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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.

3 responses to “More List Poems from Northfield 3rd Grade”

  1. Oh my, these are fabulous. Makes me want to write one. I’m sure Naomi would love to see them, too. I especially love the School Box with tiny snowmen and the music of harmony and joy! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Fantastic work – congrats, young poets. (I love Haylee’s last line! Haven’t we all?…)

  3. Laura Shovan says:

    Thanks for stopping by. The students have so much insight into the world around them. Their poems often make me realize how much we underestimate children and what they know and observe.

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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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