Archives: Northfield Elementary School

Poetry Friday: Poems from Third Grade, Part 4

Welcome to Poetry Friday! Mary Lee Hahn is hosting this week’s link-up at her blog, A Reading Year. Hope to see you over there!

Happy Poetry Friday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you brought your appetite. The Northfield E. S. third graders have more food poems to share with you today.

But before we feast on lemonade, bubble gum, ice cream, pizza, and chocolate chip pancakes, I’d like to share a favorite poem by Naomi Shihab Nye. This week, the Poetry Friday community is celebrating Nye, our new Young People’s Poet Laureate.

Naomi Shihab Nye’s “The Lost Parrot” is a poem that I think about and reread every time I do a school poetry residency. “The Lost Parrot” recounts a visiting poet running a series of workshops for young students. One boy, Carlos, writes about the same subject, no matter the prompt: his lost parrot.

I hope you’ll take a moment to listen to the poem. For me, Nye’s “The Lost Parrot” captures the way a visiting poet interacts with young writers — encouraging their stories and creativity without pushing an agenda, rarely getting to know the children beyond the poems they write. Sometimes we get bursts of insight into their lives, sense of humor, and interests. Other times, visiting poets are left with a question or mystery, as Nye experiences in “The Lost Parrot.”

Now on to today’s delicious poems (and one salty cake).

Awesome Awesome Tacos!
By Aaron L.

I smell the spices,
the melted cheese,
then I immediately
know what’s for dinner.
Awesome
Awesome

TACOS!

I feel the warm
taco
shell in my
mouth
Awesome
Awesome

TACOS!

I hear my family
crunch the tacos.
Crunchy
Crunchy
tacos.

Yummy, the best
kind of tacos.

***

Sweet Chocolaty Chocolate Chip Pancakes!
By Coco W.

I jump out of the car.
My mom says slow down.
I hug Papa and my
Grandma. When we get
Inside, Papa knows the people.
We get some good seats. I sit next
to my cousin. My other cousin screams!
“The food is arriving.” I smell the sweet
dough. I see the melty chocolate laying on
my plate. My cheeks get very gooey with
chocolate on my face. I get to take a bite.
It is the biggest of them all! Delicious
dough mixed with chocolate melting in my mouth.

***

My Pecan Pie
By Misha W.

My family comes to the party-like feast.
Then the pecan pie comes in on a white dish.
My grandma made the best pecan pie around.
I smelled the sweet pecans and the pie crust.
I see the pecans popping out of the pie.
When everyone grabs a piece, the yelling dies down
and replacing it is a crunch and a munch.
It’s finally my turn to feel the pecan pie.
I feel the rough and moist crunch touching my hands.
When it touches my mouth, I feel the warmth.
I taste my sweet pecan pie.
With the bready crust.
“Burrrrp! Excuse me,” I say.
“Can I have some more?”
And my mom says no.
I got the biggest piece of them all.

***

Salty Cake
By Reed S.

Ew! Blah! My cake tastes like salt.
It looks good, but is disgusting. It
Smells chocolaty, but tastes like
salt. Everybody is making faces!
I can’t believe salt and sugar
got mixed up.

***

Yummy Meatloaf
For Anna
By Ella O.

2 hours in the oven
To cook the meatloaf
We’d run
Straight from the park
I run to my house
1 block
Then the house I reach
That smells like meat
You ran
Because you had the energy
1 loaf of yummyness
Everything on the meatloaf
Except mustard
Dash that meatloaf
Onto plates and splash on
All the sauce to splash on
Red tomatoes on the side
Avocados piled up on the side
Shoveled up onto a plate
Meatloaf for us to hold hot
On our forks
Plates on the table
Sit down
Good meatloaf
We’d eat
Fast till there was nothing left
But little tiny pieces of meat
And even a tiny bit of tomato sauce
I would eat it all
We’d touch
The little food we would have left
You humming
Me whistling

***

Good Cotton Candy
For My Dad
By Hiba S.

1 dollar a piece
to eat our dessert.
We’d run to the cashier
instead of the car.
Two blocks from our next
destination (that smelled
very sweet). You paid because
you had the money.
3 cotton candies and
2 strips of ribbon. Even
jelly inside. Eat those cotton
candies. Lil’ sister picking
her food. All that good stuff
on top. White sprinkles and
blue sprinkles. Stuck inside
the cotton candy. Rolled up
in a plastic cone. Dollars on
the counter, sit down, good
cotton candies. We’d eat
fast till there was nothing
left. But blue and white
sprinkles. Even cotton on
my face! We’d finish. You driving
and me saying, “Thank you.”

