April 12, 2016

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Poetry Friday in Residence: Opposite Poems

This month, I am in residence at Manor Woods Elementary School. I'm having a blast reading and writing poetry with the third grade students and their teachers. Thanks to the MWES PTA and the Howard County Arts Council for funding our workshops!

We're celebrating Poetry Friday
at Keri Recommends this week.
Click through to join the party!

Last week, I shared the onomatopoeia lesson I use during poetry residencies.

Part 1 of the lesson -- with student responses -- is here.
Part 2 of the lesson -- with more poems by third graders -- is here.

Today, let's focus on opposite poems. I use this workshop to teach stanzas, a way for young writers to organize their thoughts and begin playing around with white space on the page.

The model poem I use is "Swift Things Are Beautiful," by Newbery Award-winning author Elizabeth Coatsworth. This is a rich poem for the third graders to discuss. You can find my poem walk, where we look at "Swift Things Are Beautiful" line by line, at this post.

On to the third grade poets! You will see that some of us aren't ready to stop celebrating Halloween.

Cute and Scary
by Julia W.

I like cute things:
baby chicks hopping in your hand,
little puppies jumping up an down,
little kittens meowing away,
babies saying "goo goo ga ga."

I don't like scary things:
monsters that scare you away,
vampires with blood dripping,
witches that are cackling,
and zombies that are dead.

Hot and Cold
by Ryan M.

Hot things make me warm.
A fire breaks out.
The sun warms me up.
A volcano erupts. Lava burns into rock.

The stove makes steam.
Cold things are beautiful.
I can see my footsteps in the snow.
I pull an icicle down from the roof.
I see a polar bear growling.
I can also see a penguin
taking care of its eggs.

by Claire B.

Some animals are slow.
Snails crawl on a path.
Turtles walk on the beach.
Hippos stomp in hot places.

Some animals are fast.
Tigers run in Africa.
Birds flap in the day.
Owls fly at night.

Visible, Not Visible
by Cade A.

Visible things are beautiful:
a dog running through a meadow,
a bright sunshine in the morning,
a house with glittering snow,
a big chocolate fudge sundae
waiting to be eaten.

But invisible things can be useful.
The wind guiding you through the forest.
Taste telling you if you like something or not.
Tape holding your mistakes together.
Smell guiding you to a cake
with three layers.

I have taught this lesson many times. It always excites me when a young poet like Cade finds a creative new opposite to write about, one that none of my past students has come up with before.

Thanks to the Manor Woods for giving me permission to share these poems. Monday is our Poets' Tea. Stop by and read some food poems to help us celebrate.


Gathering Books said...

I think this would be my first 'aware' encounter of Opposite Poems. I enjoyed it and its such an interesting workshop.
I particularly enjoy the last poem, i definitely like the contrast of the visible and the invisible. Thanks for sharing your student's work. It's a treat to see what third graders can come up with and its always amazing.

jama said...

Always fun to see what the students come up with. What a great idea to do "Opposite" poems. The visible/invisible concept is cool!

Tara said...

What a lucky bunch of kids to have you workshopping poetry with them! I love Cade's poem - especially that second stanza, which is so thoughtful .

Bridget Magee said...

Wow! These poets/poems are amazing. I especially like the line the Cade's poem: "Tape holding your mistakes together" - so great! =)

Linda B said...

"the wind guiding you through the forest" - You've inspired some beautiful poems, Laura. Love seeing those kids in the video!

Mary Lee said...

What a fabulous opportunity for these young writers. Wouldn't you love to have a peek into their future and see what eventually becomes of this time they are spending with you and poetry?

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Laura, I really enjoyed discovering this poem, and seeing your lesson and its results. Yesterday I led Week 1 of our Poetry Friday Reading Buddies activity for my Minnows and 5 special ed 5th graders. We used "Who Am I?" by Felice Holman and it was soooo interesting!

invisible "tape holding your mistakes together"--gotta mention that bit of genius again!

Carol said...

I love the idea of opposite poems as a way to teach stanzas! I want to try this with my students. Thanks so much for sharing this idea and these gorgeous poems!