Saturday, April 30, 2011

Poems with Comparisons


Tree Locket
by Amy LV

Poems with Comparisons

Students - when we compare one thing to something else, it helps our brains and souls take a mental leap.  By placing two different things near each other, two things which share some quality, a reader can see a connection and understand a new idea or image more clearly.  Metaphors (comparisons between two things) and similes (comparisons using the words like or as) deepen and enrich our words.  

In these poems, you can see where I have compared different things.  In some, you may notice just a brief comparison.  In others, you may see the comparison carry throughout the poem.

from December 2010


from June 2010


from October 2010


from May 2010


Here are a few more poems with comparisons.

Pine Bride

Students - when you walk around and observe things in your life, try to make a practice of comparing the things you see/hear/feel/taste/smell to other things.  This is wonderful for your writing, and will also be enormously helpful to you  as you try to explain ideas in other areas such as math and science.  See things in terms of other things.  Feel things in terms of other feelings.  Let your senses cross!

I had planned to write about comparisons today.  And then a writing heroine of mine, April Halprin Wayland, wrote about them yesterday.  Don't miss her post - Metaphors Be With You.

Many thank yous to fifth grade poet Deontae and her librarian Mrs. Jone Rush MacCulloch (Mrs. Mac) of Silver Star Elementary in Vancouver, WA.  Once again, Mrs. Mac's students sent original poetry postcards to anyone who requested one this month.  Mine just arrived yesterday, a perfect way to end National Poetry Month.  I am tickled, and this poem will hang above my desk as inspiration.  (Or maybe I should put it down low for our dog Cali to see!)
 


I imagine that Deontae's clever and playful poem was inspired by Joyce Sidman's thoughtful and whimsical book THIS IS JUST TO SAY: POEMS OF APOLOGY AND FORGIVENESS, inspired by William Carlos Williams's poem "This is Just to Say."


Last year I was fortunate enough to receive one of these student poems too!  There are so many wonderful ways to spread poetry around the world.  I do love receiving poetry postcards!

Below is the completed list of this month's poetry posts.  I hope that you will find them useful to you, and they will soon be kept in the sidebar.  For now, The Poem Farm is taking a brief break for at least a chunk of May as it finds its new direction.  

Poetry Revisits and Lessons from April 2011

April 1 -   Poems about Poems
April 2 -   Imagery
April 6 -   Free Verse
April 9 -   Poems about Science
April 10 - Rhyming Couplets  
April 11 -  Riddle Poems 
April 12 -  List Poems 
April 13 -  Poems for Occasions
April 14 -  Concrete Poems
April 15 -  Poems about Food
April 16 -  Quatrains
April 18 -  Alliteration
April 19 -  Poems about Sports
April 21 -  Family Story Poems 
April 22 -  Poems about Nature
April 23 -  Repetition
April 25 -  Concerns Poems
April 26 -  Mask Poems
April 27 -  How-To Poems
April 28 -  Word Play Poems
April 29 -  Silly Poems 
April 30 - Poems with Comparisons

Please look in the right hand sidebar for all kinds of recommendations for wonderful poetry places to visit.  I will be back soon, and hopefully with a new good plan.

Thank you for visiting throughout this month and year!

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Poetry Friday, Poetry Peek, & Silly Poems!







 

Silly Poems

Students -  we all have different moods, different ways of seeing things and different kinds of days.  Sometimes we're serious, but sometimes we're silly.  Many of this year's poems are silly ones.  Read on, and you will know about my own silly side.


 from January 2011


 from July 2010


from September 2010


 from May 2010

Gum for Free
In My Pocket
Recycling
Gum
Problem Solved
Toe Jam Jam
Eyebrow Hair


What is your silly side?  Writing when you are in a silly mood can lead to fun and giggles!

Many warm welcomes to second grade teacher Dale Sondericker from Marilla Primary in the Iroquois Central School District as he shares how he has helped his students find meaning and joy in poems.