***

Good Ice Cream
For Sara
By Alisha K.

1 dollar apiece
To eat our dessert
We’d run, me and you
Straight from home
Instead of the park
Two blocks
Then the store
That smelled like ice
I ordered
Because I had the money
Two ice creams with two scoops for here
Nothing on the ice cream
Except M and Ms
Dash those ice creams
Into cones and dump on the flavors
All that good stuff
Chocolate ice cream and M and Ms
And Skittles piled on top all
Rolled up in a napkin
For us to hold cold
In our hands
A dollar on the counter
Sit down
Good ice creams
We’d eat
Fast till there was nothing left
But leftover Skittles and M and Mss
The little colors of Skittles and M and Ms
We’d eat
You humming
And me with a smile

***

Lemonade
By Brian W.

1 dollar a cup to drink our lemonade.
I rush straight from school. Instead
of home, I got the other way. Then
to the stand that smelled like snow.
I ordered because I am thirsty.
two lemonades and two ice for here.
Everything on the lemonade
except straws. Stir those lemonade
into drinks and splash on
all the good stuff, lemons and mini
umbrellas and ice on top all
in a cup, paper for us to hold cold
drinks in our hands.
Dollars on the counter.
Sit down. Good lemonade.
I drink fast till there was nothing
left but mini umbrella and lemons
even the little cold ice of cubes
we’d slurp up the lemonade, you
drinking and me buying more.

***

Pizza
By Henry R.

1 dollar apiece to eat my lunch.
I would jog straight from school
instead of home. 5 blocks
then the store that smelled
like pizza. You ordered because
you had enough money for
2 pizzas. Everything on the
pizzas. Dash those pizzas
with all that good stuff
and throw on some
pepperoni and some pineapple.
covered up with wax paper nice
and warm. Quarters on the
counter. Sit down on the concrete.
I would eat the greasy and yellow pizza
fast till there wasn’t even
a bite left. When I was finished
I trembled back home with a full
fat stomach.

***

Bubble Gum
By Evan R.

The sweetness of the taste
so chewy in my mouth.
The pink bubble splats in my face
With my baseball teammates around laugh.
I stiff have parts of the bubble on my face.
I watch the game still blowing bubbles.
Me and my teammates smell the fresh air
blow by our faces.
I try to blow another bubble
but the air is too strong.

***

Thanks to the Northfield community for allowing me to share the third graders’ poems!

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 3

Welcome back to Northfield Elementary School!

The third grade poems started our residency with list poems. (You’ll find a link to those poems at the bottom of this page.)

Now that we’ve spent some time thinking about word choice and playing with rhythm, we are moving on to one of my favorite poetry workshops: food poems.

Donut stand at the Shuk, the Mehane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem.

In this lesson, the poets focus on incorporating imagery of the five senses into a food-related memory. You can find the full lesson here. I use Sandra Cisneros’ poem “Good Hotdogs” as a mentor text.

Howard County is home to Northfield ES and it’s where I make my home, too. This is a diverse community, with first, second, and third generation American children. I love seeing that experience reflected in their poems.

In Nahyun’s poem, the first taste of a new food is a funny memory.

Ice Cream
By Nahyun K.

So many flavors
I don’t know what to choose.
I finally decided.
Cherry ice cream
From the ice cream truck.
My first ice cream from America.
One minute later,
Ice cream melting.
Dropping to my hand
Ice cream scoop getting smaller.
Smaller and smaller.
Me and my mom getting confused.
My hand is sticky like a
Double sided tape.
Ice cream turned to flavored water
And me trashing the flavored water
into the trash can
Bye bye my first ice cream.

***

Often, I share with the poets that a poem’s final few lines are the last impression that the reader will take away. The finale of T. J.’s poem about a food tradition takes that to heart.

The Snack Stand
By T. J. C.

After every baseball game,
I enjoy the delicious taste of a hot dog and fries.
I taste the spice from Old Bay on my fries.
I hear the cashier say, “One hot dog, one fry!”
When I touch the hot dog, it’s as smooth as can be.
I get super happy!
When I see the hot dog, it looks so yummy!
I can’t forget the smell, so sweet and hot!
My dad then orders, and we enjoy our food.
We eat ‘til the sun is setting.
Then we leave, with a memory.

