Student Poetry Month: Inanimate Object Poem Week

I interviewed Laura Purdie Salas about her new book IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT in March. That interview is HERE.


Then I had an opportunity to work with a fourth grade class. We made a list of all the inanimate objects in the classrooms. I am featuring their poems all week.

The let down pencil
I get left in the pencil bin all day
sharp, dull, lead, eraser
You write with it
lead filled wood

~Shelby

Computer
happy as a pig I be
fun, important, electric
I am your gaming station for life
I am your device of glory computer

~Elliott

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Student Poetry Month: Inanimate Objects Poem Week

I interviewed Laura Purdie Salas about her new book IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT in March. That interview is HERE.


Then I had an opportunity to work with a fourth grade class. We made a list of all the inanimate objects in the classrooms. I am featuring their poems all week.

Rolling soccer balls
I’m as crazy as a jump rope
kick, bounce, jump
I like playing with kids
Super, star soccer

~Lauren

Jumping pencil
I am as sleepy as a pillow
rolling, spelling, writing
We do your homework
Story

~ Abby

A coat as white as snow
I am as warm as 1000 blankets
drops, eats, explores
Gets cold when left alone
hungry, warm coats

~Logan

Student Poetry Month: Inanimate Objects Poems

I interviewed Laura Purdie Salas about her new book IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT in March. That interview is HERE.


Then I had an opportunity to work with a fourth grade class. We made a list of classroom inanimate objects. I am featuring their poems all week.

Organized calendar
I’m as smart as a 7th grader
flip, count, mark
you know what day it is
Time keeper

~Tim, 4th grade

Majestic American Flag
We are strong as a bald eagle
Strong, brave, huge
Best
my country flag

~Kelton

Student Poetry Month 1/30

It feels kind of weird to not have a boatload of student poetry for National Poetry Month.

I have collected some student work. And to begin things off, I”m starting with my grand nephew’s Oliver’s poem. He gave me permission to share.


In a conversation with O and his mom, he let us know the following:

I’ll be posting student poetry here Monday through Friday.

Poetry Friday: Working with Third Graders On Animal Sound Poems

Welcome to Poetry Friday. Thank you goes to Rebecca at Sloth Read for hosting everyone.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to sub in Mrs. Martin’s room. I shared the “I Come From” poems in January.

I love teaching poetry when I sub. The tricky part is being able to get it down in the amount of time I’m given. Yesterday I had an hour which I could work with the class.

Georgia Heard’s book BOOM! BELLOW! BLEAT! has been a great mentor text.

We discussed some of the poems in the book. I really like “Rattlesnake Warning” and “You Can’t See Us, But You Can Hear. Us” for whole group participation. Then I shared my poem and asked what they noticed.

This lead to a discussion about

Here’s a sneak peak of the third grade poems. What I notice with third grade is their variety of animal choices: cockatiel, blue whale, chinchilla, canines, pandas, and a giraffe to name a few. We talked about being more specific that just “dog” or “bird”.

I will be publishing them during April’s National Poetry Month. And in the near future, I will have an interview with Georgia Heard.

Poetry Friday: Part Two Kinder Poems and Giveaway

Welcome to Poetry Friday. I know that Heidi has a great round up at My Juicy Little Universe.

Monday I stopped by the kinder class I worked with to get some illustrations for their poems. This class has had their share of illness and new students were gone. Therefore not all finished poems have pictures.

These poems were inspired by BOOM! BELLOW! BLEAT! by Georgia Heard.

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Check out this interview with Laura Purdie Salas on her new book, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. I interviewed her on my blog yesterday. Her publisher has donated a book for a giveaway

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Would you like a poetry postcard for National Poetry Month? Here’s a blog post about it HERE and you can sign up below:

In the Middle of the Night Blog Tour; An Interview with Laura Purdie Salas

Today I am happy to share a recent interview Laura Purdie Salas regarding her latest book, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. This book arrived in the world on Tuesday. I’ve had a chance to get acquainted with it and is it a gem. I think kids of all ages can relate to what happens when you are sleeping.

It reminded me of my own beliefs that the fairy tale world came alive at night when I was sleeping. I mean Hansel and Gretel’s house was right there in the hallway and I would have to pass Rapunzel’s tower to go to the bathroom.

I had some questions for Laurie about MIDDLE:

JRM: Where/how did the idea for IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT come about?

LAURA: Actually, two poems, one I wrote and one I didn’t, inspired it. First, I wrote a poem called “Lights Out at the Bookstore” for BOOKSPEAK (Clarion, 2012), about all the books having a party at night. I loved writing that poem. Then, somebody (I can’t find the poem now, and I’m so frustrated) wrote a 15 Words or Less poem on my blog about chalk coming to life at night. Those two poems wriggled around in my head, and I thought, “What about a whole collection about what inanimate things do at night!” That was back in 2012.

