Classroom Workshop
Tuesday, 16 April 2019

April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. From “The Waste Land” by T. S. Eliot (Read the poem at the Poetry Foundation) Ever wondered why we celebrate National Poetry Month in April? It is the cruellest month, according to T. […]

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I’m on the road today, heading back to Maryland from NerdCampMI. One of the best parts of NerdCamp happens on Day 2 in the afternoon, nErDCampJr. That’s when the kids arrive and have mini-sessions with authors. Because my new book, TAKEDOWN, is about a boy and a girl on a competitive wrestling team, it is […]

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Monday, 18 June 2018

It’s time to say goodbye to Northfield Elementary, friends. Last week was our poetry celebration and tomorrow is the last day of school. Our third grade poets wrote list poems based on a model from Naomi Shihab Nye, odes to their favorite places, and retold fairy tales. At the celebration, I get to see the […]

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Thursday, 14 June 2018

Hi, Poetry Friday friends. Welcome back to my series of posts from Northfield Elementary’s third grade poetry residency. It’s day two of our fractured fairy tale poems. In the last post, I described the beginning of our workshop. Today’s I’m sharing the brainstorming worksheet I use for this lesson. The key to this poem is […]

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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Hello, poetry friends! Welcome back to Northfield Elementary School. Today, the third graders are sharing some of their fractured fairy tale poems. This is an exercise in point of view. We started the workshop by gathering in groups, each assigned to a classic fairy tale. The students brainstormed a list of characters in, for example, […]

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Tomorrow is the poetry celebration at Northfield Elementary School. The student poets are welcoming family and friends for a reading and poetry tour of the five third grade classrooms. I’ve been doing an elementary school workshop on odes for many years. This time around, I swapped out my usual model poem and got these poets […]

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Happy Poetry Friday and welcome back to Northfield Elementary School. Today, the third grade poets are working on odes. I’ve been doing an elementary school workshop on odes for many years. Usually, my model poem is “Ode to Pablo’s Tennis Shoes,” by Gary Soto. When it’s time to write, I have the kids take off […]

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The Northfield Elementary poets have been working hard on their list poems. Today, our lists of juicy words take us inside a desk and a pencil box, explore a beautiful garden, and dig down into the earth. The mentor text for my list poem workshop is Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Words in My Pillow” from the […]

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Thursday, 24 May 2018

Welcome back to Northfield Elementary School, Poetry Friday friends. This is my twelfth year as Northfield’s poet-in-residence, working with the third grade team. The annual poetry 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! This has been a great teaching partnership […]

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Happy Poetry Friday! I took the summer off from blogging and I’m glad to be back with you. This week’s host for the Poetry Friday link-up is Michelle Heidenrich Barnes at Today’s Little Ditty.  Michelle’s blogging about the International Day of Peace (September 21) and invites us all to share a poem on the them […]

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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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