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Last weekend, I visited my home state for NerdCampNJ. (Hey, Jersey! Looking good.) There’s no better way to spend a rainy Saturday than surrounded by educators, authors, and super readers.

At NerdCampNJ with members of the Sweet 16s debut author group (L to R): Isabel Bandeira (Bookishly Ever After, YA), Kristy Acevedo (Consider, YA), Melanie Conklin (Counting Thyme, MG), me with my button-covered lanyard, and Kathy MacMillan (Sword and Verse, YA).

One of the highlights of my day was co-leading a workshop: Building Literacy with Poetry and Books in Verse. You can find notes from the workshop here.

I met two wonderful poet/authors.

Beth Ain’s new verse novel is IZZY KLINE HAS BUTTERFLIES. It’s a great book for kids who enjoyed reading THE LAST FIFTH GRADE. It has an upper elementary school setting and an inviting voice. Izzy is working through real life problems with humor and thoughtfulness. (Beth has a very cool writing activity that supports developing emotional intelligence. There’s more info at her Instagram account.)

Available July, 2017.

Emma Otheguy’s debut picture book in verse is MARTI’S SONG FOR FREEDOM a biography of poet and activist José Martí. You can read more about Emma’s book here. I’m a huge fan of picture book biographies and this book is gorgeous. The story is told in Spanish/English poems by historian Otheguy.

I still had a taste for food poems, since my Northfield 3rd Grade poets described their favorite delicacies so well. That’s why, for my part of the NerdCampNJ workshop, I walked teachers through the Mystery Food exercise (find it here) and shared the mentor text, “Good Hotdogs,” by Sandra Cisneros.

Stop by Margaret Simon’s blog, Reflections on the Teche, for more Poetry Friday poems, reviews, and posts.

Thanks to the Northfield 3rd grade team and families for giving me permission to share students’ food poems with our Poetry Friday community. Let’s read more poems focusing on using imagery of the five senses.

 

 

Kelly’s poem is filled with tactile details about chocolate.

Poet: Kelly J.

Chocolate

Brown and smooth
Comes in different tasty flavors
With sweet smells
And chewy sounds
It’s crunchy and juicy
With it mostly hard
Sometimes there are bumps
Sometimes there are cracks
They don’t taste as delicious
If they are all melted.

The milky bites in my mouth
Remind me of cake
Chocolate cake is
Creamy and
All mushy.

 

Can you hear the rhythm and near-rhymes that Benjamin plays with in this fun poem?

Poet: Benjamin W.

Bubble Gum

Stretchy fun blow a bubble
When it pops blow again
Lost its taste get another
Ran out buy another
Any kind, get some color
Crank it up, taste the sugar
Add some mint, make it smell good
Hear the sound when it pops
Change the color, blue green pink

 

I like the pet cameo at the end of Zola’s poem about chocolate.

Poet: Zola G.

Chocolate

On the shelf at Aldi’s
Milk chocolate
Just waiting to be
Bought.
After my dinner of
Potatoes, broccoli, and sausage,
I ask the sometimes
Devastating question
“Can I have a chocolate bar?”
“Yes, of course. You
Ate real good.”
I run over to our candy cupboard
Which some people think
Looks like Mr. Willy Wonka’s
Factory!
I grab my chocolate and
Sit down to eat.
The sweet, creamy taste
Is awesome on my tongue.
Gnocchi looks up at me and
Then the chocolate.
It’s poison for dogs!
I won’t give her any! All for me.

 

Annchi’s poem tells a whole story. Have you ever gone fishing for your dinner? I have.

Poet: Annchi L.

Fried Fish

A rock around
On the bank, I sit
Only me and Dad
My hand holds a fishing pole
The bait is worms.
I can feel the worms squirm in my hand
As I put them on the hook.
Holding the fishing pole I swing my arm
Plop!
I sit there waiting, talking with my dad
Suddenly, something pulls and tugs.
I pull the string with all my might
Beads of sweat doll down
There I battle with the fish
Like playing tug-of-war with my friends
My dad helps, with one tug
The fish gives up.
Two against one.
I bolted back to home.
My mother fried it,
Sizzling in the pan,
I gobbled it up, a meaty flavor
I spit out all the prickly things
At my brother.
I run back to the bank, wanting for more!

 

Isabella’s poem had me drooling.

Poet: Isabella H.

Chocolate Peach Crêpe

In Canada, we go snow tubing.
Me, my cousins, grandparents, Mom, and Dad.
Afterwards, we eat the perfect French
Delight. Cling, cling, go the coins. I watch
The baker place the batter on the pan.
She spreads it flat and talks to us.
She plops on the big, juicy peaches,
Drizzles on the chocolate, scoops on
The ice cream, and rolls it up. When I see
The plate, it is white and plain…
Until she adds the crêpe. It’s thin,
Soft and creamy. Oops. It’s gone.
I gobbled it down.