***

On the day we did food poems, Eleanor’s father joined us and wrote his own food memory poem. It was really fun to hear father and daughter read their work together. If you’d like to learn more about this food, here is a recipe for Palačinky.

Palačinky Day
By Eleanor C.

Hooray, hooray,
It’s Palačinky day.
Soft tender bread
Thick creamy chocolate spread
Smiling ear to ear
Sizzling sound all I hear
Mom is proud
I express my love of this food loud
Mom and Dad
Rowan and Alasdair
And me
As happy as can be
Smell the batter
See the food
When it’s a day like this
Everyone’s in the mood.
Whip cream’s fallin’ off
No one cares.
Feel the whipped cream
Smeared on my cheeks
It’s my wish
That every dinner would be like this
But no
This night is rare.
Now I gotta get whipped cream out of my hair.

***

We go through a lot of cereal at my house (Honey Nut Cheerios is our favorite).  What wonderful observations in Tommy’s poem. Who doesn’t feel good when the theme song of our favorite TV show comes on?

That Tasty Cereal
by Tommy S.

Running through the door.
Kicking my shoes off.
My feet stink,
But I don’t care.
I get a running start,
Heading for the couch.
My mom knew what to do.
She got the bowl and the milk.
As she’s making my favorite,
I take a big jump onto the couch.
I grab the remote.
I put on my favorite show.
BEEP BOOP BOOP.
I rub the smooth buttons on the remote.
I listen to the theme song.
It makes my day every time.
I check to see if it’s there.
Guess what? It’s there.
I crash onto the chair.
BAM
I scoot in and take a bite.
CRUNCH CRUNCH
Mmm mmm mmm
That tasty cereal.

***

The energy of Isaac’s poem caught my attention. Repetition is a tool we talked about for our list poems and he makes great use of incorporating it into his food poem.

Donuts
By Isaac L.

Dunkin Donuts here we go!
Grama, Dad, Mom, sister, and of course me,
Waiting to get a taste!
Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and more!
One bite. Crunch.
Two bites. Yum.
Three bites. And full!
Our bellies full, and we got some taste.
Now we should get a rest.

***

Alara and one of her classmates were kind enough to speak with their class about Ramadan. I am learning from my friend and co-author Saadia Faruqi that children with this tradition are excited to fast during Ramadan, along with their parents, families, and community. Younger children like Alara enjoy participating by fasting on the weekends, when they’re not in school.

Ramadan
By Alara K.

When it’s time to fast,
I get so excited.
On the weekends I fast,
Even though I want to fast every day
Getting up for sahir
And eating my breakfast.
Finally,the sun rises
At 4:00 am.
We can no longer eat
until Iftar.
When Iftar comes,
We realize we had no problems during the day
Fasting.
We eat some dates,
Then eat our dinner
Finally,the day is done.
We do this for 30 more days.
We had a great time,
And now Ramadan is over.

***

Thanks to the Northfield community for allowing me to share the third graders’ poems!

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)

Poetry Friday: Poems from Third Grade, Part 2

This week's Poetry Friday host is Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. Visit Margaret for all of the week's poetry links.

This week’s Poetry Friday host is Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. Visit Margaret for all of the week’s poetry links.

Welcome back to Northfied Elementary, Poetry Friday readers.

This is my thirteenth year working with third graders at this local school. It’s a special occasion that I look forward to all year. 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 mentor text I use is “Words in My Pillow” by Naomi Shihab Nye, from Georgia Heard’s anthology of list poems, FALLING DOWN THE PAGE.

When we’re working on list poems, the students are focusing on two important skills: choosing a topic for the poem that influences every single line; and paying attention to word choice — this poem calls for juicy, interesting words that stand out!

While you’re enjoying these list poems, I will be on my way to my native New Jersey for NerdCamp! This annual literacy conference is held each year at Chatham HS. I’m looking forward to leading a session on introversion in the classroom with educator Heather Rocco. For a full list of authors and session, visit the NerdCampNJ home page.

Here is the next batch of third grade poems, with thanks to the students’ families for permission to share.

Words on the Beach
By Max A.

I know words are hiding here.
Words that are good–

Waves
Sharp
Soft

No one can see them
but I find them waiting for me.
Like the tummy hiding inside me.
No one can see it
but I know what I see–

Sand
Shells
Crabs
Seaweed
Water and
Waves

Things that are fun are in there
Beach balls are in there.

The words are playing together
when I want to meet them.

Fun
Water
Sun
Seaweed
is in the beach.

My friends the words
go to the beach before I do.
But they never
leave me.

