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Elizabeth Steinglass, our host for Poetry Friday, is celebrating her new book! Stop by Liz’s blog to find this week’s poetry links and to hear all about SOCCERVERSE.

Greetings, Poetry Friday friends.

This month, I am back at Northfield Elementary for my annual poetry residency. Each year, I spend about a month working with the entire third grade.

The residency is sponsored by the school PTA’s cultural arts committee, and by an Artist-in-Residence grant from the Maryland State Arts Council. Thank you!

Our first poetry workshop was a favorite form, list poems. You can read my lesson, which describes the workshop, here.

The model poem I use is by our new Young People’s Poet Laureate, Naomi Shihab Nye. The students were so excited when I told them the big news of her appointment. Yes! The poem we worked with is by *the* top children’s poet in the country.

“Words in My Pillow” by Naomi Shihab Nye comes from Georgia Heard’s anthology of list poems, FALLING DOWN THE PAGE.

This is what the cross-out method of poem writing looks like.

Because this is our first workshop, we do this poem as a cross-out. The children write their original poems over the top of Nye’s words. This provides structure and coaches these young poets in rhythm and word choice.

Here is the first batch of this year’s third grade poems. I’m so happy to be able to send some of the students’ first drafts.

 

 

 

Words in My Dreams
By Aiden M.

I have words inside my dreams,
words from my head–

Crazy
Wild
Sour

No one can see them
but I find them hunting for me.
Like the money hiding inside my piggy.
No one can see it
but I know it’s in there–

Scary
Happy
Sticky
Bright
Sweet
Sad

Flowers are in there
Clouds are in there.

The words are playing together
when I am thinking and thinking about them.

Colorful
Gloomy
Cute
Weird
is in my dreams.

My friends the words
go to my mind before I notice.
But they never go away.

***

Words in My Desk
By Zoey C.

I hide words inside my desk.
Words that make me happy.

Neat
Clean
Organized

No one can find them
but I find them making me proud.
Like the school box hiding inside my desk.
No one can find them
but I know what’s in there.

Glue
Markers
Scissors
Pencil
Eraser
Crayons

Notebooks are in there.
Folders are in there.

The words are talking together
when I am grabbing or thinking them.

Slide
Push
Take
Tip
I find in my desk.

My helpers the words
go to school before I do.
But they never
go away.

***

Words in My Stinky Shoes
By Novali V.

I hide words inside my shoes.
Words that taste bad.

Soccer
Stench
Kick

No one can see them.
They still use them,
like the brain hiding inside my head.
No one can see it
but I know what’s in there–

A foot
Sweat
A sock (smelly)
Dirt
Rocks, stones
Toena — oof! *Slips*

Kicks are in there.
Accidental sliding is in there.

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

Excited for a game
Tired
Thoughts
Sprint
is in my shoe.

My friends, the words
go to rest before I do.
But they never
come out of my shoes.

***

Words in My Ocean
By Elyse G.

I discover words inside my ocean.
Words that feel good–

Cool water
Moist sand
Slimy seaweed squelching
between my toes

People think they can see them
but I know that what they see is just
half the picture,
like the beach.
People can see the sand
but they can’t see the miles
of the ocean’s words.
No one can see it
but I know what’s in there–

Seahorse
Fishes of the oceans
Oil
Mollusks
Sea cucumbers
Caverns

Jellies are in there.
Underwater is in there.

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

Slimy
Soft
Hard
Cool
Wondrous

My friends the words
wiggle away before people can find them.
But I always know where to find them.

***

Words in the Solar System
By Matthew B.

I hide words inside the solar system.
Words that are breathtaking.

Planets
Sun
Stars

Everyone can see them
but I find them waiting for me.
Everyone can see it
but I know what’s in there–

Light
Dark
White
Burning
Sparkling
Cold

Planets are in there.
The moon is in there.

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

Cold
Yellow
Traveling
Woosh!
is in the solar system.

My friends the words never
go to bed.
But they never float away.

***

Words in My Pocket
By Jackson S.

I hide words inside my pocket.
Words that are fun–

Lollipop
Coins
Stickers

No one can see them
But I find them waiting for me.
Like my room waiting for me after school.
No one can feel it
but I know what’s in there.