 

I like the way that Nieve listened closely to the mentor text and incorporated ideas  from “Good Hotdogs” into this poem.

Poet: Nieve T.

Pizza

Cheesy golden brown saucy
Two dollars for a piece
We arrive to the shop
Cheesy, crunch
Crust is golden brown
“Crunch, crunch, crunch”
Smells like olives and cheese
Grease dripping down
I hum
We drive home.
I save none for my sister
Golden brown crust.
Yum! That pizza was so good.

 

Max and I had a good chat about our favorite hamentashen flavors. This cookie is a traditional Jewish food, enjoyed during the spring festival of Purim. Haman is the villain in the story of Esther, which is retold and acted out at Purim celebrations.

Poet: Max S.

Hamentashen

Flatten that dough
Circled out
Put some Nutella in the circle
Folded into a triangle
Hardened and heated
Yummy cookie and Nutella!
We eat Haman’s hat.
Bad Haman.
Smooth brown Nutella
In Haman’s hat.

 

This is another poem with great energy. Kali shares the anticipation of waiting for a favorite food.

Poet: Kali L.

Papa’s Special Pasta!

Every summer
Once a year
Saucy, sweet
Red sauce
Boiling water
Come, come on
Everyone it’s here
I can smell it
Come on
Five people here
Waiting on two
Come on Come
on

Our last workshop at Northfield will be persona poems. Look for those next week.

Check out the previous posts in this School Poetry Workshop series:

School Poetry Workshop: Haiku Hike, May 12, 2017
School Poetry Workshop: Food and the Five Senses, May 19, 2017

19 responses to “School Poetry Workshops: A Second Helping of Food Poems”

  1. I love the dog’s name, Gnocchi. And I have never tasted anything like that crêpe. My life is incomplete. What lovely poetry is bubbling up, thanks to you, Laura.

  2. More yummy poems! I love how a favorite food can dig up so many memories.

  3. Linda Baie says:

    Lots of goodness here, Laura. Thanks for the new titles and for the yummy poems. Your workshop with the students yields great writing. I like the peach crepes, “Oops, it’s gone!”

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Thanks, Linda! You’ll enjoy Izzy Kline. I haven’t read Emma’s book yet — just had a sneak peek — but I’m looking forward to it.

  4. Mmmm…I, too, am drooling after reading Isabella’s poem. I love her use of onomatopoeia in the middle of the delicious description, “Cling, cling, go the coins.” Thanks for sharing your experiences, Laura, and these student’s poems. Yum. =)

  5. I’d love to attend a NerdCamp one day (they have on in neighboring Washington State!), how inspiring to meet so many fellow word lovers!

    • Laura Shovan says:

      I hope you get to go someday, Jane. It was a good day. I’m looking forward to the big NerdCamp this coming July. Caroline Starr Rose, Helen Frost, and I are doing a verse novel workshop!!

  6. It’s hard to read these poems on an empty stomach. Pass me the chocolate. I love hearing about your work with kids and writing poems.

  7. Mary Lee Hahn says:

    I love these peeks into your school visits!

  8. How I’d love to actually see you in action, Laura! You share some excellent books and poems today. I’ve had my eye on Marti’s Song for Freedom. But I should have known better than to read the student poems before breakfast! Loved these lines from Annchi’s poem: “I spit out all the prickly things/At my brother.”

  9. Laura, thanks for this rich collection of books and poems! Your’e right about “Bubble Gum,” it has wonderful rhythm. I look forward to your postings next week.

  10. Really loved Max’s hamentashen with Nutella! I’ve had raspberry and apricot, but Nutella? Yum! Great description of the hard-ish dough crust. 🙂

  11. Catherine says:

    Delectable post, Laura! I’m sure I would gobble down a chocolate-peach crepe, too! Thank you for sharing, and for introducing me to Emma Otheguy and Beth Ain. The TBR list keeps on growing!

  12. I’m catching up on Poetry Friday after a wonderful long weekend away. I really like the notes from Nerd Camp. I like how you show the need for poetry. And those two books are going right on my wish list. As always, I learn from you. Thank you!

  13. […] Workshop: Haiku Hike, May 12, 2017 School Poetry Workshop: Food and the Five Senses, May 19, 2017 School Poetry Workshop: A Second Helping of Food Poems, May 25, […]

  14. […] Workshop: Haiku Hike, May 12, 2017 School Poetry Workshop: Food and the Five Senses, May 19, 2017 School Poetry Workshop: A Second Helping of Food Poems, May 25, 2017 School Poetry Workshop: Persona Poems, May 30, 2017 School Poetry Workshop: Creating […]

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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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