Poetry Friday: Featuring Second Grade Poets

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Thanks to Buffy at Buffy’s Blog for hosting us today.

Second grade did research recently on animals of the Oregon Zoo.  They used  World Book Kids which has a fantastic animal quick facts chart and the Oregon Zoo website.

Following the research, we wrote animal poems.

polar bear
fluffy white bear
catching, running, fighting
you look like you’re made out of the snow
playing, hiking, swimming
white as snow
ursus maritimus

~Allison S

chelonlidae
in open waters
swimming, protecting, eating sponge
been around for over 100 million years
laying eggs, weighing more than 1000 pounds
sea turtles

~Kiki

cheetah
fast, cool
Chasing, resting, fascinating
Family, awesome, cubs, playful
Sneaking, sleeping, pouncing
jumping, turning
acinonyx jubatas

~Ruben

ursus maritimus
the Arctic
swimming
sea ice
playing, rolling, splashing
they live in cold places
polar bear

~Taryn

cheetahs
fast smart
hiding hunting chasing
you’re always looking for something else to do
eating sleeping scaring
having fun
acinonyt jubatus

~Allison D.

Sea otter
fun
playing, swimming, eating
sunbathing in water grabbing hair body covering
creeping, sleeping, stepping
playful, silly
pteronurabrasiliensis

~Piper

white sturgeon
when young eat mollusks
swimming clinging growing
freshwater and seawater
eating hiding growing
like a white and gray log
Acipensertransmentarus

~Connor

 

Celebrate: Five Star Things About the Week

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First morning of winter break. Grand girl is still asleep as is my husband and the two dogs. Before I make the sugar cookie dough, time to celebrate the week.

1. Read Week. Third through fifth grade students choose tables and peruse the book boxes, find a couple of books, and read for library time. It’s a time to sample something they might not try. They have the option of taking it with them. One boy was disgruntled with the choices so I handed him Greg Pincus’ The 14 Fibs of Greg K. He loved it and took it with him.

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2. Fifth grade Colonial Trades Project. Each fifth grade researches a Colonial trade. They write about the trade and create a model. The library becomes a museum of sorts to display them for other classes.

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3. Meeting with a group of Russian and Ukrainian parents plus the ELL teacher. They are a group called Natural Leaders which is an outreach to engage parent involvement. They have chosen the library as a focus as many of the Russian language books are too difficult. They wrote a grant to the PTA for books and it was approved!

4. Speaking of grant approvals…I received a grant to beef up my series collection and a grant to bring author, Susan Blackaby to Silver Star for three days in February.

5. Christmas break is here. My tree is finally up. Yesterday, a first grader brought me a gift to “Mrs. Library.” I didn’t want open the package because I loved the label. Santa dropped off a gift card so I am going to purchase a couple books for the library.

Head over to Ruth Ayres for more celebrations.

Interview Wednesday: Meet Anastasia Suen

Anastasia Suen visiting today. She is currently on the CYBILS Round One Poetry Panel and is quite busy so I’m glad she took time from her schedule to be interviewed.

Your Reading Life
MsMac: What books are on your night stand?
AS: The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstine and you are here by Thich Nhat Hanh. I also have a stack of books for my Booktalking blog, (including this year’s CYBILS poetry nominations).
MsMac: What is your favorite reading spot?
AS: An old couch in my studio. (From there I can see all of the great books waiting for me!)

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Your Writing Life
MsMac: What does a day of work look like for you?
AS: I write in the morning and I teach in the afternoon. (I’ll be teaching the Naturally Creative Workshop again in January as well as the three kidlit writing workshops I offer year round: picture books, young nonfiction and children’s novels.) I always have a dozen or so projects in the works at one time, so no two days are alike.
MsMac: What is your favorite time of day to write?
AS: First thing in the morning is the best time to write. I write in longhand before I work on the computer, so my thoughts are free to go in any direction.
MsMac: Writing the first draft or revising? Which is your favorite?
AS: I like first drafts because that is what the big decisions are made. I need to take all of the research and thinking I’ve done and make it into something new. (Synthesis!) I find that very satisfying.
I also like to revise because I keep coming up with new ideas as I write. I love it when that happens.
MsMac: What does your writing space look like?
AS: I have my old couch, a wall of bookshelves and four tables of varying sizes with stacks and piles of files from different projects. There are two filing cabinets in the room (and stacks of file boxes in the closet). I also have several whiteboards that I use to plan my books.
Here is the character board for The New Girl (2013)

