Archives: Classroom Workshop

School Poetry Workshop: Food and the 5 Senses

Poetry Friday is at Kiesha’s Whispers from the Ridge. Click through to find more delectable poetry posts from the kidlitosphere.

It’s Poetry Friday! Welcome back to Northfield Elementary, where the third grade poets are using their five senses to write about food.

When I’m working with young writers on food poems, I want to guide them away from catch-all words: delicious, yummy, tasty, good, disgusting. Pizza and ice cream are both delicious, but they don’t taste anything alike (unless you visit this LA restaurant.)

Here’s a quick cooperative writing game/exercise you can use to help students focus on specific, descriptive language.

Mystery Food
Goal: Get the class to guess your mystery food in three words.

  1. Make a set of small cards with the name of a food on each one. I use half an index card. The foods I use are: ice cream, bubble gum, tacos, hamburger, pizza, apple, chocolate, orange, celery, spinach.
  2. Give groups of four-six students one card each. Don’t read the card aloud (we don’t want our classmates to hear), but pass it around the group.
  3. The group has 5 minutes to come up with the three adjectives that are so descriptive, the class will be able to figure out the food in one guess.
  4. Each group take turns reading their three words. The rest of the class tries to guess the food.

My students have a great time with this one. The classroom teacher and I do walk around, reminding them that they can use color, shape, texture, flavor, and other descriptors.

Our mentor text for the food poems workshop is “Good Hotdogs” by Sandra Cisneros.

Thanks to the Northfield 3rd grade team and families for giving me permission to share the students’ poems. Today, we were focusing on using imagery of the five senses.

Poet: Ayesha A.

Popsicle

Going outside
In the warm sunshine.
You run behind me.
Something’s in your hand.
You yell, “Wait!”
I turn around, something plops in
My hand.
I rip open the foil
And see all the types
Of colors. I take a bite
And out leaks the juicy
Cherry flavor. When I’m done there’s
A stick left behind.
I then say thanks and then
I leave. Yum.

Poet: Will Y.

Sushi

Waiting ‘til Friday
Hearing a ding
Going to the door, meeting
The sushi man
Pizza, sushi, and video games
End of the week, tired
California roll, sweet crab, soft avocado
I think it is tasty

Poet: Celia V.

Pepperoni Pizza

As I taste the spicy pepperoni
Smell the cheese at the tip
Of my tongue, see the cheesy
Pizza, hear the likes of
My mouth, ready to eat it
Up, I touch the hotness of
My pizza.

Poet: Tanishka H.

S’mores

Out in the dark
We sit in the pitch black.
Mom and Dad
Shout surprise! Out come
Hershey bars, marshmallows
Honeylicious graham crackers.
Mom and Dad light up the fire.
I see marshmallows
On a stick soft, crispy,
And looks yummy! First goes
The cracker, then goes toasty
Marshmallows and sweet
Hershey piece and another
Honeylicious graham
Cracker on top. We take
A s’more. We smell sweet crisps
Of marshmallow burns.
We take a bite. “Yum,” we say. Chewy
Squishy marshmallows in our mouths.
S’mores we all love.

Poet: Ava R.

Warm Drinks in the Winter

I hear the coffee machine dispenses warm liquid.
I feel the warm cup against my cold fingers.
I smell the hot chocolatey air.
I see the marshmallows melt into the hot chocolate.
I hear the sound of the whipped cream
Squirt out of the can into the hot chocolate.
It tastes as if I got it from heaven.
The warm liquid swishes in my mouth.
Swish, swash, gulp!

Still hungry? I’ll post more Northfield food poems next week.

Check out the previous posts in this School Poetry Workshop series:

School Poetry Workshop: Haiku Hike, May 12, 2017

School Poetry Workshop: Haiku Hike

Thank you for hosting today’s Poetry Friday link up, Tara Smith! You’ll find a list of today’s poetry posts at Tara’s blog, A Teaching Life.

Happy Poetry Friday, Readers.

It’s May, my month to serve as poet-in-residence at Northfield Elementary School. This is my longest running residency through the Maryland State Arts Council. 11 years!

When I had my orientation meeting with third grade educators this year, they had important information for me. This year’s 3rd graders are active. They need to move! How could we adapt the poetry lessons to meet this need?

