Friday, April 15, 2011

Poetry Friday, Peek, & Food Poems

What to Write?  Write about Food!
Photo by Amy LV

Poems About Food

Students - if you can't find a writing idea, consider peeking into your cupboards to see what's hiding in there.  You might find a box of spaghetti and remember how you used to eat it crunchy and uncooked.  You may find a half-eaten bag of marshmallows and be transported to that campsite in Pennsylvania.  Perhaps you'll find a jar of peanut butter, and school lunches will flood back.  Food holds memories.

This year I wrote several poems about food.  Silly poems and serious poems alike bake on our plates and in our minds.  What to write?  Write about food!

Here are a couple of food poems from this year.

 from March 2011

 from October 2010

If you're still hungry, here are a few more food poems from the year.

Do Not Doughnut 
After Dinner
How to Bake Bread

And now, with a big smile, I welcome fourth grade teacher Melinda Harvey and her students from Iroquois Intermediate School in the Iroquois Central School District in Elma, NY.

Immersion, specifically language immersion, is defined as a method of teaching a second language in which the target language is used for instruction.  I have come to believe that poetry immersion is a powerful way to teach students the language of poetry and poems!

My fourth grade class has created a daily routine called "Poetry Pause."  I begin this fifteen minute period by sharing a poem from a blog.  We gain a lot of inspiration from Amy's wonderful work here at The Poem Farm, but there are many other sharing sites out there as well.  After sharing the daily poem, I often ask the children for their reactions. This turns into a spirited conversation about anything from the topic of the poem to the poet's word choice.  From there, I simply invite the children to turn to their writer's notebooks and write.  I am thrilled time and time again to see my students create funny, rhythmic, touching poems based on the daily model.

Here are two poems inspired by Amy's advice.

Here comes the sunshine
As I shrink away
No one cares.
Little children climb on me
I have nothing to say.

If I could talk, I
Would tell the sun
That I don't want to go away.
I want to stay here and see May.

To see May would be a dream.
Flowers growing color all over
But I would be white under green
The green grass would grow but
I would just melt away.

Away, away I would go
I would love to see May
But I would be the only snow left.
I would be lonely
I must go away

Do you know what I am?

by Alex


Sad, lonely
Wet and cold.

I'm starting to drip
And turn to gold.

Snowplow comes to
Take me away.

I'm so sad and lonely today.

by Camryn

In honor of National Poetry Month, we have another new poetry immersion technique.  We end each day on the rug where our easel sports an old, worn chart-pad of poetry.  I randomly select a poem, and we choral read that poem before we leave the room.  This has been a fun twist on our dismissal routine.

We also immerse ourselves in poetry with a weekly poetry folder.  Every Monday, my students receive a new poem by an accomplished author.  We read the poem together and discuss some point of the poem.  Some weeks we look at the pattern of the poem.  Other times we discuss the message or theme.  Sometimes I have the children volunteer to read the poem out loud so we can experience another's interpretation of how the poem should sound.  Those of you who work in primary classrooms probably find this very - well - routine!  I borrowed this idea from my son's teacher years ago.  The twist is bringing this ritual to a fourth grade setting, continuing to infuse poetry into our students' lives.

Whether you have a long-standing tradition of sharing poetry with children or if you are new to this genre, consider some poetry immersion today!

Thank you so much to Melinda and her fourth grade poets for joining us here on this third Poetry Friday of National Poetry Month! 

Throughout this month, I will continue to revisit poems from the year, focusing on a particular idea-finding strategy or poetic technique each day.

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 -  Today - Poems about Food

For today's Poetry Friday roundup, be sure to visit Diane at Random Noodling.  There you will find the KidLitosphere poetry buffet!

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


  1. Food is such a fun thing to write about. I love the poetry immersion idea. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thank you, Jone, for stopping by! I have been thinking about your students busily working on their poetry postcards! I still looove that idea! A.

  3. There is such feeling in the two student poems you've featured. Great job, Alex and Camryn! And Ms. Harvey sounds like a fabulous teacher!! Daily celebrations of poetry -- I want to be in her class!

  4. I love love love hearing other teachers talk about how they "do poetry" in their classrooms. What seems routine to us after a while can be revelatory to someone else, like why if I have a chart pad of recipes I've saved for 20 years do I NOT have a chart pad of poetry??? Honestly.

    "May I make myself another?"

  5. Like Heidi, I love to learn from the teachers you spotlight! Such easy ways to incorporate poetry every day!

    And thanks for the reminder to write about food. 17 days into the challenge and I'm sometimes starting to scramble (hmm...maybe a poem about eggs?) for poem topics!!

    (word verification: rumin, short for ruminate, and which means both to think deeply and "to chew the cud"...)