As I approached National Poetry Month in my second grade classroom, I was trying to think of a way to immerse my students into poetry.  I wanted to find an authentic way for my young writers to connect with this genre.  When my family's dairy farm inspired Amy's manure poem, I realized how great it felt to have a personal connection with a poem.  

Somewhere along the way I had read about the power of sharing poetry, so...I planned to give each of my students a "poetry gift."  My goal was to find a special poem for each of my students.  I had to tap into student interests, personalities, and all of the tidbits that I collected from our year-long conversations.

The first poetry gift actually found me.  Neleah is a second grader in my classroom.  She is lucky (or possibly unlucky) enough to have her mom work as a teacher in our building.  One morning, Neleah's mom shared a story with me about Neleah getting in trouble for jumping on the bed.  That afternoon, my daughters had found my Amazon order on the front step.  I had ordered a poetry book, DAYS LIKE THIS by Simon James, to prepare for our upcoming poetry unit.



When I was flipping through the poems in this book, I found one titled "Bouncing" by Simon James.  It was a perfect fit.  The next day, I shared the poem with the class and gave Neleah a copy.  

This became an exciting way to share poetry.  The kids looked forward to guessing who each poetry gift was for and why I picked the particular poem, and they loved getting a poem of their own.  It took a bit of work to find a poem to match each student, but I think it will pay off as we begin our poetry unit in May.

Students also jumped in on the poetry hunt.  We built a bulletin board titled, POEMS THAT SPEAK TO ME, and I asked my second graders to contribute three poems from three different authors to our classroom display.  We talked about how poems and writing can be powerful and "speak" to our hearts.  

Students began taking poetry books from the library, the public library, classroom materials, and online resources.  Throughout the month of April, students brought in their poems and shared why each poem spoke to them.  In addition, a picture of each student and a speech bubble illustrating the connection was incorporated into the display.


 Bulletin Board of Student Poems & Connections
Photo by Dale Sondericker

"This poem "This Tooth" by Lee Bennett Hopkins) speaks to me because once I had a wiggly tooth and when I stopped wiggling it, it came out on its very own." - Camryn
Photo by Dale Sondericker

 "This poem ("Enemy" by Kristine O'Connell George) speaks to me because whenever my dog hears the vacuum and the vacuum goes up, he goes up.  The vacuum goes down, he goes down.  Woof!  Woof!  Rrrrr!  It just gets louder.  Ha!" - Mateo
Photo by Dale Sondericker

On Poem in Your Pocket Day, I chose to share a silly poem about a purple cow.  I passed copies of the poem out to students in the hallway as they were going to their classrooms.  I shared the poem with a few of my friends from a K-2 class next door to our classroom.  

A few minutes into the day, the teacher from next door stopped by with a few of her students who wanted to know if I had additional copies.

When my class returned from lunch, we were surprised to discover that the door to our classroom  had been decorated with a herd of purple cows.  Apparently, my friends from next door were inspired by the poem.


Surprise Cow Door!
Photo by Dale Sondericker

The best part was that one of our visually impaired friends from this class had also attached a Braille version of the poem.  My second graders were very excited to see and feel a Braille poem.

Braille Cow Poem
Photo by Dale Sondericker

Much gratitude to teacher Dale Sondericker, his students, and their next door neighbor students, for inspiring all of us today with their ways to fall in love with poetry...together.  May we all learn from his generosity, placing "just right" poems in students hands and lives.

Tomorrow will be the final day of revisiting this 2010-2011 year of poems.  After that, The Poem Farm will take a brief May hiatus to discover its new direction.  Please feel free to send suggestions!

