April 12, 2016

Friday, January 14, 2011

Poetry Friday: Poet-in-Residence

I'm starting the year off with a teaching bang. Throughout January, I am in residence at Lisbon Elementary in Howard County, MD.

One perk of my job is seeing how differently children around the state experience school. At Lisbon ES, when the door opens for recess, the view is farms and open fields surrounding the black top. In their poems, my students have mentioned sheep pens at home and riding horses.

It's remarkable that my own children's very suburban schools (Subway in a strip mall across the street from our ES) are just 20 minutes away from these rural scenes.

Here is a sampling of poems from the 5th graders I'm working with. Thanks to teachers and parents for permission to share these wonderful pieces of writing.

I'll include a link to the related lesson if I have previously posted instructions.

Poet:        Jim Bob S.

When I feel tired
I am like a bison sleeping in a meadow,
not caring if a native is near with an arrow
and the soothing wind in my ear
or the soft pillowy grass underneath me
I will just sleep in peace
not afraid of my surroundings
because with all the weight I have on my back
it is nice to relax and lay low
away from school work.

What a peaceful feeling Jim Bob captures, despite the power of the animal he chose. In fact -- the animal is so powerful that the peacefulness comes across as a conscious choice. Nice!

Poet:                     Melissa K.
Title:                      Finger Foods

We go shopping.
Look, there’s the root beer,
Pizza bagels, Doritos, mini hot dogs too.
I go shopping with my mom.
We were supposed to leave an hour after noon.
We get home. We start preparing.
Pizza bagels, mini bread sticks, mini hot dogs
All go in the  oven.
Ding done.
Time to eat we say.
We eat and watch a movie.
11:45 now.
Change the channel please.
We watch the ball drop.
Me, Mom, Dad, three of my four brothers,
On New Year’s Eve.
Wait hold on it’s …
Hooray! We say!
We still go back for more
Tan mini bread sticks.
It still smells like a restaurant.
It still looks like a mini Thanksgiving
Junk food Thanksgiving.
Getting sleepy now.
Happy New Year!

That's a tradition we may have to adopt at the Shovan household. I love Melissa's observation that all of these appetizers and finger foods are a "Junk Food Thanksgiving."

More fifth grade poems to come as our residency progresses...

I often show kids Laura Purdie Salas' book, STAMPEDE, when we're writing those "animals are like feelings" poems, so it's fitting that Laura is our host today.

Stop by Writing the World for Kids for the Poetry Friday roundup.


Tabatha said...

I love those poems, Laura. Thanks for letting us have a little glimpse into the wonderful works that students share with you. (We have a fondue tradition for New Year's -- we wind up eating a LOT of chocolate. Not a bad way to end/start the year!)

Unknown said...

What insights. I love the weight on the back in the bison and "junk food Thanksgiving."
We eat a dish called New Year's Shrimp. Each year, we can't remember which of several recipes is "the one." It is delicious every year not matter which one actually gets made.

Joanne M. Lozar Glenn said...

These are amazing poems. Love the depth of the bison poem, the fun of the food memory poem.

Author Amok said...

Thanks, all. Once you start talking about family food traditions, everyone has something to share. One of the teachers I'm working with chose food memories as her favorite prompt.

laurasalas said...


I really love

soothing wind in my ear
or the soft pillowy grass

Even though bison are huge and powerful, I do think of them as calm, and I really liked this poem.

And I wanted to go shopping with Melissa! Root beer, Doritoes, pizza bagels--yum! Loved all her details.

And thanks for sharing STAMPEDE--that makes me so proud!

Mary Lee said...

Your teaching year is indeed starting off with a bang! Great poems!!

I'm wishing I could be as relaxed and nonchalant as that buffalo, and I'd love a plate of snacks right now!

Author Amok said...

Hi, Laura. Your book complements that "animals are like feelings" workshop perfectly.

Hi, Mary Lee. Your comment reminds me that both of these poems make the reader *want* the experience the poet describes.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Hi, Laura--

Late this weekend! I always enjoy reading kids' work, and these poems make me *want* the experience the poetry teacher describes. : ) I miss doing workshops.

Author Amok said...

Hi, Heidi. Thanks for stopping by. I'm posting more poems Tuesday morning. They're really good -- can't wait to share!