Posts Tagged ‘Sugarcane’

  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Chalk-a-bration at Betsy Hubbard's site Teaching Young Writers.

Join the Chalk-a-bration at Betsy Hubbard’s site Teaching Young Writers.

I have been using Laura Purdie Salas’s blog site in my classroom. Last week we joined in her weekly photo challenge “15 Words or Less.” She posts a new photo each Thursday and invites poets to quick-write a poem.

Yesterday, I used Laura’s new series, What’s Inside, to inspire short poems for Chalkabration. I even tried my own What’s Inside poem. I am not usually a rhyme writer. It’s hard. I wanted to rhyme like Laura, so with the help of RhymeZone, I found the word quill to rhyme with still. That made me think more deeply about the way sugarcane looks. Could it be a quill? Yes, in my imagination. Don’t you love it when words work out like that? It was a high-five moment. (Teachers need them, too.)

Following the lead of Betsy Hubbard and Stacey Shubitz, two of the six teachers who write for Two Writing Teachers, I used Emaze to show off some of our poems. I am encouraging my students to try this new format for their upcoming book talks, so I wanted to experiment myself. Click on the link below to watch our chalkabration celebration.

http://app.emaze.com/825079/september-chalkabration?autoplayPowered by emaze

What's inside sugarcane?

What’s inside sugarcane?

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See more Poetry Friday with Linda at Teacher Dance.

See more Poetry Friday with Linda at Teacher Dance.

The Festival of Words is around the corner (next weekend!). Naomi Shihab Nye is coming to the small town of Grand Coteau, Louisiana to be a part of this great celebration of poetry. Naomi is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and she is coming to see us and share poetry with us. I have signed up for her workshop next Saturday and have gotten special permission to bring a student with me.

The Festival of Words was organized six years ago by a small group who believed that Poetry is for Everybody. With drive-by poetry and open air readings, the festival brings the power of poetry to the streets.

The Festival also holds a student writing contest. The contest is open to 6th-12th graders. The highest level I teach is 6th grade. My student, Brooklyn, entered her poem about sugarcane and placed FIRST in the Jr. High Division. I have been teaching Brooklyn since she was in 4th grade, and it delights me to see her writing develop to contest-winning level. I am so proud of her. Her winning poem is here:

I’m home

A green line of cane,
above the tan dirt,
under the bright blue
Louisiana sky.

Colorful, like a
shining rainbow after
a harsh rain,
like a path full of
roses and daisies.
There is a hushing noise,
made by the stalks slowly
and gently rubbing together,
hush, hush, hush.
sugarcane 4
With the touch of the angel’s wing
so delicate and free, reassuring
you that anything is possible.

Always giving off the soft,
welcoming, harmless,
I’m home feeling.
I’m home,
I’m home,
I’m home.

Brooklyn, all rights reserved

From the Festival of Words Kickstarter Site on Why it Matters: “Writing poems and stories gives people of all ages a positive means to communicate, share, and respect each other’s words and individuality. • Creative writing raises student literacy levels • Creative writing teaches problem-solving, analysis, and creative thinking • Students who participate in the arts are more likely to excel academically and professionally.”

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sugarcane 1

Today is Sugarcane Festival Farmer’s Day in New Iberia. I have watched the cane grow all summer. It is over 8 feet tall. Should be a good year!

Sugarcane stalks standing tall,
side by side,
guarding, swaying
swish, swish!

sugarcane 4

Hear the sweetness?
Smell the burning field?
Anticipate the haul-
Slow, slow.

Moving to the mill,
Grind, Grind
Just in time
for Christmas candy canes.
–Margaret Simon

Poetry Friday is being hosted today by Amy at The Poem Farm.

Poetry Friday is being hosted today by Amy at The Poem Farm.

happiness is

Happiness is a new poetry book. Announcing the release of Illuminate, a book of my poems with my father’s drawings. Here’s what others are saying:


“John Gibson, the father and artist, and Margaret Simon, the daughter and poet, have teamed up to communicate the beauty and mystery of the manifestation of God in the world in this small volume. Finely honed lines by both artist and writer will cause readers to ask for more, as the creators of Illuminate have, with light and deft strokes, captured the gift of the Incarnation.” Diane Moore

“In the imaginative, graceful and grace-filled poems of Margaret Simon, we are taken into her experience of faith through a vision that is clear and a voice that is authentic. Each poem, lovingly crafted, is homage to her father’s art and to her God, and resonates with her love of and enchantment with words.” Clare L. Martin, poet and author of Eating the Heart First (Press 53, 2012)

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