Sure, you do.
That easy time
when days are long,
the sun shines on and on.

Remember the time
when you chased the mosquito truck
in a cloud of toxic dust,
your father spanked you
for the first and last time?
That was summer.

Remember the time
when you gathered all the blankets, sheets, and pillows,
and built a fort in the living room,
an indoor camp-out with Karen and Ralph?
You shined flashlights and made the shadows dance.
That was summer.

Remember the time
when you lay awake
in your parents’ bed
waiting for the hurricane?
You whispered Is it here yet,
and wondered where all the birds and squirrels hid.
That was summer.

Remember the time
you waited for the sound of the sno-cone truck,
when Mary Had A Little Lamb
echoed over and over,
and you couldn’t help humming along?
Remember watching the sno-cone man
pour the syrup over ice
in rainbow flavors, strawberry, lemon, and bubblegum,
a trio of colors on your frozen tongue?
That was summer.

–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

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