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MsMac: What are your current projects?
AS: In addition to writing my own books, I also work as a freelance book editor and write two magazine columns. Focus on STEM is my Booklist column and Grow with STEM is the LibrarySparks column I write with science writer Shirley Duke.
So I am writing (and editing) a dozen different projects right now: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. I also have my own poetry blog, Poet! Poet! (I post a new haiku each Friday.)
MsMac: What might readers find you doing when you’re not writing?
AS: Most of my work day involves sitting, so I like to take breaks and stretch, do yoga, or lift weights. I also read, listen to music or watch TV while I train on the elliptical, walk, or jog. (I watch mysteries and singing contests on TV. La, la, la!)
MsMac: How has writing poetry informed you as a person?
AS: I have been writing poetry since I was in elementary school. My mother played the radio all day when I was child, so we always had music in the background. A song expresses emotions and tells stories with concise vivid language. In my view, poetry is spoken music. It is a song with the human voice as its only instrument.
MsMac: Why is poetry important?
AS: Poetry is important because it focuses on one story or one emotion at a time. It doesn’t rattle on and on going here and there and everywhere. Instead, it concentrates on one thing and looks at it deeply.
Poetry slows us down and asks us to think, to see the world in a new way. It gives us the gift of being present in this moment. This is especially true with haiku, and that is why I like it so much. It is a challenge to say something with so few words. You have to make every word, every syllable, count.

Just for Fun
MsMac: Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
AS: Dark.
MsMac: Coffee or tea?
AS: Tea.
MsMac: Dance: funky chicken or the tango?
AS: Funky chicken.
Favorite Quote:
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

Please return Friday for an original haiku by Anastasia.

Happy Reading.
MsMac

Meet Carole Boston Weatherford

Late August an email appeared for a free SKYPE visit from Carole Boston Weatherford. She has been talking to students about the fiftieth anniversary of the 1963 Birmingham Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing. I though what a great opportunity for my fifth graders. It was a great visit two weeks ago. Have you read Birmingham, 1963? If not, you should.

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Today Carole is stopping by to share about her reading and writing life.

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Your Reading Life

MsMac: What books are on your night stand?
CBW: Arthur Alfonso Schomburg: Black Bibliophile & Collector, A Biography by Elinor DesVerney Sinnette

MsMac: Where’s your favorite reading spot?
CBW: In bed or in the passenger’s seat of a car or on a train.

Your Writing Life

MsMac: What does a day of work look like for you? What is your favorite time of day to write?
CBW: I like to write in the morning or afternoon. But if I’m grooving with a manuscript, I can keep writing until late at night.

MsMac: Writing the first draft or revising? Which is your favorite?
CBW:I like revising because I am able to see progress with each subsequent draft.

MsMac: What does your writing space look like?
CBW:It has two legs and a soft cushion and most often denim upholstery. It’s my lap.

MsMac:What might readers find you doing when you’re not writing?
CBW: Teaching. I am a college professor and teach children’s and adolescent literature and professional writing courses.
In my spare time I like to travel and to visit museums, parks and historic sites.

MsMac :You have been conducting SKYPE visits in remembrance of the fiftieth anniversary of the Birmingham church bombing. What has been the response from the students you have visited?
CBW: They can’t believe that such hate violence occurred in the United States. They are appalled, and rightly so.
MsMac: I would agree that was the feeling of my students. I kept wondering why they would ask the same question. Then I realized that it was their way to process and confirm such a horrific event.

MsMac: As a child, how aware were you of the protests, the bombings, and the fight for civil rights?
CBW: I saw news reports of protests such as the March on Washington and the aftermath of the assassination of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. However, my parents shielded me from the news of the church bombings when they incident occurred. I was only seven years old at the time.

MsMac: How has writing poetry informed you as a person?
CBW: Poetry sings to my soul. Sometimes, I think and feel in poetry.