We decided to kick off our series of poetry workshops with a haiku hike, inspired by the book HAIKU HIKE from Scholastic. This book won the 2005 “Kids Are Authors” award. It’s a great introduction to haiku and inspired us to go outdoors and gather images for our poems.

Haiku poems have a rich history, steeped in Japanese culture. We talked about a few quick things before we went outside.

  1. Japanese is read from top to bottom, not left to right like English. The 5-7-5 syllable count isn’t a rule, but an attempt to recreate the rhythm of a Japanese haiku. I encourage students to write three lines — short-long-short — or even two lines for their haiku. (We looked at a traditional haiku, in Japanese, from a page in the book WABI SABI, by Mark Reibstein, illustrated by Ed Young.)
  2. The book HAIKU HIKE introduces the concept of kigo, a word in the haiku that symbolizes the season.
  3. In some classes, we discussed the difference between haiku and senryu.

Then we were ready for our hike.

Each of the five third grade classes went outside for about 10-15 minutes on a series of sunny, very windy days. Wow! They student poets were so observant, paying attention to details small and large.

The wind was so chilly, students lay on the warm blacktop while they wrote down observations.

 

Thanks to the Northfield 3rd grade team and families for giving me permission to share the students’ poems.

Poet: Jessica M.

Leaves whispering quietly
My name in the breeze
Come outside with me

Modeling for students: flowers in our path/ buttercup turns our chins yellow/ on a haiku hike

Poet: A.J. H.

Itchy eyes
Acorns on the tips of trees
Millions of grass

Poet: Jameson I.

Running in grass
Brown pine cone in our path
Sappy hands

Poet: Sarah B.

On a sunny day
Spring flowers start to bloom
Then I do too

 

Poet: Sarena D.

Scratch, dirt creaks and crack
Under tree, all alone, far away from home
No movement, no tossing

Poet: Kate A.

Cute little creatures
Scurrying through green tree tops
Eating lots of nuts

Poet: Lucas B.

Shooting star
Some people make a wish
Others just watch

Poet: Milie S.

Shh, the leaves go
Rustled by the spring wind
Nature’s librarian

Poet: Jackson A.

Furious wind
Trees swaying and branches battling
Spring wind war

Then, this happened. (Haiku by Ms. Shovan)

windy spring day
student papers take flight
haiku blizzard

Inspired by the wonderful haiku by Northfield third graders, I’ve been working on my own haiku poems this week.

During one of my walks, I took photos instead of notes, then came home and wrote haiku like this one.

May walk
Sun puddles on pavement
Watch your step!

Want to try this lesson with your students? This is the frame I used. Feel free to borrow.

NCTE

Heading to NCTE this weekend? So am I.

ncteMy first job after graduate school was teaching high school English. I was a member of the New Jersey Council of Teachers of English, but I never got to a national conference. Educator friends have told me how good it feels to be surrounded by people who love all things reading, writing, and learning.

This year’s conference theme is both timely and necessary, “Faces of Advocacy.” As educators, we must advocate for ourselves and our students in so many ways. Classrooms need to be a safe space for all of us, no matter our ethnicity, race, religious beliefs, or background.

Below is my annotated conference schedule. Stop by and say hello!


writing-for-a-better-world-poetry-as-an-agent-of-changencte-2106saturday-nov-19-20169-30-amb210-copy

NCTE 2016

Saturday, November 19

9:30-10:45 am
Writing for a Better World: Poetry as an Agent of Change
Georgia World Congress Convention Center B210

Program Description: When headlines shout tragic news, we often feel powerless. Yet poetry can help. In this session, a panel of teachers and poets share ways to respond to world events and work to make positive change through poetry, beginning at the most personal level and later echoing out into the world.

Margaret Simon is the program chair. Katherine Bomer is a respondent. Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Irene Latham, Margarita Engle, and Tara Smith are the other authors on this panel.

Notes: Many of our students are struggling with how to respond to the recent presidential election. This is going to be a powerful discussion about how we can use poetry as an agent of change and a source of comfort. I’m looking forward to the conversation, and to meeting several longtime Poetry Friday blogging friends.