***

Words in the Ocean
By Jesse Z.

I see words floating on the ocean.
Words that are soaked–

Sunken ship
Boats
Coral
Seashell

Some people can see them
but I find them swimming
like a shark swimming at me.
Some people can see it
but I really know it’s there.

Rough
Calm
Wavy
Blue
Crazy

Animals are in there.
Fish are in there.

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

Splashing
Snorkeling
and sometimes getting seasick.

My friends the words
go float and play before I do.
But they never
go away.

***

Words in a Basketball Court
By Chaitanya M.

I hide words inside my basketball.
Words that are loud.

Dribble
Dunk
Buzzers

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

3 pointer
Lay-up
Crossover
Half court
Full court
Balls

Teams are in there.
Players are in there.

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

Leather
Rubber
Glass
Metal
is in my basketball court.

My friends, the words
never go away.

***

Words in My Gymnastics Bag
By Milan M.

I hide words inside my gymnastics bag.
Words that feel good and bad–

Leotard
Scrunchie
Socks

No one can see them
but I find them inside my brain.
Like the pain hiding inside my ankle.
No one can see it
but I know what’s in there–

Competing
Winning
Tired
Flexibility
Tricks
Flipping
Split

Entertaining is in there.
Sweaty is in there.

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

Boom!
Thump!
Land!
Ouch!
is in my gymnastics bag.

My friends the words
go to gymnastics class before I do.
But they never, never, ever
do flips and splits!!!!

***

Words in My Basketball
By Trevor L.

I hide words inside my basketball.
Words that inspire me.

Orange
Stripes
Light

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

Shot
Team
Players
Hoop
Fun
Back board

Smarts are in me.

Me and the ball are playing together
when I am saying or thinking of it.

Friends
Crazy
Rough
Tough
is in my ball.

My ball, my friend
goes to the court.
But it doesn’t
go away.

***

Words in My Dog
By Emma B.

I hide words inside my dog.
Words that are good–

Dog toys
Panting
Warm

No one can see them
but I find them waiting for me.
I know what’s in there.

Trotting
Fun
Combs
Energetic
Excited
Running

Fleas are in there.
Ticks are in there.

Jumping
Dog food
Treats
Fluffy
is in my dog.

My dog
goes to bed before I do.
But the words inside her
go 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)

Poetry Friday: Once Upon a Time

Karen Edminsten is hosting the Poetry Friday round-up this week. Stop by her blog for poetry news, reviews, and original poems from around the kidlitosphere.

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 really digging into secondary character’s point of view. If the prince could tell his version of “Cinderella” — how might the story be different? How does he feel about the events of the fairy tale?

The third grade poets had a lot of fun thinking about which fairy tale characters were itching to tell their side of things. Much like a persona poem, this exercise taps into many children’s sense of empathy — understanding and resonating with someone else’s situation and emotions.

As you will see, the students really got into the voices of these characters!

Poet: Christopher

The Wrong Beans

One upon a time, in a far, far land
there was a wizard who was the fox
in most fairy tales.

He was a trickster.
He finds someone, someone special,
and pranks them with his plan.
“I’m the real villain everyone should fear.”

Then this, “Jack was in front of me
and I gave him the beans of death.

I walked home, proud
until I realized, I gave the boy
the wrong beans, the beans that the boy
would just plant.

Then, Jack got famous
for the mistake I made. I’m so mad!

I hate Jack! I hate him so much.
If I ever see him, I’ll curse him,
curse him better than I did before.”
***

Poet: Mouniksai 

Brick House

Ha! Those little pigs!
They thought they could stay safe just by building with twigs.

They built as fast as they do in Fortnite.
Then the straw house got destroyed during the night.

Then came the sticks.
Oh, those poor little pigs.

Then came me,
as strong as could be.

Because of my owner and I.

Those pigs came begging to let them in.
So, of course, we let them in.

The wolf came.
His breath also came.

It smelled
horrible and terrible.

I can see why those houses died, but I am stronger
because of my owner and I. And I’m boss.
***

Poet: Sophia 

I Never Liked Cinderella

I never liked Cinderella.
My dad wanted me to marry her, not me!
It was NOT my decision!
In my mind, I actually thought her stepsister
was quite pretty.
I didn’t get the glass slipper.
My dad pushed me to and down the stairs.
And I hurt myself even MORE
when I tripped over the glass shoe thingy.
I said I would arrest
whoever the shoe belonged to, but noooo!
The news got it all wrong!
I didn’t want to marry her!
But when my dad said he was proud
of what he thought was my decision
I didn’t want to let my father down.
***

Poet: Grayson 

One Fine Day 

One fine day
my first day on the job
I’m feeling stressed.

