Friday, May 27, 2011

Poetry Friday Bursts With New Life!

Henry, Georgia, & Salamander Eggs
Photo by Amy LV

Students - sometimes a writer just can't help but to write about what's under her or his nose!  And this season in Western New York is all about new life and rain.  Last week we saw a newborn fawn drinking milk from its mother by the side of the road, watched salamanders hatch from jelly eggs, and were stunned by the hills covered in blossoms.  I could not help but think to myself, "the apple trees are gussied up in prom dresses!"  Are you wondering what to write about?  Here is a two word piece of advice: 

Go outside.

Take a walk around.  Sniff the air.  As my colleague Bill Michalek says, if you sit in one place for a while outdoors...something will happen.  An animal will pass by, or perhaps you will see movement in a tree branch overhead.  A chipmunk will pop out of a hole.  A bird will cock its head and grab a bit of twig.  Be still.

Go outside.  The world is waiting for you.

Speaking of waiting, a few people have asked what I have been doing since MyPoWriYe ended.  Lately I have been working on a couple of picture books...scratching away, revising, reading aloud to myself, and crossing every finger and toe on my body that one will find a home.  

For next week's Poetry Friday, we will be treated to the work of Braden Semlitsch, a first grade poet from Wales Primary School in the Iroquois Central School District along with his mother Terry Semlitsch and his classroom teacher, Peggy Long.

Heidi is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup over at My Juicy Little Universe.  Join the fun and see what's happening poetry-wise in the KidLitosphere!

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

Friday, May 20, 2011

Poetry Friday & Dandelion Grandmas

 Old Gray Ladies
Photo by Amy LV

Oh, this time of year!  I love the dandelions in spits and spots, on roadsides and decorating whole meadows.  Years ago, I didn't like them.  Now I do.  Part of this change is due to my husband's love of nature (which has rubbed off on me), and part of it is because we live in the country where all kinds of flowers and animals roam free.  And of course, now I see dandelions as food.  Our family has not made fritters yet this year...maybe tomorrow.

Students - this poem grew from our current yellow polka dot world!  And it also grew from somewhere else.  Years ago, I read a first grader's poem which will always stay with me.  Her poem compared a dandelion to a lion throughout the lion's life, ending with a "gray mane/the hairs blowing off."  This young child's image has rested in my heart for a long time, and yesterday it returned as I looked at dandelions and thought, "They're like little grandmas!"

It's a funny thing about writing.  We never know when an image, a memory, a word, a  dream, or a line from a poem or book will appear across our mindscreens, when it will whisper to us from years past, when such a surprise will echo, "Write me!  Write me!"  As writers, it is our job to listen and to write what we hear.  So students....listen.  Always listen.

For anyone who might have missed last week's announcement, many congratulations to J. Patrick Lewis, our 2011 Children's Poet Laureate.  Author of more than 50 children's poetry books and winner of the 2011 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children for the body of his work, we are lucky to have J. Patrick Lewis at our helm!

This week's Poetry Friday is at The Drift Record with Julie Larios.  Puff your way on over, wishing all the while, and visit poetry growing in the KidLitosphere!

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

Friday, May 6, 2011

Poetry Friday, Poetry Peek, and Luna

 Taking Turns
by Amy LV

For this Poetry Friday, I have chosen to share a poem from my files.  Students - I have mentioned before how it can be helpful to learn from the rhythms of other poems.  In writing "Luna," I stood on the shoulders of Myra Cohn Livingston's poem, "Whispers."  If you look at Myra's beautiful poem, you will see how I have tried to mirror the number of stanzas, the repeated word at the beginning of each one, and a bit of the rhythm.  Myra Cohn Livingston was a shining light in the world of children's poetry, and her work continues to inspire and influence many.  

Today I am thrilled to welcome third grade poet Brianna Cocuzzi from Mrs. Rosanne Kulikowski's third grade class at Klem South Elementary in Webster, NY.  Please enjoy these few words from Rosanne and then Brianna's article and poems.

Our class has read a lot of nonfiction, and we have noticed lots of different ways that authors organize nonfiction.  After reading many different kinds of nonfiction, we listed all the things we are good at or the things we are experts on.  Then we wrote our own nonfiction pieces organized in a variety of ways.  We also used special "news article" paper with places for headings, charts, and pictures.  This gave our work a professional look.  Brianna used headings to organize her topic of poetry.

Poet & Writer
Brianna Cocuzzi

by Brianna Cocuzzi

How to Get Good at Poetry!
If you want to get good at poetry you just have to practice!

Why I Like Poems!
I like poems because I like to write and poetry is a really fun subject.  I also like it because your poems don't have to be long.  They could be short and you could use any punctuations you want to.

How to Make Poems?
First you have to figure out what you are going to write about.  Next you have to write it down.  Then you have to make sure it is perfect.  Finally you could show everyone.

Is Poetry Hard or Is it Easy?
Sometimes poetry could be hard.  Sometimes it could feel like a block is blocking your brain but sometimes poetry could be really easy when you feel like you have a lot of ideas.

The Different Kinds of Poetry
The different kinds of poetry are alliteration, onomatopoeia, I wonder, and much more.

 Poems by Brianna Cocuzzi

The Tree
by Brianna Cocuzzi

If I Was a Cat
by Brianna Cocuzzi

Thank you to Brianna and Rosanne for visiting on this Poetry Friday to teach and inspire our own poetic selves.

For more poetry-joy, visit the complete Poetry Friday roundup hosted today by Terry at Family-Bookshelf (formerly Scrub-a-Dub-Tub.)  Enjoy the offerings!

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

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Poem Farm is Out for a Moment...

Sleeping Firepaw
Photo by Georgia LV

The Poem Farm has stepped out for a bit, but words will return after a short break.

Please feel free to revisit any of last month's posts which focused on all different types of poems.

I look forward to seeing you again soon!

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