This Month's Poetry Revisits and Lessons So Far

April 1 -   Poems about Poems
April 2 -   Imagery
April 6 -   Free Verse
April 9 -   Poems about Science
April 10 - Rhyming Couplets  
April 11 -  Riddle Poems 
April 12 -  List Poems 
April 13 -  Poems for Occasions
April 14 -  Concrete Poems
April 15 -  Poems about Food
April 16 -  Quatrains
April 18 -  Alliteration
April 19 -  Poems about Sports
April 21 -  Family Story Poems 
April 22 -  Poems about Nature
April 23 -  Repetition
April 25 -  Concerns Poems
April 26 -  Mask Poems
April 27 -  How-To Poems
April 28 -  Word Play Poems
April 29 -  Today - Silly Poems

Tabatha is hosting today's Poetry Friday over at The Opposite of Indifference.   Have fun visiting all of the poems on this last Poetry Friday of National Poetry Month 2011!

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Play with Words! Words with Play!


Word Juggler
by Amy LV

Word Play Poems

Students - one thing that poets do is play with words.  There are many ways to play with words.  One way is to juggle a prefix or a suffix around as I have done in "Voracious."  You can see that I made up a whole bunch of words, all with "v-o-r-e" at the end.  Fifth grade poet Tara does this in her poem "Wonderholic" as well.  (Scroll down to read the poem on pink paper.)

 from November 2010

In "Greatings," you will notice that the word play revolves around homophones, including lion/lyin, prey/pray, and meat/meet as well as greetings/greatings (invented).

from November 2010

Here are two more poems with lots of word play.  "Glitter" plays with sounds, and "Econd-say Anguage-lay"  plays with another language!


For the next two days, I will continue to pull together poems from MyPoWriYe (My Poem Writing Year) 2010-2011.  Then, in May, The Poem Farm will take a brief break as it finds its new direction.  Please feel free to share ideas for this new direction!

This Month's Poetry Revisits and Lessons So Far

April 1 -   Poems about Poems
April 2 -   Imagery
April 6 -   Free Verse
April 9 -   Poems about Science
April 10 - Rhyming Couplets  
April 11 -  Riddle Poems 
April 12 -  List Poems 
April 13 -  Poems for Occasions
April 14 -  Concrete Poems
April 15 -  Poems about Food
April 16 -  Quatrains
April 18 -  Alliteration
April 19 -  Poems about Sports
April 21 -  Family Story Poems 
April 22 -  Poems about Nature
April 23 -  Repetition
April 25 -  Concerns Poems
April 26 -  Mask Poems
April 27 -  How-To Poems
April 28 -  Today - Word Play Poems

Tomorrow is Poetry Friday!  The last Poetry Friday of National Poetry Month.  Be there or be square!

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How-To Poems


How to Leave Your Mark
Photo by Amy LV

How-To Poems

Some poems explain a procedure, or how to do something.  It might be directions on how to play a game or make a craft or even do something silly like making an ENORMOUS snow cone.  Line-by-line, such poems walk readers through a process and teach them to do something new. 


from April 2010


from January 2011


from November 2010


Here are two more poems which explain how to do something.

Find a Roll of Foil
Two Eggs

You may have noticed that several of these poems have appeared on more than one list this month.  This is because a poem can use many strategies and cross many idea-finding paths at once.  For example, "Two Eggs" is both a how-to and a science poem.

What do you know how to do?  Try writing it out in a poem shape!

This Month's Poetry Revisits and Lessons So Far

April 1 -   Poems about Poems
April 2 -   Imagery
April 6 -   Free Verse
April 9 -   Poems about Science
April 10 - Rhyming Couplets  
April 11 -  Riddle Poems 
April 12 -  List Poems 
April 13 -  Poems for Occasions
April 14 -  Concrete Poems
April 15 -  Poems about Food
April 16 -  Quatrains
April 18 -  Alliteration
April 19 -  Poems about Sports
April 21 -  Family Story Poems 
April 22 -  Poems about Nature
April 23 -  Repetition
April 25 -  Concerns Poems
April 26 -  Mask Poems
April 27 -  How-To Poems

For the next few days, I will continue to pull together poems from MyPoWriYe (My Poem Writing Year) 2010-2011.  Then, in May, The Poem Farm will take a brief break as it finds its new direction.  Please feel free to share ideas for this new direction!

