April 12, 2016

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I Need a Ti-shoe

It's my last teaching day at Northfield Elementary. I'll be back in a few weeks for the third grade's Poetry Celebration, but I'll miss working with the kids on their poems.
Maryland State Arts Council Artists-in-Education get to spend several days working with students. The children get to know and trust me. They're willing to take creative chances, have fun, and view their poems as poems -- rather than writing assignments.
Here's the last crop of shoe odes (lesson here). Kids often capture an energy in their poems that's rare in the adult poetry world. I love the rhythm of Ryan's poem.
Poet: Ryan L. Ode to Nike Shoes Old Nike shoes. Your words: Dart IV. WOW, do you smell! You’re made in Vietnam. Such a long travel as a bird flies migration. Extremely fast like a jet. Old Nike shoes. Elementary schoolers aren't accustomed to working with similes, but they're great at it. We warm up first with the infamous baby powder exercise (see the description here). I told the students to use whatever similes popped into their minds, however wild. Peyton took me up on it!
Poet: Peyton L. Ode to Peyton’s Shoe My shoe looks like A green grape ready to be eaten. Caves waiting to be filled with People. Rocks that go in curvy paths, Mazes you can never get out of. Holes the size of the moon. Words that Mean crazy things. Smells like rotten cheese. They protect my feet From everything. I love my shoes.
See you tomorrow for Poetry Friday.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Shoe Odes

The model poem for this lesson in writing odes (which I usually use for middle school, but adapted for elementary with great results) is Gary Soto's wonderful "Ode to Pablo's Tennis Shoes."
Kids' lit agent Michael Stearns (Firebrand) told me it's Soto's most anthologized poem. No wonder. It's got some juicy similes, which I asked my third graders to aim for in their odes.
It's not often a teacher asks you to take off one shoe, put it on your desk, and examine it. We had a blast with this activity!
Ethan and I discovered the word "Raptor" -- a model name -- on his sneaker.
Poet: Ethan K. Dear E-Raptor, you taste like rubber bands. You feel like leather seats. You smell like fresh dirt. You sound like fireworks crackling. You look like neon green lasers. You’re my favorite shoes.
Juicy similes? Check!
In the poem below, I notice Mayur responding to the quiet emotions at the end of Soto's ode.
Poet: Mayur K. Ode to Mayur’s Shoes They are as fast as a cheetah, rain beaten. They are kicking a kickball, and they smell like the sewer. But I don’t care because they sound like rain drops when I walk. They remind me of a spider because they are all brown and dark colors. When I come back from school, I put them in the closet near the door. Now it’s night. I can hear my dad snoring and my mom laughing to the America’s Funniest Videos.
More shoe odes from the Northfield E.S. third graders tomorrow. Thanks again to Northfield's third grade team and our young poets' families for permission to post these poems.