Someone was calling my name.
“Hunter! Hunter!

My grandma is
being eaten by a wolf.”

Okay. Um…
um… um.

I did not
bring my gun.

Ugh. This is
the worst day of my life!

Actually, do I ever bring
my fun? Never mind that!

I’d never had
someone eaten by

a wolf.

Let me run
back to the office!
***

Poet: William

Jack and the Beanstalk Poem
from Jack’s Mom’s Point of View

He gave someone our cow.
Planted beans in our yard.
I wonder how this day
could get any worse.
I wish I could ground him
and make him get rid
of that ugly beanstalk mess.
I won’t let him play
or have any fun.
I’ll make him do the dishes
and all of my chores.
***

Poet: Justin

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time there was a mom
who sent her son out to sell a cow for money.
After a long time, she got mad.
“Fifty days later, Jack still isn’t back!” she screamed.
She was mad. She went out to find him.
Later, she found him in a fight with a giant.
“What the heck did he do?” she thought.
She screamed up the huge beanstalk,
“Jack, get down here!”
Then Jack came with a ton of gold.
“Okay, let’s go,” said Jack.
“We’re rich!” the mom screamed.
Jack was grounded for a month,
but they were rich.
***

Poet: Carter 

“The Story of Hansel and Gretel” by The Candy House

One day in the forest,
I was just sitting there
minding my own business.
And then out of nowhere,
two kids walked out of the forest
and their names were Hansel and Gretel.
They see me and I see them.
Then they ran up and started to eat me.
I was as in pain as a person dying
from getting his skin ripped off.
I was in pain so bad, I rang the doorbell.
And the witch that owned me
came out and told them to come in.
So they came in, but I did not know
what happened. But when Hansel
and Gretel came out, they were fat
and the which died in my cook burner.
***

Thanks to the Northfield teachers and families for permission to share the third graders’ poems online.

Posts in the “Poems from the Northfield Third Grade” 2018 series:
Poetry Friday List Poem Lesson
A Garden of Words: 3rd Grade List Poems
The Pool Is the Capital of My Summer: Odes to Place
Third Grade Odes from Northfield E.S.
Fractured Fairy Tale Poems
Poetry Friday: Once Upon a Time
A Gallery of Poems

Fractured Fairy Tale Poems

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, Jack and the Beanstalk — characters who never get to tell their side of the story.

Marilyn Singer’s MIRROR MIRROR is a must-have for your children’s poetry shelf. More info here.

Our model poem for this workshop was “Bears in the News,” from Marilyn Singer’s wonderful book of reverso poems, Mirror Mirror. The students were awed by this form! You can read Marilyn’s description of the form here.

From there, our imaginations were off and running. As you can see, the poets had a lot of fun getting into their retellings and the voices of their characters.

Poet: Ben

The Three Little Pigs

The wolf is looking for building supplies
to build his house. He is happy
that he will be able to build his house
and guilty that he destroyed the pigs houses.
He will help rebuild them a house.
The pigs become his friends and neighbors.

***

Poet: Nico

Beanstalk

A long, long climb
by a guy named Jack.
He weighs a ton
like an anvil in a pack.
If I could,
I would make him fall down.
He would go far
but hit the ground.
Unfortunately, I can’t.
I’m just a beanstalk.
I’m frozen still.
I can’t even talk.
So he got off me.
Wait. He’s got an ax.
He’s chopping me.
Get off. I’m not a tree.

***

Poet: Ethan

The Wizard

Once upon a time
I’m not a real wizard.
They think I am.
I don’t want to lie
about who I am.
I’m not scientific.
They think I am terrific.
Just why do I lie.
Yes, I will confess.
It makes so much sense.

***

Everyone in Ms. Zimmer’s class was *wowed* when Julia stood up and sang her retelling of Mary Had a Little Lamb.

Poet: Julia

Revenge of the Little Lamb

Please get your hands off me
hands off me
hands off me.
Please get your hands off me
or else I will bite you.

I will follow you to school
you to school
you to school.
I will follow you to school
to trash your classroom.

I am trashing your classroom
your classroom
your classroom.
I am trashing your classroom
then going to the cafeteria.

I am in the cafeteria
the cafeteria
the cafeteria.
I am in the cafeteria
and eating all your food.