(Please click on POST A COMMENT below to share a thought.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

PoetryTagTime & Writing in Costume!



Today is the day that my poem is "up" at PoetryTagTime!  PoetryTagTime is the new e-book (easily downloadable for .99 on your PC or phone) featuring poems by thirty different children's poets.  In this game, one poet tagged another who tagged another, each person writing a poem inspired by the one before.  The e-project was put together by Janet S. Wong and Sylvia Vardell, and I have even seen classes of children do their own "take-off" of PoetryTag.

It is an honor for me to be a part of this e-book, and today at PoetryTagTime Tips, you can find Sylvia Vardell's recommendations for bringing my poem into the classroom.  She has written such suggestions each day of this month, one post for each poem. 

Here is my tag poem.  It was inspired by Robert Weinstock's poem and then traveled to inspire Tracie Vaughn Zimmer.

My Hand

Whenever I look 
at my hand
I remember

I once was a starfish
in love with the sea.

Riding her waves
I ate clams.
I grew arms.

I never imagined
one day I would be
a person with legs
happy on land.

Were you always human?
Do you understand?

© Amy LV

This is my favorite type of poem to write because I love pretending that I am or have been other things besides myself.  This is why I love writing mask poems!  It's writing dress up and magic all in one.

PoetryTagTime was a lot of fun for our children to read in the car (from my phone), and I love the way Janet and Sylvia included information and website links to all of the poets.  If you are a student, writer, teacher, parent, homeschooler, grandmother, or poem lover who would like to learn more about several children's poets writing today, I promise you that your .99 will be very well spent on PoetryTagTime.

Poems Through a Mask

Students - when we write through a mask, this means that we write in the voice of someone or something besides ourselves.  If I wanted to write about my bunny, I could write, He hops.  He jumps.  He carrot eats!  

If I wanted to write AS my bunny, however, I would write I hop  I jump.  I carrot eat!

Writing mask poems allows us to take all of the facts we know and to swirl them with our imagination...what would it feel like to BE a car, to BE a waterfall, to BE the smallest lamb in a flock?

Here are some of my mask poems from this year.  (Apologies for no images, but rain storms are making our connection unstable.)  I encourage you to try some mask poems of your own.  And please, feel free to post poems in the comments.  I would love to read your work, students, and I would love to share it here with your permission.

Pill Bug's Lament
February 3

For this final week of National Poetry Month, I will keep posting about different ways to find poem ideas or different poetic techniques.  Next week, I will be taking a short break from blogging as The Poem Farm seeks a new direction...suggestions accepted!

This Month's Poetry Revisits and Lessons So Far

April 1 -   Poems about Poems
April 2 -   Imagery
April 6 -   Free Verse
April 9 -   Poems about Science
April 10 - Rhyming Couplets  
April 11 -  Riddle Poems 
April 12 -  List Poems 
April 13 -  Poems for Occasions
April 14 -  Concrete Poems
April 15 -  Poems about Food
April 16 -  Quatrains
April 18 -  Alliteration
April 19 -  Poems about Sports
April 21 -  Family Story Poems 
April 22 -  Poems about Nature
April 23 -  Repetition
April 25 -  Concerns Poems
April 26 -  Today - Mask Poems

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Once Upon a Tiger & Concerns Poems



Last Friday was Earth Day, a time to think about where we stand as stewards of this planet, a time to take action and help clean water and plants and sky.  As we reflect on new beginnings and Earth's bounty, it makes sense to think how we can protect the life around us.