MsMac: Why is poetry important?
CBW: Poetry distills emotions and makes music with words. For children, poetry contributes to creating a language-rich environment so crucial to early literacy.

Just for Fun

MsMac: Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
CBW: Very dark (85 or 90 percent)
MsMac: Me too. With nothing else.

MsMac:Coffee or tea?
CBW:Tea

MsMac: Dance: funky chicken or the tango?
CBW: Tango

Favorite Quote:

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.
~George Washington Carver

Be sure to stop in Friday as I will have a poem by Carole Boston Weatherford.

Happy Reading.

MsMac

Poetry Friday: Mortimer with a Kelly Fineman Poem

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Mortimer has hopped all the way from Irene Latham’s Live Your Poem blog to be with us today. Thank you, Irene for inviting me to host Mortimer!

Here’s How-to-Hop, “Mortimer Minute” style!
1.Answer 3 questions. Pick one question from the previous Hopper. Add two of your own. Keep it short, please! This is a Blog Hop, not a Blog Long Jump. This is The Mortimer Minute—not The Mortimer Millennium!
2. Invite friends. Invite 1-2 bloggers who love children’s poetry to follow you. They can be writers, teachers, librarians, or just-plain-old-poetry-lovers.
3. Say thank you. In your own post, link to The Previous Hopper. Then keep The Mortimer Minute going: let us know who your Hoppers are and when they plan to post their own Mortimer Minute.

Mortimer has selected the following question from Irene:

Mortimer: Funny poems or beautiful ones?
JRM: I love both but I like writing beautiful poems more. I love writing haiku and pantuoms.

Mortimer: I noticed you are involved with the CYBILS. How are the CYBILS nominations coming along?
JRM: people have until October 15, 2013 to nominate books. I think we have some good nominations but we can use more. Last year we had over 30 titles nominated in poetry.
We currently have just over 20 books. So please go nominate a great poetry book published this year HERE.

Mortimer: What do you love most about poetry?
JRM: I love how immediate poetry can be. Poems capture so much in such few words. Reluctant writers can be successful when writing poems. I love to create group poems with students when starting poems. I love their thinking in how to arrange poems.

This year I am finding poems to pair with the books I read such as Kelly Fineman’s poem ‘Sea Jelly’ with the book Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea By Steve Jenkins.

Sea Jelly
by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman

It’s not made of jelly; it isn’t a fish.
Mostly it drifts, but can move with a swish.
It doesn’t have lungs or a brain; most can’t see.
It captures its dinner tentacularly.
Named after a Gorgon who turned men to stone,
It’s best if you leave this Medusa alone.

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Mortimer is off to visit Linda Baie at Teacher Dance. Linda has been and is a CYBILs Poetry panelist for round 2. She’s a long time teacher of middle school students at an independent school for the gifted in Denver, Colorado. She has recently moved from the classroom and moved into the part-time position of literacy coach for the 8-14 year age group. She has a son and son-in-law, a daughter and daughter-in-law, one grandson and two granddaughters.  If there is any passion it is reading, writing and being outdoors. She just returned from a Highlights Foundation workshop for poetry writing, and blogs at TeacherDance

Poetry Friday is at Laura Purdie Salas. Thanks, Laura.

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Thank you for visiting Mortimer. I’d have you visit my house but Buster the doxie would chase you.
Happy Poetry.
Happy Friday.

MsMac

Poetry Friday: Peaches by Janet Fagal

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On Wednesday, I interviewed Janet Fagal. We have connected through poetry and the Highlights Foundation workshops(although we weren’t at the same workshop).

Today I am sharing a poem from Janet. It’s a perfect time of year for,peaches. I am watching the peaches ripen on my neighbor’s tree. And Janet’s poem provides the words to describe what I would do with one of my favorite summer fruits.

The Peach

Squeeze, rub, chomp, sip
sweet fleshy globe.
Golden-pink like sunset.
Slips down the throat
cool as night.
Feels like summer,
refreshes.

Poetry Friday is hosted by Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty. Stop by here next week for Poetry Friday.

Happy Poetry.
Happy Friday.
Thank you, Janet for sharing your pome.

MsMac