JRM: What kind of prep/research/play did you do before writing the poems?

LAURA: Hehe—very little prep or research. This one, unlike the science-related poetry and verse I’ve been writing, is pure imagination! I just started brainstorming objects and possible things they might do. Like:

coloring sheet/homework: folds itself to become a paper airplane or a sailboat or a hat and it’s all wrinkled in the morning

pencils: built a fort or other big building that other things can interact with. eraser/face her/race her

socks: like the square dancing one, but it needs to be first person, can still be to the rhythm of a caller

knife: diving board

bowl: swimming pool below

kids’ meal toy: comes to life as a daredevil diver, diving off the diving board and into the pool

blanket: superhero cape for…

broom: superhero, cleans up messes, rescues things, flies through house with cape around its neck

plate: surfboard in the tub? moon in the sky? it dances, spins, does anything but lie flat?

pencil sharpener: chases crayons and whittles them down and makes confetti

what jumps in the confetti?

I wrote boatloads of lists and dozens and dozens of poems. And mostly, the research was all in my head! Such a change from my usual process.

JRM: Were there challenges in writing the book? How did you work around them?

LAURA: There are always challenges! Trying to find the focus was a main one. I didn’t start out with a house focus, so I had poems about all sorts of random things. And, as always, the only way to work around them was to write draft after draft, always circling back to ask, How can I make this collection stronger? Or asking my writing group, How can I make this collection stronger? Eventually, I zeroed in on a household focus.

JRM: Were the poems written in the order they appear in the book or did you organize the arc of the book later? What was the process?

LAURA: No, not at all! My process was to spew out poems. Any poems, all poems, without judgment. Then I tried to look at the shape of all the poems together. Eventually, I organized it by room/area of the house. Later, my wonderful editor at Wordsong, Rebecca Davis, was instrumental in thinking about the book’s arc and the order the poems would appear in.

JRM: There are twenty-six poems in the book. Were there more to start? If so, how did you decide which ones to include?

LAURA: There were many more. Many. I cut a lot of them, but my critique group (shout-out to the Wordsmiths!) also helped me identify the ones that weren’t as strong. And Rebecca also had thoughts about which ones were adding enough to the book and which ones weren’t. But she also had me add some poems. For instance, I wrote the two poems from the parents’ room at Rebecca’s suggestion that we somehow include that part of the house. And for each of those two poems, I wrote four or five possible poems, then shared the top few with Rebecca to get her input. My guess is that for the 26 poems in the book, I probably wrote about 100 poems. Half of them likely never made it past first draft stage. And the other half went through various numbers of drafts until I whittled them down to just 26. Here’s just one of many that didn’t make it in:

Tooth Fairy’s Bad Night

For this

I missed

a party?

For this

I’m working

late?

My plans

have all been

ruined

by the

apple that

you ate!

It just felt a little too snarky for the tone of the collection overall.

JRM:What surprised you the most about the book?

LAURA: Two things: One, how much more deeply I dug into the poems with Rebecca’s questions. Revision is both a terrifying and amazing process, and I learn so much each time I work with a fantastic editor! And, two, how fabulous Angela Matteson’s illustrations are. I knew I liked her art a lot from the delightful GRUMBLES FROM THE TOWN (Wordsong, 2016), a poetry collection by Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Jane Yolen. But I was a little nervous because these poems are all set at night (obviously), and I was worried the book would end up being dark and muted. Nothing could be further from the truth!

JRM: You have had three books appear in the world recently. What’s next for you?

LAURA: It’s a busy year! In addition to my three poetry titles right now, I have a rhyming nonfiction book coming out this fall: SNACK, SNOOZE, SKEDADDLE: HOW ANIMALS GET READY FOR WINTER (Millbrook, 2019). Whew! I wrote all these books years apart, but various illustrators’ and publishers’ schedules just happened to all converge for 2019.

In the coming few years, I’ll have a couple of rhyming nonfiction books with Bloomsbury, more poetry and nonfiction with Wordsong/Boyds Mills, plus my first fiction picture book with Two Lions. I can’t wait to share all of these titles with readers!

Thanks, Jone, for hosting IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT on its blog tour. You have always been such a poetry advocate and done such amazing things with your students. Even after retirement, you are still sharing poetry love, and I’m grateful!

Thank you, Laura. I love the tooth fairy poem. I think older kids would get the snark.

If you would like to receive a copy of this amazing and fun book to share with kids of all ages, drop a comment. I will pick a winner next week and announce it on Poetry Friday, March 22, 2019.

What inanimate object would you choose for a poem?