Poetry Friday: Working with Kinders, Part I

Welcome to Poetry Friday. There is a celebration of women happening at Reading to the Core, it’s International Women’s Day. I have a poem at Deowriter about strong women.

Last October, at the Writing Poetry for Children Workshop, I was gifted with a galley copy of BOOM! BELLOW! BLEAT! By Georgia Heard (Its book birthday is next Tuesday).

I subbed in a kinder room on Monday and Tuesday this week. On Monday, I shared the galley with the TEN children (there was something going through the class). I gave them “homework” in that I wanted them to think of an animal to possibly write about on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, we had another day of TEN children (can you tell it was heaven? They are a busy group though and we had a bit of a cry fest after lunch). In the morning I read this book, SUPERHERO INSTRUCTION MANUAL. As I was reading, I realize that by having the class come up with superhero names (favorite color + animal) would help prime the pump for the animal sound poems they would write in the afternoon.

My mentor poem(to me, their sound reminds me of chk, chk, chk):

I shared it with the students. We noticed that I used Chk! Chk! Chk! three times for rhythm and we talked about using words starting with H. We made a chart of possible animals sounds next:


I gave the students a paper with the scaffolding and they went to work. I spent time conferencing with them. It’s so fun to see where they are with their writing and their confidence. Certainly, everyone has a poem. It was more of a challenge for some. Here’s some of their drafts.


I can tell that A. had thought about what she wanted to say. She walked into class telling me about which animal and kept asking when we would write.

L. wasn’t sure about what the sound of a red ladybug. We talked about it and she came up with “Fzzz”.

E. knew immediately he wanted a rainbow lamb. He also knew that it should say Meow-Baa and that they have have doggie ears.

K. wrote without needed me to make dots for the words. We conferred and he shared what he wrote.


E. is and ELL student. I love that she could read this to me.

I took their work and typed up the final copies. Each will have an additional sound line that didn’t fit on the page. On Monday, I’m subbing half day in the building and will meet with them to illustrate their final copy. You’ll get to see the final copies next week. At the request of the teacher, we are using initials for privacy.

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So I am sad to report that student poetry postcards most likely won’t happen this year.  That said, I am creating a limited edition poetry postcard for those who are interested in receiving a poem for National Poetry Month.
If interested please sign up here:

Poetry Friday: Poetry Camp and Cynthia Grady

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Thank you Catherine at Reading to the Core for hosting Poetry Friday.

One week (or six sleeps as I tell my kinders) until I go to Poetry Camp!  I can hardly wait.  This is the brain child of Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell.  It’s happening at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA.

There are so many people I have connected with online, through the Progressive Poem, poetry prompts, inclusion of my poem in a Poetry Friday Anthology, and poetry swaps and next Friday, I get to meet them.  This is better than Christmas.

So in honor of the upcoming camp, I am featuring a poem from Cynthia Grady’s book, I Lay My Stitches Down; Poems of American Slavery.  It’s illustrated by Michele Wood.  The poems and illustrations compliment each other well.  It’s a must see book.

Cynthia explains that the poems are “unrhymed verse, ten lines of ten syllables to mimic the square shape of the quilt block.”  Shes included three references in the poems: a biblical or spiritual reference, a musical reference, and a sewing or fiber reference.

Each poem is named for a traditional quilt block. It was difficult to select which poem to share.

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Kaleidoscope

The little time we have to call our own
be filled with gardening, feeding chickens
mending clothes, and music making: shaking
stones in the basket, clapping hands, stomping
feet. Sometimes a banjo and fiddle be
played, or hollowed-out tree drum and washboard.
But lo, the singing! Piecing shouts here to
Bible stories there, interweaving  tunes
and hollers, singing up a frenzy of
song!  Be a kaleidoscope of sound: Joy.

(use with permission by Cynthia Grady)

With author’s and illustrator’s notes at the end and a list of resources, this is a poetry books that you can lose yourself in for hours.

I am thrilled to be meeting Cynthia next week at Poetry Camp.

Happy Friday.

Happy Poetry.

Poetry Friday: Giddy About This

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P
oetry Friday is hosted  at Reading to the Core.  Thanks, Catherine.

On Saturday, I received my copy of The Poetry Anthology: Celebrations compiled by Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell.
It will be awhile before my celebration day occurs:  Super Bowl Sunday.  I surprised my self by writing this poem as I am not a football fanatic like my co-worker, the PE teacher.  She could have written this.

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This page is from the student anthology.  I am so excited to be a part of this community.

Designed for librarians and teachers and there’s a student version available.  In April, during National Poetry Month,Susan Blackaby  and I will be doing a reading and poetry activity at the Barnes and Noble near my school. (While not an independent book store, as there isn’t one for kids in Vancouver, WA, this B/N does support the schools well).

Happy Poetry.

Happy Friday.