It's my last teaching day of the school year today. I've spent the last several weeks "in residence" at Northfield Elementary, just down the road from me in Ellicott City, MD.
One of my favorite workshops for kids is on food poems. You can find my full food poem lesson here. (Be patient with the squished formatting -- Blogger failed me!
We can always do a simple five senses poem about a food. I ask the students to stretch beyond that. We talk about the idea that specific foods can evoke a time, a place, or an emotion. In that way, foods nourish more than our physical hunger.
Sandra Cisneros does all of those things in the model poem I use, "Good Hot Dogs."
Thinking about all that a food can evoke really is a stretch for these eight and nine-year-olds. They have to push through the concept of what an object is and begin to understand what that food represents to them.
For Annie, dumplings are filled with flavors, but they have another layer of meaning.
Poet: Annie L.
Dumplings, with different flavors.
Some are crunchy with celery,
or soft with shrimp.
Some are just disgusting, with watercress
dipped in vinegar and garlic,
or parsley and vinegar,
or -- most disgusting -- brown sugar and vinegar.
Once a week we eat them.
Feels like hot clay.
Smells like team because of the heat.
Looks like special shaped white rocks.
Sounds like crunching when you shatter it,
and it reminds me of my Chinese heritage.
Claire's poem is a series of commands, which gives the reader a feeling of urgency. By the end of the poem, I can't wait to taste this food.
Poet: Claire G.
Ice Cream Sundae Marshmallow on Top
With my sister making a sundae.
Get the ice cream than the fudge!
Put the ice cream in the cup.
See the ice cream melt like snow!
Put the fudge on the ice cream.
Add a marshmallow on the top!
Use the whipped cream.
Make a design!
Taste the creamy fudge sundae!!!
In her food poem, Mahta describes the warmth we feel when we share a meal -- even when that food is Pizza Rolls -- with a good friend.
Poet: Mahta G.
I am having lunch with my friend.
She looks so much like me that people think
that we are twins.
We are having Pizza Rolls.
When we bite into them, we feel the warmth
against our teeth.
We smell the good smell of pizza under our
noses. We laugh. We are having such a
great time together. The Pizza Rolls taste
like fresh pizza right out of the oven.
We hear my sister coming into the
kitchen. We see her sitting down and
eating with us. I tell them a joke and
we all laugh so hard that all of our
faces turn red.
For more delicious poems, head over to my dear friend Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe. She is hosting the Poetry Friday round up today.
Thanks again to everyone at Northfield for hosting the residency and sharing these mouth-watering poems.