April 12, 2016

Friday, May 15, 2015

In Residence: The Simile Zoo

It's Poetry Friday. I'm late to the party, because I've been spending the day at the Simile Zoo.

Diane Mayr is serving today's
poetry posts. Visit Random Noodling
 for some tasty words and poetic company.
"The Simile Zoo?" you say. "Never heard of it."

My Northfield Elementary third graders learned about similes in the second workshop of our residency. Today, I'll introduce you to the angry beasts, lazy sloths, and happy birds they created -- all animals that represent emotions or feelings.

Teachers: I posted instructions for the lesson several years ago.

The Simile Zoo: Lesson Part 1

The Simile Zoo: Lesson Part 2

My warm up for this lesson is a Zen drawing exercise. We draw our hands without looking at our papers (eyes stay on the object we are drawing). It's not the drawing that's important. Instead, we put the focus on simile building. Look at those strange drawings. What do they resemble? The process is similar to finding a shape in the clouds.

Here are some hand drawings from Ms. Hilliard's class. Check out the similes students made.

It looks like a starfish flipping over.

It looks like a tooth with a chip missing.

It looks like a MONSTER!
Now, please join me and the third grade poets on a tour of the Simile Zoo.

Sabine S.

When I feel happy
I am like a penguin.
Penguins love fish, and I jump in joy for ice cream.
I slide on my sled down the hill
happily, while penguins slide down the ice
in joy. Penguins jump in their pool without a care,
and I’m in my bathtub, humming and
playing with bath toys.


When I feel lazy,
I am like a sloth.
My face is blank.
I don’t get off the couch. I stay in one spot.
I move very slow.
I hang of the couch.
I am very slow.
I feel very light.

Cecelia D.

When I am hungry, I am like a wolf.
I sneak food, but I must be quiet.
My face turns a grayish-pale.
My stomach grows like a wolf does.
I get VERY MAD because it hurts
to starve. And I do NOT sleep because I had

no food. A wolf feels this way, too.

Evelyn D.

When I feel scared,
I am like a cat.
I run away from my fears
as fast as I can.
I feel helpless with
my cute meowing,
for my fears are the
opposite of positive
to me. Sometimes
my running fails me
though, all I can do
is whine and cry.
People think I’m happy
though, because they
think it’s cute and
they don’t see tears.
I also may run away
to protection that loves
me like a mother.

Than you to the Northfield ES community for hosting this annual residency. I appreciate having permission to share the third graders' poems.

Readers, the students love hearing feedback from you. Please leave a comment about our simile zoo. More animal poems are coming soon.


Diane Mayr said...

Awesome poems Northfield Elementary third grade! These are some of my favorite lines:

Penguins love fish, and I jump in joy for ice cream.

I am like a sloth.
My face is blank.

I get VERY MAD because it hurts
to starve.

When I feel scared,
I am like a cat.
I run away from my fears

Keep up the good work! Best wishes from New Hampshire!

Margaret Simon said...

I think I'll steal this for writing camp. Love the idea of drawing to find metaphors. The simile poems are great. Such real expressions of emotions shown through the similes.

Tabatha said...

I like those fresh takes on emotions! I can really feel Sabine's happiness, Asher's slothfulness, Cecelia's hunger, and Evelyn's fear. Nice descriptions -- lots of movement in Sabine's, Asher's "blank face," Cecelia's grayish-pale face and growling stomach, and Evelyn's fright that doesn't get taken seriously.