4:00-7:30 pm
SCBWI Member Book Signing and Reception
Georgia World Congress Convention Center A411

Sponsored by the SCBWI Southern Breeze. The signing runs from 4-5:30 with a reception following. At the reception, 14 authors — including me — will have a chance to pitch their books to attendees. Should be fun!

Sunday, November 20

9:00-9:45 am
Laura Shovan Autograph Session, THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY
Georgia World Congress Convention Center, Random House Booth #412

12:00 PM – 1:15 PM
Writing Strategies for Teaching Empathy Through POV
Georgia World Congress Convention Center A310

Program Description: Seeing the world from another’s point of view is a key element of empathy—a necessary component of advocacy. In this interactive session, three authors and writing teachers will engage participants in a series of fun, hands-on, easily replicable POV writing activities designed to create an appreciation for others and their communities.

Victoria J. Coe and Cheryl Lawton Malone are the other authors leading this workshop.

Notes: I’m looking forward to co-leading this workshop with Vicki, author of the middle grade novel FENWAY AND HATTIE, and Cheryl, whose debut picture book is DARIO AND THE WHALE. We’ve been hard at work on this session. Each of us is presenting one writing exercise for teaching students point of view.

I’m rounding out the conference by meeting up with a 100 Thousand Poets for Change friend, poet and educator Waqas Khwaja, who is a professor at Agnes Scott College. You can read an interview with Waqas here. I also encourage you to read his poem, “I Bide My Time.”

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, everyone!

 

 

Poetry Friday: Shoe Odes

PF tag

It’s Poetry Friday. Visit Julie Larios at The Drift Record for the best in this week’s kidlit poetry.

Today was the poetry open house at Northfield Elementary School.

It was an emotional day. I’ve been poet-in-residence at this school for ten years. The third grade teachers’ stories about how our poetry workshops have impacted their students, and their own teaching throughout the year, were so moving. There were lots of tears and hugs.

I have a few more odes from the third grade poets to share, then we’ll have a fun photo gallery from the residency. You can read more about our workshop on odes at this post.

Roscoe took the idea of hyperbole and ran with it in this ode.

Dear Shoe
By Roscoe G.

Dear Shoe, you look like an old green
and black gorilla, but you are the wisest
of all. You smell like a nine billion
year old dump that survived
the Great Depression. You sound like
a beating wing of a horned owl.
You feel like a scratchy bed of silk.
I have gone to England with you,
Six Flags, Disney World, and Disney Land
with you. I can’t live without you
because you protect my feet like armor.

***

I love the visual simile that Jacob uses for his first line.

My Shoe
By Jacob Z.

My shoes looks like the scales
on a raging crocodile.
My shoes smells like dirty socks,
so I can make my older brother
not take my money by
putting my money in there.
My shoe feels like walking on water
when I walk.
My shoe sounds like a galloping horse.
I’ve been to the Great Wall of China
with you.
If you weren’t here, my feet would
step on the long, pointy grass.

***

I could tell that Zenia took special care in writing her ode, reordering the similes that she brainstormed so that her poem ends with a powerful  image.

Dear Shoe
By Zenia H.

Oh shoe, oh how I couldn’t live without you. I wouldn’t go as fast. The foamy insides are as soft and comfy as my blanket waiting for me on my bed. Oh, the one thing that is my absolute favorite is your smell that is as stinky as a skunk. You, my favorite, beautiful shoe, you are like a rainbow bursting out of the sky. Oh, how I couldn’t live without you.

***

Great finale in this poem — can you hear these shoes stomping?

Dear Shoes
By Rishik R.

You are like a red laser going past a black wall, fast as turbo. You smell like a wonderful wet breeze. You feel as rough as an entire continent, and most of all you both sound like thunder booming through the sky, loud as Zeus.

***

This is another poem that opens with a powerful simile.

My Shoes
By Jordan T.

You look like a black train
zooming across the track.
Shoes, you smell like a stink
bug when it dies. You could even knock
out a skunk. You are so soft, like
a smooth cloth. You sound
like someone scratching on a
gymnastics bar. There have been
so many places. It’s like I’ve
been all around the world with
them. I’ve run and splashed in the
water at the beach with them. I
can’t live without you, shoes. I will
get wet and blistery without you.
***

NORTHFIELD ELEMENTARY’S POETRY PHOTO GALLE\RY

IMG_20160526_220955

I love the illustrations for this list poem, “Words in My Gymnastics Class.”