ONCE UPON A TIGER, the new earth-friend e-book beautifully written by Janet S. Wong and joyfully illustrated by Sladjana Vasic, welcomes us into a world of endangered animals.  In the introduction, we wonder along with Janet, "...what if, fifty years from now, there aren't any tigers left?"  With word and art, Janet and Sladjana take readers by the hand to see some endangered animals of today.

Through free verse poems, some in the animals' own voices, we visit beasts large and small, from well-loved Giant Panda to a more mysterious Axolotl.  With every animal introduced, we come to care for the one, and through the one...this caring reaches out to a whole species.

From "Mountain Gorilla," we learn:

My fur is made of brushed lava
from the volcanoes 
of Rwanda.

In "Polar Bear," we see
The glacier calved.
Polar bear was born from ice.

Weaving facts with word play, questions, humor, story, and warmth, these poems made me feel as if I had really seen a Sumatran Rhinoceros, had really listened to a Leatherback Sea Turtle.  The last book pages include facts and thoughts from Janet about each animal highlighted, answering more questions and inviting more reading.  True to the book's intent, Janet and Sladjana will contribute a portion of each sale to conservation groups.

Our family is new to e-books.  In fact, ONCE UPON A TIGER is the first e-book I have ever purchased and read.  As our family does not have an e-reader, I downloaded this book for $3.99 from Amazon, right onto my phone (Droid).  Hope, Georgia, and Henry loved passing it around the back seat of the car, reading the poems aloud to Mark, to me, and to each other.

Classroom teachers can further students' enjoyment of this book by visiting Once Upon a Tiger to read poems by children the world over inspired this e-book.  All children may submit poems about endangered animals and read more information about how to help the mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians, and all other creatures with whom we share this world.

I think of Janet S. Wong as "the tiger of free verse."  Her words are powerful and wise.  They make us think, and if we allow them to, Janet's words will make us better neighbors to animals.

If you are interested in animals, nature, free verse poetry, or discovering ways to blend literature and technology, be sure to check out ONCE UPON A TIGER.

I chose to share this e-book on this day because it is close to Earth Day and also because of today's poetry idea-finding topic.  For the past month, I have been sharing daily ideas and strategies for writing poems, and today's thought is this:  we can write about what we care about, what concerns us.

Poems about Concerns and Cares

Students - in AWAKENING THE HEART, Georgia Heard talks about the "doors of poetry."  One of these is the "concerns" door.  When we sit down to write, there are so many choices of what we might write about.  Sometimes I write to make sense of things that worry me, or to try to imagine a bad situation better, or to show that I care.

Through writing, we can change and grow and become who we strive to be.  We can learn through our writing, and we can come to care more deeply for others.


from December 2010


January 2011

Here are a few more poems about cares and concerns.   I do not find it sad to write such poems.  Rather, writing these words helps me to make sense of life.  Writing helps me try to make strong and kind decisions from day to day.  Writing can help us feel; it can help us understand.

Mornings

This is the final week of National Poetry Month 2011, and I will continue to revisit the year's posts.  In May, The Poem Farm will take a brief hiatus as I seek a new project for this space.

This Month's Poetry Revisits and Lessons So Far

April 1 -   Poems about Poems
April 2 -   Imagery
April 6 -   Free Verse
April 9 -   Poems about Science
April 10 - Rhyming Couplets  
April 11 -  Riddle Poems 
April 12 -  List Poems 
April 13 -  Poems for Occasions
April 14 -  Concrete Poems
April 15 -  Poems about Food
April 16 -  Quatrains
April 18 -  Alliteration
April 19 -  Poems about Sports
April 20 - Compare/Contrast Poems 
April 21 -  Family Story Poems 
April 22 -  Poems about Nature
April 23 -  Repetition
April 24 -  Poems Inspired by Fairy Tales
April 25 -  Today - Concerns Poems

If you were traveling last Friday and missed my Poetry Friday post, I invite you to visit as we peeked into Jamie Palmer's classroom at Klem South Elementary in Webster, NY, to hear about their great writing and blogging project!

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