Revenge is sweet. It really is.

***

Poet: Ellis

A Tiny Human Boy

I was sleeping when my wife
let in a tiny human boy.
He was about three feet tall
and I out-matched him 50 to 1.
He found the family vault
and started looting it.
My wife was nowhere near
enough to stop them.
But when he was getting coins out,
he dropped one to the floor
and if anything can wake me up
it’s money. I chased him
across my yard and he climbed down
a small beanstalk.
But when I was halfway down
he cut it and I fell all the way down
and I died. But then in giant heaven
I launched missiles
and killed all the humans.

Thanks once again to the Northfield community for allowing me to publish the third graders’ poems.

Posts in the “Poems from the Northfield Third Grade” 2018 series:
Poetry Friday List Poem Lesson
A Garden of Words: 3rd Grade List Poems
The Pool Is the Capital of My Summer: Odes to Place
Third Grade Odes from Northfield E.S.
Fractured Fairy Tale Poems
Poetry Friday: Once Upon a Time
A Gallery of Poems

Third Grade Odes from Northfield E.S.

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 writing odes to a favorite place. The mentor for this workshop is “Harlem Is the Capital of My World,” from Tony Medina’s wonderful picture book/verse biography of Langston Hughes, LOVE TO LANGSTON. You can find the poem and links related to this lesson at my last post.

The first two poems I’m sharing today use the mentor text as a scaffold, keeping some of the rhythm and structure, but focusing on a topic of the poets’ choosing.

Poet: Amelia 

My Room

My room is the center of my heart.
When I get home I hear
the hummingbirds outside my window
flying as fast as a cheetah runs.
And I touch my stuffed animals
then I remember how dreadful
I would be without them,
and I smell their lavender scent.
And smells like the forest,
right outside my house.
When I lay on my bed, I see my desk.
Without it, I would not get my homework done
and I would get suspended from school
and I would live alone on the street.
And when I get home from school,
I get out my hidden gummi bears.
Without them, I would starve to death.

The King of Beds.
The Duke of Stuffytown.
The Empress of Color.

My room is the center of my heart.

***

Poet: Joyce

My Favorite Place to Visit Is Italy

Wonderful scents wafting through the air.
Pizza and pasta smells delicious!

Busy city streets, cars’ horns honking.

Refreshing gelato on a warm sunny day,
chocolate, mint, and pistachio.
Gelato bursting with flavors.

Amazing ancient places, the Coliseum
and the statues of Michelangelo.

I feel the smooth marble
of the Bridge of Sighs. So shiny and nice.

***

In the next two poems, you’ll see some of the techniques we practiced with these odes: imagery of the five senses, using similes to create the feeling of celebration and praise typical of this poetic form, and some great hyperbole!

Poet: Advaith

Ode to a Tree

Oh, Tree, you give me shade,
you give me shelter, food,
a place to live.
You are a hero to fellow animals
and soon to become a book of fame
to us fellow humans.
Oh, Tree, you can truly
be anything, but in an origami form.
Whoosh! One of your leaves
flies away and becomes the first meal
of a newborn caterpillar.

***

Poet: Ryan

Ode to the Kitchen

The kitchen is my mouth’s heaven.
I taste an apple as sour and sweet
as a jumbo lollipop.
I hear chewing as loud as a lion’s roar.
I see a pan as big as an elephant.
I smell a lot of yummy things.
My kitchen smells
like a cotton candy dimension.
When I touch the glorious food in my kitchen,
my starving stomach feels relieved
that I’m about to take a bite
of my food (from the kitchen).
***

Poet: Dayna

The Creek Is the Vacation in My Dreams

The creek is the vacation in my dreams,
calm and fresh and sweet
like me.
The creek has soul.
It’s where friends explore
and everybody’s friendly to the community.
Where we be chillin’ and playin’
with algae gripping our legs
and rocks as big as boulders block our path.
The King of all Rivers.
The Duke of Fun.
The Empress of Adventures.
The creek is a batch of fun times
all packed together and protected
by friendship and pride.
The creek is where I relax,
where I splash and run.
My kind community
from the creek to Izzy’s house.
With swings and bridges,
spilling over with nature
and little fish.
Why, I fell in love with the creek
before I even got there.
Yeah, the creek is where I be–
where I could be me.
The creek is the vacation in my dreams.
***
Poet: Wendy

NYC Is the Vacation of My Life

NYC is the vacation of my life
cool and crowded and loud
like me

NYC has soul.
Where we be eating and meeting
with noisy streets stretched out
under our feet and streets braod
and spread like a red carpet for royalty.