IMG_20160526_115709157

The “Graffiti Wall” in Ms. Walles’ room is “A safe place for authors and poets to keep powerful words and phrases.”

IMG_20160526_144900777

Not your typical shopping list. This is a list poem with a twist!

IMG_20160526_145300197_HDR

Ms. Scavo’s class is working on their own binder filled with original poetry.

IMG_20160526_145747557

Spotted in Ms. Gauert’s third grade.

IMG_20160526_150917411

Words of wisdom!

Third Grade Odes

We’re wrapping things up at Northfield Elementary. Our third and final poetry workshop focused on odes.

Tone is a difficult literary concept. The website Literary Devices defines it this way: “Tone, in written composition, is an attitude of a writer toward a subject or an audience. Tone is generally conveyed through the choice of words or the viewpoint of a writer on a particular subject.” The interesting thing about odes is this: they are so focused, even over-the-top, in praising their subject that their use of tone is obvious. For this reason, the ode is a great poetic form for teaching young writers about tone.

I recently guest-posted at Woven Tale Press online literary magazine about using odes in the classroom. You can read the article here.

Our mentor text for this workshop was Gary Soto’s poem, “Ode to Pablo’s Tennis Shoes.” (Read the poem at Scholastic.) The Northfield third grade poets took off their own shoes, so they’d have something tactile to praise and celebrate in their odes. Having an object to work with helped the students build on the sensory imagery we used in our previous workshop.

One of the things we worked on in our odes was hyperbole. See if you can spot at least one hyperbole in each of today’s poems.

Ode to Greta’s Shoes
By Greta S.

Thank you, athletic shoes. You make
me feel like I am walking on a cloud.
When I am on a secret mission, you keep
me quiet, so no one can hear me. Sometimes
I don’t appreciate the smell you have — a rotten
egg sitting in my lunch box for two years.
Thank you for the look of a
gray and pink sunrise on a school day
morning. Thank you for being my
favorite shoes.

***

Ode to Shoes
By Ariyana M.

As old and worn as they are,
I can’t live without them.
They still aren’t even at their first birthday!
Oh, the shine! Too bright!
Now dull brown, they carry me silently
and plead squeakily for baths occasionally.
Why, oh why, can’t shoes grow with you?
Why does my mom grow roses?
Life isn’t fair,
but you are about as fair as it gets!

***

Ode to My Shoes
By Cate J.

Shoes! Oh, shoes. How I love you so.
You look like the shimmering waves
crashing onto the beach.
You smell of sweat
from the hot summer days we have played together.
You fee so supporting, always there for me.
You  helped me trudge
up the rockiest of Montana’s mountains,
carried me over theme parks,
and helped me run faster than a cheetah.
Without you, my speed would be
as slow as a snail.
Why, oh why, is there not
Shoe Day.

***

Oh, Shoes
By Sami J.

Oh, Shoes
I couldn’t
live without
you. You look
like a black
cat snooping
into the
moonlight. You
smell like
soil with
a plant in
you. You
feel like
clouds
on a
cloudy day.
You sound
like the
silent
moonlight.
All the places
I have been
with you like
New Jersey.
Oh, Shoes
what would
I do without
you? I would
be lost trying
to find you.
I would not
have fun
without you.
Oh, Shoes, what
would I do
without you?

***

Untitled Ode
By Griffin R.

My shoes looks like the eye
of the tiger. My shoe smells like
they’re old school, but wise
and respected. My shoe feels like
a thick butterfly net. My shoes sounds like
it’s playing Tic Tac Toe. Without
my shoe, my feet can’t be clean.

***

Thanks to the Northfield community for allowing me to share the students’ writing. I’ll post more shoe odes from third grade tomorrow.

Imagine that! Imagery poems

Greetings, poets and friends. The Northfield third graders are working on imagery today, by focusing on our five senses. The five senses are an important tool in communication, whether you are telling a story to friends at the lunch table, or writing a poem. Appealing to your audience’s senses creates that “you are there” feeling.

