Monthly Archives: June 2019

Poetry Friday: Roboversary

Buffy Silverman is hosting Poetry Friday this week! Stop by her blog for links to more original poems, favorite verses, book reviews, and all things poetic.

Hi, Poetry Friday friends.

Today, is my anniversary, but I’m not celebrating a wedding. More like a milestone.

One year ago today, I posted my first robot doodle on Instagram.

Much like the annual poetry project that I run each February, sharing my almost-daily robot doodles is an exercise in being creative without judging the outcome. At last count, I have doodled and posted (usually the same day) about 230 robots.

To celebrate the Roboversary, I’m giving away some prizes. On Instagram, you’ll find re-posts of some bots from this past year. If you stop by and vote on your favorite robot doodle, you’ll be entered to win a prize! Visit this post for full details and instructions on how to vote.

Later today, I’m going to announce the BEST BOT, based on fan votes.

If you’d like to learn more about how doodling supports other creative practices, I’ll be at MG Book Village today talking with fellow doodler and middle grade author Jarrett Lerner.

What does this have to do with poetry? Inspired by the robots, I am writing a series of RoboPoems. This is the first one!

Robot Stew
By Laura Shovan

2 cups of brackets
A dollop of nuts
Stir in some hinges
And lawn mower guts

Whisk up this mixture
With half can of oil
Place on the stove-top
Bring to a boil

Feed to your robot
After it’s cool
This stew’s guaranteed
To make robots drool

And here is a photo of the original draft (and robot, natch) from my notebook.


A Poetry Friday Celebration

Welcome, Poetry Friday bloggers and fans.

Poetry Friday is here this week. Thanks for joining the celebration!

I’m excited to host Poetry Friday this week because it’s a special day. The third graders at Northfield Elementary, where I am poet-in-residence each spring, have their poetry celebration this afternoon!

Thanks to everyone who has been following this residency and reading the kids’ poems. I have a few more to share today.

This year we wrote list poems, food poems, and played with our imaginations in a pocket poem workshop. Links to the posts in this series, which include workshop descriptions and student responses, are at the end of this post.

Please add the link to your post below. If you have a moment, leave a comment for the Northfield poets. They’ve been working hard on their revisions and I can’t wait to see the final poems today. The poems you read in this post are first drafts.

Pocket Poem
By Isaac A.

I have a jacket
a jacket made of pockets.
In pocket 9, I have a leopard
gecko. I take him outside
and feed him insects. I will
let him loose to hunt,
but I follow so he does
not get lost or hurt.
I think he likes me
when he squeaks and peeps
happily! I love him and I will
always let him eat and
drink when he wants to.

In my next pocket, pocket
66, I have a snake. He
slithers in my pocket.
He loves playing hide-and-
go-seek. But when I can’t
find him, I call his name.
“Snakey!” and he slithers
out from a rock, log, or a


My Jacket, Pocket #9
By Harry P.

I have a jacket
a jacket made of pockets.
The pockets all have numbers,
numbers on the jacket.
Number nine has special skis.
The skis would have
boosters and two powerful springs.
The boosters would help
because it would get
me up the mountain
faster than the list.
The springs would help
because it would spring
me back up when
I fell down. I would
smell metal and
motor oil. It feels bumpy,
rough, and hot.
So, yeah!
That’s what’s in pocket
number nine.


Pocket #2
By Brady S.

In pocket #2, I kept a magic shoe.
I could jump so high, I could touch the
sky. And ran so I went into the past.
The shoe turned red when I
went to bed. When I want to be
sneaky and grab the last piece
of cake, the only sound I make
is like a piece of grass getting
draped on the floor. What’s in the other
38 pockets? I don’t know, you’ll have
to guess. It’s not for me to tell you.


Saturday’s Doughnuts
By Cameron D.

I wake up in the morning
running as fast as Sonic.
I tell my dad,
“Let’s go!”
My brother and me fly into the car.
We drive and drive and drive.
With Krispy Kreme in our sight,
all brand new.
“Finally!” we both yell
as my dad orders.
We watch in amazement.
Doughnut after doughnut after doughnut.
Seconds seem like minutes.
My dad yells, “Come on!”
We jump in the car,
our mouths watering.
We fly inside our house.
We grab milk and eat, eat, eat.
After, we lay full with those doughnuts,
fresh and good.
The best treat of Saturday.
Saturday’s doughnuts.


By Cole S.

I like the pop of the bag,
the snap when I bite down,
the salty, crunchy taste.
I like every kind!
I like it — like potato chips,
Old Bay chips, and Doritos.


Four s’mores recipes from Dinner Then Dessert.

Marshmallow Mayhem
By Erin S.

Wait, campfire crackles.
Tents surround me.
It’s camping time!
We run in the fields and chase each other
instead of diving in the tent.
Far away, we see smoke
and that smell we’d know anywhere.
S’mores! We help make them because
there’s a huge amount of people.
Our reward is the gooey,
slimy marshmallows. We went
to cook, but mine fell down.
I got another and this
time it didn’t fall.
Everything that made
a s’more was on it, but
the hardness of the chocolate.
We put them on the arm of our chairs.
Then we bite into the
creamy, gloopy, crunchiness
of the marshmallow or
s’more, as you could call it.
Then we doze away.


Words in My House
By Caroline J.

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


You can see them.
I find them waiting for me.
Like the hamster hiding inside my house.
You can see it.
I know what’s in there.


Happiness is in there.
My family is in there.

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

is in my house.

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


Thanks again to the Northfield community for allowing me to share these poems. All are posted here with permission.

I’ll be back next spring with a new group of third grade poets!

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)
Poems from Third Grade, Part 5 — Pocket Poems (ll Third Grade Classes)

Poems from Third Grade, Part 5

It’s the Northfield Elementary Poetry Celebration this week!

