THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY

THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY
April 12, 2016

Sunday, May 10, 2015

In Residence: The Words We Carry

My Northfield 3rd graders have finished the first drafts of their list poems. Before we move on to the next lesson (animal similes), let's evaluate the list poem workshop.

This was a new workshop for me. I appreciate the third grade team at Northfield. They're always willing to let me try something different! So, what went well?

From Steve Vernon, Storyteller

1. This was the first lesson of this 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. She asks us to think about words we love. Starting with something so basic and important on Day 1 provided a strong foundation for future writing.

2. 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.

3. "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.

Read on for the final two "Words in My..." poems from my students. As an extra treat, stop by educator Margaret Gibson Simon's blog, Reflections on the Teche. Her students wrote some wonderful "Words in My..." poems last week too!

Words in My Swim Bag
by Arielle L.

I hide words in my swim bag,
words that are WET

GOGGLES
SWIM CAP
TOWEL

All of these
words help me
win a race.

I have sounds
in my bag.

BEEEP!
GO!
SPLASH!

I have memories
in my bag too!

MEETS
HEATS
WINS
SCORES

But when the season
is over, my bag goes away
but all my words stay!

Retro swim cap, anyone?

Words in My Backpack
Aditya B.

I hide words in my backpack,
words that taste good.

PENCIL
MESSY
HOMEWORK FOLDER

No one can see them,
but I find them waiting for me.
like my brain hiding inside my body.
No one can see it,
but I know what is in there.

MATH
READING
UNFINISHED WORK
VIDEO GAMES

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

WRITING
NEAT
BLACK
is in my backpack.

My friends, the words
stay in my backpack longer than I do
but they never go away.

In Residence will be an ongoing series this month. If you missed previous posts:

First Student Responses: "Words in My Pet Goldfish," "Words in My Bed," "Words in My Life"
In Residence: Poetry Friday Words: Poems by Laura S., Jason Y., Jeffrey G., and Isa L.


Thank you to the Northfield ES community for what I think is our 9th year together. Wow. I appreciate having the permission to share the third graders' poems.

Readers, my third grade poets love hearing feedback from you. Please leave a comment about our list poems. (Thanks to all those who sent us a compliment on Poetry Friday!)

2 comments:

Margaret Simon said...

Thanks for the shout out. I am now sold on using form with students. I sometimes need form when I am struggling to get the words right and so do our students. This way there is immediate success. In a way it's scaffolding, but such that you can go on to free form, then come back to a set form. My students are used to choosing how they put down their words. But they found a sense of creativity with using this form that was really satisfying. Thanks for sharing.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater said...

These poems are wonderful. Now I think that I will be looking for words - and listening for words - even more than usual. I love the idea of these words hanging out together. Here are a couple of my favorite lines.

"I have sounds
in my bag."

"like my brain hiding inside my body"

Thank you, poets, for sharing these. You've inspired me! And I'd like to recommend Maya Angelou's "I Love the Look of Words" to you.

xo, a.