Using their teacher’s chalkboard eraser as an example, we discussed the difference between using our five senses in this way:

The eraser looks black. It feels fuzzy. It smells of chalk. It makes a swishing sound on the board. If I could taste it, it would be chewy.

and using similes and figurative language to create vivid imagery:

The eraser looks as black as a cat prowling at midnight. It feels soft as a panther’s fur. It smells as dry as the desert. It sounds like the wind blowing on a dark night. It tastes like eating cotton balls.

Although we defined simile (a figure of speech in which two unlike things are explicitly compared, often using “like” or “as”), some third graders need reinforcement with the “unlike things” part of the concept. Giving several examples of what is (the flowers were as red as Mars) and is not (the air outside tasted like fresh air) a simile helps.

Wrestling the BeastToday, we used our five senses similes to create action poems. Our mentor text was “Wrestling the Beast” by Arnold Adoff, from his wonderful book of sports poems, SPORTS PAGES.

 

Each poet chose a favorite activity to write about. I love seeing what topics the students come up with. Again, these are initial drafts. In most cases, we haven’t worked on line breaks or developing our ideas further yet. We’ll save that for our last workshop.


I’ve never been to a Go Kart Race, but Brian’s poem gave me a great sense of what it’s like.

Go Kart Racing
By Brian K.

Finally, I’m off to the races.
Blah, smells as bad as burnt rubber.

The racers come and meet together, saying,
“Good luck.” I finish my refreshing ride
and away I am!

Squeaking like gears on a roller coaster.
Whoa! Here someone comes.
I’m as fast as Speedy Gonzales.

I feel like I’m racing as one of the bulls
in the Running of the Bulls.

Here I come. I see the checkered flag…

DONE!

***

The funny hyperbole in Zach’s poem describes a basketball opponent who can’t catch our speaker.

Basketball
By Zach K.

As I run down the court
it’s like I’m in a stampede,
with enemies and teammates
and the smell of stinky socks
around me, as I run to
the hoop, someone blocks me
as fast as lightning but
he’s an  hour late, the ball
has already gone through
the hoop, the buzzer
sounds like a bee in my ear,
I love basketball.

***

You know that creepy-crawly feeling you get when you’re sweaty and dirty? Aneesh has a great simile to describe it.

Baseball
By Aneesh P.

It is the final point. 3-3.
I feel as strong as a bull.
I hear the crowd going wild
like a bunch of cackling hyenas.
I smell a stench like sweaty socks.
I see my team cheering
like a roaring lion.
I feel the dirt
tickling my body like ants.
Then, one two three
BAM. I hit the ball
and get a home run.

***

The rhythm in Akira’s action poem is fast, recreating the action of a tennis match.

Tennis
By Akira N.

I run down to get the ball. When I’m playing,
an opponent is like rushing to go to work.
The ball is like a monster charging
toward me. I smell as sweaty as dirty water.
The ball touches fuzzy as dog’s fur.
The ball is roaring with cool wind.

***

I especially like the extended description in the final image of Achilles’ poem about martial arts class.

Sparring
By Achilles F.

When my master call me up to spar
I see a sweaty tiger right in front
of me, nervously. When the instructor
counts down to ___, I feel the
wind hitting me like a freight train.
At the end, we smell like a football
player’s gear after his game. I
taste salt water going down my
face and my hair. We sounds
like an 18 wheeler horn going down
a tunnel.

***

Last for today, you’ll notice the form of London’s poem, which bounces around the page. She is borrowing here from our model poem, “Wrestling the Beast,” which also uses the look of the poem on the page to build drama. See the handwritten and typed pictures for an idea of London’s use of white space on the page.

IMG_20160522_185802

IMG_20160522_191556129

Swimming
By London

The pool is deep as a ship,
sinking deep down like a whale,
heavy as a net. A fish?
No, not a deep side but a
nice
place for kids to hang out.

A chair. Comfy. Soaking wet.
A diver. His choice:
Hotness around my neck.
A flipper? Goggles?
A big snorkel
giving air?

A towel?

A towel? A snake? A big jumping
start from the end of the
edge?

This is a deep pool. A gentle
Wave from
above
by me.
Splash.
Yumm.
Amazing.

***

Thanks, Northfield staff and families for giving me permission to share the students’ fine poems today. I can’t wait to see what they come up with when we revise together!