Bouncy ball
Drawings
Playing cards
Wrappers
Band-aid colors

Darkness is in there
My stuff is in there.

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

Paper
Smarties
Purple
Bang!
is in my pocket.

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

***

Words in My Cat Fela
By River M.

She has words inside her body.
Words that are cuddly–

Sleep
Eat
Grumble

No one can see them
but I find them in her fur.
Like the tiredness and calmness in her head.
No one can see it
but I know what’s in there.

Food
Treats
Blankets
Outside
“Leave me alone”
Comfortable

Memories are in there too.
Kitten is in there.

The words are sleeping together
when she is meowing or thinking them.

Yes
Stop
Bed
Chhh!
is in my cat Fela.

My cat Fela and the words
go to bed before I do.
But they never
go away from my cat Fela’s mind.

***

Words in My Pool
By Olivia L.

I hide words inside my pool.
Words that splash you–

Leaves
Waves
Water

No one can see them
but I find them waiting for me.
Like the bubbles hiding beside my body.
No one can see it
but I know what’s in there.

Bugs
Toy ships that float
Feet slicing through the water
Money people have lost
Birds swimming
Floats floating

The word “Overwhelming” hides in the pool as well.
People feeling refreshed by the cool water.

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

Whip
Splash!
Blue
Woosh!
is in my pool.

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

All poems shared with permission.

For more of this year’s student poems, please check out:
Poems from Third Grade, Part 1 — List Poems (Ms. Spencer, Ms. Sochol-Solomon, and Ms. Scavo’s classes)
Poems from Third Grade, Part 2 — List Poems (Ms. Hilliard and Ms. Trodden’s classes)
Poems from Third Grade, Part 3 — Food Poems (Ms. Hilliard and Ms. Trodden’s classes)
Poems from Third Grade, Part 4 — Food Poems (Ms. Spencer, Ms. Sochol-Solomon, and Ms. Scavo’s classes)

15 responses to “Poetry Friday: Poems from Third Grade, Part 1”

  1. Great collection of cross out poems Laura, I especially liked the first one “Words in My Piano,” sounds like the students took off and ran with these. Thanks for sharing them!

  2. Wow! What an incredibly talented group. I love this cross-out lesson, too! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Linda Baie says:

    The ‘cross-out’ method brought some wonderful poems, Laura. It must be a great beginning for the students, learning about poetry, finding their own WORDS! Beautiful to read them.

  4. These are really amazing and imaginative! Oh, those words inside my stinky shoes! : )

  5. You always amaze me with the quality of poems that come out of this exercise, Laura. It’s nice that the students can end up with a final product that truly makes them proud.

  6. Kay Jernigan McGriff says:

    These poems are fabulous! Enjoy the rest of your time with the third graders!

  7. These are amazing poems. Congratulations to you and the students!

  8. Laura, I have been meaning to try out your cross out poem format with teachers during PD but I have not had the chance. It must have been a joyous intro when you told the children they were using a poem by a famous poet. Their versions of the mentor text were noteworthy. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Liz Steinglass says:

    These are wonderful. I love the idea of a cross out poem. It feels so much better than a fill-in-the-blank poem. Why is that do you think?

  10. Tabatha says:

    These are wonderful! Love all the directions the poets took them in — from the intimacy of dreams way out into space. Terrific word choices and a great prompt.

  11. Mary Lee Hahn says:

    You can see great instruction behind amazing student work! Lucky kids!!

  12. Molly Hogan says:

    These are wonderful! I’m always impressed by how the students create such individual poems with cross out poems. It seems that working within the structure of the inspiring poem gives them the foundation from which to experiment and play. Thanks for sharing these examples.

  13. […] more of this year’s student poems, please check out: Poems from Third Grade, Part 1 — List Poems (Ms. Spencer, Ms. Sochol-Solomon, and Ms. Scavo’s classes) Poems from Third […]

  14. […] third workshop of our residency was Pocket Poems. With the work we have done thinking about form (List Poems — our first workshop) and imagery (Food Poems — second workshop), the students have a […]

  15. […] more of this year’s student poems, please check out: Poems from Third Grade, Part 1 — List Poems (Ms. Spencer, Ms. Sochol-Solomon, and Ms. Scavo’s classes) Poems from Third […]

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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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