NYC is a bowl of people
all packed together and protected
by New York citizens.

NYC is where I visit and stride
my best vacation
from the Statue of Liberty to
the Empire State Building with
cars and people
spilling over with pollution
and trash.

Why I fell in love with NYC
before I ever got here!

Yeah, NYC is where I be —
where I could be excited.

NYC is the vacation of my life.
***

Poet: Soham

Mt. Olympus Is the Capital of Greek Mythology

Mt. Olympus is the capital of Greek mythology
smell the smoke of fire, hotter than the sun.

In Mt. Olympus, the clanging of swords sound like
drums booming.

There it tastes like blood as tangy as lemons.

I can always feel Zeus’
everlasting thunderbolt.
***

Posts in the “Poems from the Northfield Third Grade” 2018 series:
Poetry Friday List Poem Lesson
A Garden of Words: 3rd Grade List Poems
The Pool Is the Capital of My Summer: Odes to Place
Third Grade Odes from Northfield E.S.
Fractured Fairy Tale Poems
Poetry Friday: Once Upon a Time
A Gallery of Poems

Poetry Friday: List Poem Lesson

This week’s Poetry Friday host is Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. Margaret has a new book of poems coming out, BAYOU SONG. I can’t wait!

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 for me. I learn new things from Northfield’s educators every year.

You will find “Words in My Pillow,” by Naomi Shihab Nye, in this anthology: FALLING DOWN THE PAGE: A Book of List Poems, Edited by Georgia Heard.

Our first workshop was the list poem, which I haven’t done in a few years. Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Words in My Pillow” from the anthology Falling Down the Page was our model. You can read my initial plan for this lesson at Today’s Little Ditty.

A few years ago, I wrote my own “Words in My ___ Poem” to close out our National Poetry Month series on poems about clothes. It was titled “Words in My Closet.” You can read it at this post.

Because “Words in my Pillow” is about words and language, the third graders and I spent a lot of time talking about juicy words. A poem called “Words in My Dog” might include specific nouns (TREATS, WATER, TONGUE), descriptive adjectives and verbs (BARK, FLUFFY, FAST, LICK), but it might also have “states of being” — things we can’t really see (LOVE, COMFORT, KINDNESS).

Because this was our first lesson, I encouraged the students to stick as close to Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem as they wanted to. We did this by writing a “cross-out” poem. Using a print-out of “Words in My Pillow,” the poets strike-through any words they want to replace with their own ideas. It looks like this:

Words in My Piano
By Shanthi S.

I hide words inside my piano.
Words that sound good–

NOTES.
KEYBOARD.
NOISE.

No one can see them
but I find them waiting for me.
Like the strings hiding inside the keyboard.
No one can see it
but I know what’s in there —

MUSIC
ADVANCED
SONGS
PERCUSSION
PEDALS
SLIDE

RHYTHM is in there.
TUNING is in there.

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

PIANO BOOKS.
HARMONY.
PITCH.
BEAT
is in my piano.

My friends the words
go to play music before I do.
But they never
go away.
***

 

Words in the Gym
By Bettina

I hide words inside the gym.
Words that worry me a lot—

BALLS.
FAVE.
BENCH.

No one can see them until it comes out of nowhere
and crashes right in you like a ball
but I find them waiting for me as I get my hopes up.
Like the unsure hiding inside my body.
No one can see it, they’re too tall to feel it
but I know what’s in there—and all the other shorties.

PUMPED.
NERVOUS.
TIRED.
EXHAUSTED.
DISAPPOINTED.
BORED.

CYCLES are in there.
HOPES are in there.

The words are bouncing together
When I am saying or thinking them.

YES!
UH OH!!
RUN.
WHOOSH!
is in the gym.

My friends the words
go to bed before I do.
But they never go away. And I’ll
just have to deal
with it.
***

Words in My Hideout
By Isabella

I hide words inside my hideout.
Words that feel cozy—

DARK.
COZY.
SECRETIVE.

No one can see my cave
but I find it waiting for me
like a fox hiding in the forest.
No one can see it
but I know it’s there—

QUIET.
FUN.
SOFT.
BLANKETS.
FILES.
COLORFUL.

STUFFIES are in there.
ART SUPPLIES are in there.

The words are sneaking around
when I am saying or thinking them.

RAINBOW.
PICTURE.
ANIMALS.
HAPPINESS is in my hideout.