I’m looking forward to seeing the third grade poets. This is their chance to show off all of their hard work during the residency. The poems I share with you here are first drafts. Tomorrow is my first opportunity to see the revised poems.

The students will presenting and performing their finished poems for friends, family, and peers on Friday.

The 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 foundation in some basic poetry skills.

Our third workshop is all about stretching the imagination and seeing where it takes us.

Find it on Indiebound.

The full description of this lesson is available here. The mentor poem is Calef Brown’s “Eliza’s Jacket,” from one of my family’s favorite books, Polkabats and Octopus Slacks.

The concept of this writing prompt is that we each have a jacket with magic pockets. Put your hand inside and what will you find? A super power? An enchanted coat? Your best friend? A dinosaur egg? That’s up to you, Poet!

Many years ago, the Northfield team and I developed a craft to go with this workshop. Each poet is given a blue card stock “pocket” — they look like the back pocket from a pair of jeans. The students personalize and decorate these pockets, then staple them to a display where they are stuffed with (you guessed it) the poems.

Students and visitors love taking the poems out of their pockets to read. The extra interaction adds fun to the process of reading. You’ll see examples of the pocket poem display at this post.

And now for some third grade pocket poems:

My Hippogriff
By Sarah L.

I have a jacket.
A jacket made of pockets.
In pocket number highest number ever
I have…
a baby hippogriff.
When it is young, I will find
raw meet and ferrets to feed it with.
When it is old enough, I can train
the hippogriff so its wings will be
strong enough to fly, so I can ride
it to get to places, with his soft white-tipped
wing by my side, his shiny beak clicking and
brown hooves running as we are ready for
take off. Soon enough, we start gliding
in the air. When we get back, he flies
into my pocket, and we have a
good night sleep, dreaming about the next day.


A Turtle in My Pocket
By Lysanne G.

I have a jacket, a jacket made
of pockets. In pocket #5, a turtle hides
inside. It comes outside every night and tells
me magical stories through the light. It eats
baloney, usually in a sandwich. He tells
cheesy jokes, as cheesy as they are. We play
outside at night, when my parents are
deep in sleep. Sometimes, instead of baloney,
I feel him macaroni. Sometimes even
chocolate. He smells like pie, because
of shampoo, with a bottom that smells
like soup. he looks like a rock, but green.


My Wings in Pocket #2
By Nora C.

I have a jacket, a jacket made
of pockets. In pocket number 2
I have a pair of wings. I take
them out to fly away when
I feel like flying to a place
where I can be alone to do
whatever I want. I take them
out when I want to avoid
doing something or to reach high
places. I want to sit where
I can’t reach. They are black,
black with white tips. I’d fly
with the birds and move through
the clouds.


D’s SP: Darcy’s Super Power
By Darcy B.

I have a jacket, a jacket
made of pockets. In pocket
103 I have a key that
unlocks my brain
and takes me to Maine.
The key tells
my brain to transform my
super powers so I can
fly, way above those
puffy white cotton balls so …
I can see the whole world
and if anybody needs
help, ’cause I will save
their day!


By Arianna J.

I have a jacket. A jacket made
of pockets. In pocket number 8
I have a magic ball.
If I ask the ball a question.
I can see what I asked.
“Magic Ball, can I see
the answers for the math test?
Oh. Ah. 68. 36.
Mom’s coming, get in pocket number
8.” Hmm. Now what shall I ask.
Oh, I know. Mom’s watching TV.
“Magic Ball, show me the latest
kids’ movie. Let me see my
brother’s future. Ahh! Eww! Change it.
My eyes are burning! Let me
see my future. I bet I’m going
to be a … OMG. I’m a baker. That’s my dream.”
I don’t even have a word
for how  happy I am. Anyway that’s my magic


Isabella’s Pocket
By Isabella T.

I have a jacket,
a jacket made of pockets.
In pocket number 9, I have the
Bahamas inside.
The warm, tropical Bahamas with water
that’s clear and calm. You see a barracuda,
marlin, or a swordfish pop out of the water
every few minutes for a
breath of air every once in a while.
Palm trees are springs up every
few minutes.
Snakes, monkeys, lizards, iguanas, squirrels, crabs,
red ants, bull ants, ants: Life is in the
Bahamas. It’s blazing hear round, pretty
hotels, house, apartments, and cabins.
Oh, but what’s this?
An anaconda bit me.
Oouu. I go back to school.
I’m lonely and all alone.
I invite my friends.
My friends and me pull out
our surf board.


By Anna O.

I have a jacket made up of
many pockets. In pocket 8,888
I have my magical abilities.
They make me half butterfly
dragon, half human. When I am ten
I will go through my metamorphosis
and get wings and silk. Oh, no.
That’s today! I take my power
out and glare at it. “Can’t you
wait?” I say. I have to hang on
to it our else it will dart
away. It wriggles onto my wrist
and I stagger sideways
as silk spills from my
wrists. Then my eyes close.
When I wake up, I have
wings. Now I can fly to
school, not take the dirty
bus. Hooray!


By Yash D.

I have a jacket,
a jacket made of pockets.
In pocket #99
I have a magic crystal ball that changes into anything I
want. It glows in the dark and is blue.
I can turn it into a house, so I can have a
private place and  no one can come in.
If I don’t have a friend, I can turn it into one.
It can make me teleport to the place where it was
made, and I will get another one.
It can even turn into a different font when I am writing.
It can turn into a tree that more crystal balls will fall off of.
If I make it into a smoothie and drink it, I
will have all the powers inside my body. I can
even make an endless supply of dragon eggs.
I can’t tell you what is in the other pockets,
because you will steal them.


Thanks for sharing your great imaginations, third grade poets! All poems are posted today 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)