Poetry Friday: Process for I Come From Poems


Thanks to Sylvia at Poetry for Children who is hosting today. She has a teacher rarified Sneak Peek of the 2019 poetry titles.

DISCLAIMER: I usually am teaching poetry lessons with a limited time amount. It may be thirty minutes or forty-five minutes. And as when I was in the library, I had to do over several weeks. If I were teaching in a regular classroom, I would probably teach in a different way.

I’ve been thinking about my process for working with students with creating poetry. A lot of times, I’m a “pantser” (versus being a planner). So last month I had an opportunity to work with two third grade classes on a more complicated version of the “I Come From” poems that George Ella Lyons has offered to the world. If you search on the Internet, you will find a variety of templates to use.

I decided to adapt a template into a format that I have used with students for a several poetry forms.

The first week I subbed in December, I used this form after sharing a lot of examples (particularly ones that I’ve shared in earlier blog posts).

At the end of writing time, I gathered them up so that I could type their drafts (if I were in a classroom full time, I would probably have them type them).

When I returned the second week, I handed out the drafts. I shared from my own experience in submitting poems that I get to look at the draft and the “editor” suggestions. I had them reread and make changes.

I met with these two boys and they shared what they wanted. Students got to choose which lines they wanted to use.

On this second class, I offered this for those who wanted to write their poem.
Nathan reread his draft and decided that he wanted to revise in a big way by using the above format.

He was so pleased with the outcome.

To showcase the class poems, I’m in the process of creating a Padlet for their work.


Poetry Friday: Student Poetry Randomly Shared With Me


Thanks to Margaret at Reflections on the Teche for hosting Poetry Friday this week.

Earlier this week, I got a noticed that a fifth grader, Jamison, had shared poetry with me.  We have been done with poetry for awhile in the library but fifth graders may have been working on poetry in class.

When I had Jamison in class on Wednesday, I asked him if meant to share his poetry with me. He said yes. Jamison is one of those students that I wouldn’t expect to do this.   He’s active, speaks out, and sometimes you wonder if he’s listening.  I asked if I could share on the blog today and he said that’s why he shared them with me.

I am skilled with games
I wonder if I am going crazy
I hear rustles in the basement
I see morning stars on the roof
I want to have the earth’s core in my hand
I am skilled with games
I pretend there’s no sound
I feel bad presence
I touch a shadow
I worry that something is going to jump at me
I cry about my grandma
I am skilled with games
I understand my mom
I say the world is ending
I dream everything is ok
I try to convince people
I hope I last long

–Jamison, 5th grade

I am a casual ghastly
Nobody wants me though I am alone
All by myself an alleyway
Asking if I can be someone’s partner
It’s been 3 days without anything
I’m behind a trashcan hiding
I have a visitor and he has a nice home
I guess I’m not so lonely after all

–Jamison, 5th grade

Such thought provoking images. this always makes me happy to receive unasked for poetry from students.  Thank you, Jamison, for sharing with me.

National Poetry Month, Celebrating Student Work 13/30




Sadness is black & blue
Sadness sounds like stiff silence
Sadness tastes like an icy cold wind
Sadness smells like hard bitterness
Sadness looks like a black, barren wilderness   
Sadness feels like like empty nothingness

Ciara M.
5th grade



snow drifts gracefully
from the sky it falls slowly
it brings joy to me

Tiereny P.
5th grade


fuzzy and cute
Playing, jumping, meowing
They are cuddly and fluffy

Alex B.
5th grade


My life is like playing football
My eyes are like clouds
My brothers are loud
My heart holds happiness
That is green as a color pencil
I live in ps3
And eat games.

Alexis T.
5th grade

National Poetry Month, Celebrating Student Work 11/30


I just love what they fourth graders did with these “deeper thinking” poems.


What does Amiri Baraka know?
Amiri Baraka knows the sound of black music
He knows the smell of fresh air
He knows the taste of adventure
He sees every one staring at him in the crowd

What does Amiri Baraka know?
Amiri Baraka knows the sound of people
He knows the smell of the big wind breezes
He knows the feel of him selecting the poems
He knows the taste of spice
He sees the world

Elizabeth V.
4th grade


Thank you Elizabeth for introducing me to this poet.
What does Booker T. Washington know?
he knows the sound of silent students
he knows the smell of sweating guys
he knows the feel of hard work and pain

Nevaeh C.
4th grade


What does Stevie Wonder know?
he knows the sound of the piano
he knows the feel of the
he knows the sound of music

Jacob S.
4th grade


What does W.E.B Du Bois know?
W.E.B Du Bois knows the sound of crowds
knows the feel of segregation
sees the Niagara Movement

What does W.E.B Du Bois know?
knows the sound of pain
knows the feel of medals
knows the taste of freedom

Jovani G.
4th grade

National Poetry Month, Celebrating Student Work 7/30




snow drifts gracefully
from the sky it falls slowly
it brings joy to me

Tiereny P.
5th grade


white bear,sea bear,brown bear,forest bear

Aili H.
5th grade



anger is red
he is really loud
he tastes like strawberry
he smells like Takis
anger looks like fire
he makes me feel mad

Eileen C.
5th grade



feel breeze when running
feel power when you throw ball
music on when won

Yvette R.
5th grade

National Poetry Month, Celebrating Student Work 3/30



Third graders research animals with World Book online.  Then they write poems, including facts about the animal.


I am as mad as a shark.
I hunt alone.
I kill my own other cobras.
I eat frogs, lizards, snakes, small mammals.
I am fierce.
ophiophagus hannah.

Eric A.
3rd grade


Fantastic python
I am a python as slithery as a worm.
Sliding, biting, choking are ways that I hunt.
I dislocate my jaw to swallow my food whole.
Sneaky python molurus.

Milina W.
3rd grade


Fantastic Tasmanian devil.
I’m as fierce as a lion.
I run, jump and dig to get away.
I can have 2 – 4 newborns at a time.
I live in dark forests, grasslands and coastal areas.
I eat reptiles, birds, mammals and other animal remains.

Jaedyn H.
3rd grade


I am a scorpion
I walk on the hot ground
as I travel alone in day and night.
I sting my prey while eating.
I am a scorpion
I can get a human sick.

Ryan C.
3rd grade