My friends the words
go to play before I do.
But they never go away.
***

Words in My Pool
By Ashwin

I see words inside my pool.
Words that flow well—

WATER.
WARM.
CHLORINE.

Everyone can see them.
They are everywhere
like the person hiding behind the waterfall.
No one can see him
but I know who is in there.

PEOPLE.
GOGGLES.
LEAVES.
DIRT.
ALGAE.
GRASS.

BUGS are in there.
PLANTS are in there.

The words are bouncing together
When I am saying or thinking them.

SPLASH.
YEAH.
YUCK.
EW
is in my pool.

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

Words in the River
Poet: Katherine

I hide words inside the water.
Words that flow good—

CLAM.
FISH.
WATER.

No one can see them
but I find them waiting for me.
Like the voice telling me to jump.
No one can see it
but I know what’s in there—

ROCKS.
SPLASHES.
HONK.
SAND.
FLOW.
ALGAE.
BORED.

The words are splashing together
When I am saying or thinking them.

FAST.
SLOW.
SHALLOW.
DEEP!
is in my river.

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

***

Words in My Video Games
By Ryan

There are words in my video games.
Here’s my words of VICTORY!–

YOU WIN!
NEW RECORD!
1ST PLACE!

But I have losing words too
like—

GAME OVER!
YOU DIED!
LAST PLACE!
YOU LOSE!

Video games have names (obviously).
Mine are–

MARIO KART!
MINECRAFT!
WII SPORTS U!
THE LEGO MOVE VIDEO GAME
are my video games.

My friends like video  games
and so do I.
But they never
Get old!
***

Words in My Name
By Ella

I have words inside my name.
You might not know it—

CRAZY.
LOVABLE
NECKLACE.

No one can see them
but I find them waiting for me.
Like the girl inside my body.
No one can see it,
but I know what’s in there—

HEART.
SUGAR.
LOLLIPOP.
FUNNY.
SHY.
HAPPY.

SECRETS are in there.
CRAZINESS is in there.

The words are bouncing together
When I am saying or thinking them.

EXCELLENT – E.
LOVELY – L.
LIGHT – L
AWESOME – A
is in my name.

My friends the letters
get written down on my paper.
But they never go away.
***

All poems shared with permission.

When I first ran this workshop in 2015, I blogged about what went well. Here’s what I wrote at that time, plus a few adjustments I made to the lesson.

  • This was a good choice for the first lesson of a residency. The children liked being able to focus on the basic element of a poem: words. Of course, we always focus on words in poetry. But Naomi Shihab Nye’s model poem is about the words we carry around in our heads. Starting with something so basic and important on Day 1 provided a strong foundation for future writing.
  • This is the first time I’ve encouraged students to plug into a model poem. Some of the third graders took the model poem “Words in My Pillow,” crossed out the lines and words they wanted to change, and wrote their own words into those spaces. They responded well to having this structure for our first day of writing together. (Update: This turned out to be a great strategy! This year, some students used the cross-out poem for their odes too.)
  • “Words in My Pillow” can adapt to any topic. Because what we’re really talking about is language — words — the poem could be called “Words in My Dinosaur,” “Words in My Garbage Can,” or “Words in My Suitcase.” We have the structure of the poem, but also the freedom to come up with a topic the poet cares about.

UPDATE: When we think about “juicy words,” many third graders focus on nouns — the literal things they might find in a garden, their desk at school, the refrigerator. I added a brainstorming activity to this lesson. Together, the class creates a “Words in My School” or “Words in My Teacher” poem. We break into small groups. Each group is assigned to brainstorm words for our poem.

One group comes up with 3 or more objects/nouns that would be in a school (desk, white board, cafeteria, playground). The next group thinks of adjectives to describe the school: fun, busy, loud. Another group has action words/verbs: learn, study, play. “Feeling words” was another group’s job — states of being like nervous, happy, bored. Last and most challenging — “idea words” — these are larger concepts such as community, friendship, perseverance.

Although this pre-writing activity added 10-15 minutes to the lesson, it helped the third graders stretch when they thought about which juicy words to add to the poem.

Posts in the “Poems from the Northfield Third Grade” 2018 series:
Poetry Friday List Poem Lesson
A Garden of Words: 3rd Grade List Poems
The Pool Is the Capital of My Summer: Odes to Place
Third Grade Odes from Northfield E.S.
Fractured Fairy Tale Poems
Poetry Friday: Once Upon a Time
A Gallery of Poems