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Thursday, 26 May 2016
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

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

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

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

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

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Spotted in Ms. Gauert’s third grade.

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Words of wisdom!

8 responses to “Poetry Friday: Shoe Odes”

  1. Sally Murphy says:

    It makes my soul sing to know there are schools like this that value poetry so much! And your part in it is so important. Love these poems: my favourite line is ‘loud as Zeus”

  2. Linda Baie says:

    Love that you do so much to inspire these young poets, Laura. Oh, those stinky shoes that are so loved! And love that surprising list poem, too. Ten years is a long time. I imagine they couldn’t live without you, now!

  3. jama says:

    Wow, ten years! How gratifying to know that your work there has made such a big difference. Thanks for sharing all these shoe poems (the “stinky smell” theme running through most of them made me smile).

  4. Doraine says:

    Such visceral work from these students. You’ve done a marvelous job and so have they. Congratulations.

  5. These are so much fun. Thanks for sharing these, Laura. And thanks for the link (although I wonder if it is correct? I ended up finding my way via your sidebar). And I enjoyed reading through related posts.

  6. I will never view the shoes I see at Disney or by the sea the same way ever again. What wonderful ways of using language to find connection and joy with the past and future.

  7. Diane Mayr says:

    You could even knock
    out a skunk.

    I love it!

  8. Cathereine says:

    These are terrific, Laura! Your students have created so many evocative images. How lucky they are to learn from you. I also love those final words of wisdom!

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Laura Shovan

Laura Shovan is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Her second book, Takedown, is a Junior Library Guild and PJ Our Way selection. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a poet-in-the-schools Maryland.

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