If you’d like to read more about Arnold Adoff, check out his website. His latest books is ROOTS AND BLUES, which you can hear Arnold reading on Youtube! 

roots and blues

More List Poems from Northfield 3rd Grade

Welcome back to the Northfield Third Grade! Our poets are continuing to work on list poems, using Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Words in My Pillow” as a mentor text.

You can read more about the model poem and  how the students are using it to create their own list poems at yesterday’s post.

Mackenzie is a great observer. Check out the details that appear in this list poem.

Words in My School Box
By Mackenzie M.

I hide words inside my school box.
Words that are crazy.

Paper clips
Cluttered
Eraser bits

No one can see them
but I find them waiting for me.
Like the school box hiding inside my desk.
No one can see it
but I know what’s in there–

Crayons
Glue stick
Pencil
Scissors
A hair clip
Tiny pieces of paper

Two markers are in there.
A bag is in there.

The words are playing together
when I am saying or thinking them.

Highlighters
tiny snowmen
broken rubber bands
lip balm
are in my school box.

My friends the words
stay at school when I leave.
But they never
go away.

***

I like the way that Jacqueline used the list poem to think deeply about patriotism and how it is connected to a sense of home.

Words in My Country
By Jacqueline P.

Words in my country.
Words are good–

Red
White
Blue

People can see it
but I find my home waiting for me.
Like the friends around me.
People can see it,
but I know that’s where I live.

Military
Freedom
Safety
Homey
Family
Laws

Bad guys are in there.
Good guys are there.

People play together
when I am saying this.

Fun
good
flag
freedom
is in my country.

My friends
are here
and my family
are here and they will
never go.

***

Reading Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem makes us stop and think about things we can’t see, but know are there. “Like the TUMMY hiding inside my body,” one line reads. Hailey used the idea of things we know without seeing in a musical list poem.

I Know Music Is Everywhere
By Hailey K.

I know music is everywhere.
Music that sounds good-

HARMONY
JOY

Like music notes that are hiding
behind my music piece.
No one can imagine how beautiful
music can be
but I can feel the beat rising
inside my body–

HALF NOTES
SHARPS
FLATS
HAPPY
ENJOY

FEELINGS are in there.
NOTES are in there.

The cymbals are dancing to the beat
when I’m playing them.

***

My own son, now 19, has cars on the brain. He’d appreciate all of the detailed information and specific words that Amitav includes in this list poem.

Words in My Car
By Amitav K.

I hide words inside my car.
Words that are fast.

Carburetor
Battery
Piston

No one can see them
but I f ind them waiting for me.
Like the brain hiding inside my body.
No one can see it
but I know what’s in there.

V8
Flat 4
Exhaust system
Brake liquid
Engine oil

Gas is in there.
Engine is in there.

The words are playing together
when I am saying or thinking them.

Lamborghini
Bugatti
Honda
Ferrari

***

When students have trouble coming up with a topic for this poem, I encourage them to write about something familiar. Haylee chose to write a school-related list.

Words in My P.E. Class
By Haylee S.

I hide words inside my P.E. class.
Words that smell bad.

Sweat
Filthy
Ball

No one can see them
but I find them waiting for me.
Like the sweaty place it is,
hiding inside my gym.
No one can see it
but I know what’s in there–

Bats
Glove
Jump rope
Running
Walking
Having fun

Sweat is n there.
Kids are in there.

The words are playing together
when I am saying or thinking them.

Teacher
Equipment
Hoops
Oops, I dropped the ball.

***

Thanks again to the Northfield staff and families for allowing me to share the students’ poems. Tomorrow, we are going to build on the idea of juicy, specific words when we create similes.

List Poems from Northfield ES

Hello, Readers! After my new middle grade novel launched in mid-April, I took a month off from blogging.

In that month, I’ve visited schools and bookstores in Albuquerque, New Mexico, New York City, and Baltimore. Now I’m back in my own neighborhood, teaching at Northfield Elementary. I’ve been poet in residence with the Northfield third grade for ten years.

The first time I meet the poets, we work on a structured form, such as a list poem. This year, our first model poem was Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Words in My Pillow.” It’s from the list poem anthology, FALLING DOWN THE PAGE.

FALLING DOWN THE PAGE

Read more about this book, edited by Georgia Heard, at the MacMillan website.

In the model poem, the speaker describes tucking words into her pillow before she goes to sleep. The third graders and I brainstormed our own list of juicy words, and figured out how we might change the topic of the poem, but keep some of its structure.

For instance, “Words in My Dog” might include specific nouns (TREATS, WATER, TONGUE), descriptive adjectives and verbs (BARK, FLUFFY, FAST, LICK), but it might also have “states of being” — things we can’t really see (LOVE, COMFORT, KINDNESS).

I am excited to share the third graders’ poems. Please be aware that these are first drafts. We will work on line breaks together on Revision Day.

Thanks to the educators and families at Northfield for allowing me to post the children’s original work.

Words in my Piano

By Michelle Z.

I hide words in my piano.
Words that sound good.

Music
Keys
88

No one can see them but I
find them waiting for me
whenever I hit a key. No one can see it
but I know it’s in there.

Sound
High
Low
Strings

The words are talking together
whenever I’m thinking them.

Metal
Wood
Bang!
is in my poem.

The words never leave but
sometimes I do.

***

Here is Christina’s poem. Christina opted to do her first draft as a cross-out. Here is what it looks like on the page, and typed up.

IMG_20160516_181148Words in My Heart
By Christina F.

I hide words inside my heart.
Words that feel good —

Love
Family
Caring

No one can see them
but I find them waiting for me.
No one can see it
but I know what’s in there —

Strong
Brave
Red
Cry
Beat
Shyness

Blood is in there.
A story is in there.

The words are playing together
when I am saying or thinking them.

Mine
Keep
Have
Stars
is in my heart.

My friends the words
go to bed before I do.
But they never
go away.

***

There’s a lot of action in Marcel’s poem.

Words in My Shoes!
By Marcel C-G

My shoes are
bored when I’m in class.

The pair wants to run like
lightning.

Whoosh! Colorful! Rubber wants to run!
Phew! Come on! Juicy wind is so windy!
Whee! Ahhhh, I’m too bored!

But if you run
they feel too
tired.
They also feel
sleepy.
At recess, they’re so excited
they’re going to die for it!

When I am in the cafeteria
they’re starving, but I can’t give
them food.

Rubber goes to sleep.

I’m sorry shoes!!!

***

Andy came up with some very inventive imagery for the opening of this list poem.

Words in My Dog
By  Andy T.

There are words inside my dog.
Words that slide down her tongue
and come out of her mouth.

WOOF!
Bark!
Grrr!
Yawn

You can’t see them but they
are there. Like the feelings deep
down in my dog.

Hungry
Desperate
Sleepy
Bored
Energetic.

Feelings are in my dog.
Sad is there. Tired is there.
Some words are adjectives.
Some are good, some bad.

Stinky
Fluffy
Small
Cute
Sick

My dog’s friends the words
go to bed before her,
but will be waiting for her
in the morning.

***

I loved the way that Riley worked a recipe into this list poem.

Words in My Cake Mix
By Riley H.

I store words in my cake mix,
words that taste delicious.

Candy
Treat
Dessert

No one can touch them,
but I find them waiting for my return,
like the measurements in my brain.

2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Smarts are in there.
Patience is in there.

The words are forming a bond
before we sample or munch them.

Cookies
Donuts
Muffins
Crunch
are in my cake mix.

My ingredients the words
go away before I do,
baked in their pan.
After, I add sprinkles,
icing.

Then, we taste:
ALL GONE!

***

Last, Eve captures many of the reasons children enjoy playing sports together.

Words in My Soccer Ball
By Eve B.

I hide words inside my soccer ball.
Words that help me win the game:

TRY
CHAMPION
ENERGY

No one can see them
but I find them rooting for me on the bleachers.
Like the KICK in my foot.
No one can see it
but I know what it’s like:

STRONG
POWERFUL
HARD
BOOM!
WHOOSH
TEAMWORK is in there.

The words are passing to each other
when I am saying or thinking them.

TOGETHER
LEADERSHIP
HAPPINESS
are all in my soccer ball.

My friends the words,
I can’t kick them away.
But I would never try it,
not any day.

***

I’ll post more Northfield list poems tomorrow. If you have a question about this lesson or feedback for the Northfield poets, please leave it in the comments.