Thursday, April 5, 2012


Photo by Amy LV

Students - To be honest, I was not happy when I pointed at the word EXPONENT.  It didn't seem like a beautiful word, and it doesn't have many great rhymes (proponent, component).  I don't have any strong or funny feelings for exponents, and I worried that this would be a toughie.

But then I decided to hug my word, embrace this little surprise of the Dictionary Hike (see upper left-hand sidebar for a definition of this project), and I am so glad I did.  What you see here is a short definition poem written in the voice of an exponent.  A poem written in the voice of the speaker is called a mask poem, and I decided to make my little exponent speaker tell about his/her job, to feel proud even though exponents are small.  In the end, I enjoyed experimenting with writing a simple definition, hoping of course that math teachers will find this verse useful.

Would you like to visit some exponents and learn about the exponent rules? You can do so over at Algebra LAB.

So, if you're taking a Dictionary Hike, and if you point to a word that's not your favorite, consider giving it a whirl anyway.  You, like me, may be surprised by what is in your pen!

This week, if you visit Sharing Our Notebooks, you can hear Janet talk all about how she (doesn't) keep notebooks, the way she revisits old ideas, and you (like me) will learn some great revision strategies for your own poems.  If you leave a comment on that post by the end of today, you may win these four books, generously donated by Janet!  I will announce the winner tomorrow, Poetry Friday.

You can win these books over at Sharing Our Notebooks!

Each day of this dictionary project, Lisa V. will write and post a haiku for that day's word at her blog.  You can read all of these over at Lisa's Poem of the Week.  Please join us and share in the comments if you wish!

The Poem Farm is becoming searchable by topic and poetic technique.  There are now around 70 poems listed and linked both ways so as to make this space useful for young writers and teachers. If you have a suggestion for me, please share as I welcome ideas!

Please share a comment below if you wish!
You can like The Poem Farm on Facebook for more poemlove...


  1. This was at first daunting. I had to look "exponent" up in the dictionary to make sure I knew what it meant. The first meaning has to do with being "one who defines, expounds, or interprets." Then, there is the mathematical meaning. I think the haiku ended up someplace in between both meanings. I had to "cheat," as the word appears only in the title. When you only have 17 syllables to work with, it is tricky to give up three to such a word! Here we go:


    Rise to the power
    of the value at your side.
    You will get bigger.

    Have a great day, Amy!

  2. It is a tough word, and fun to see that you found its voice to write your poem, Amy. I love that connection to quotation marks, that they both 'live up in the sky'.

    I have been forgetting to comment on Lisa's poem too. The haiku is perfect. It makes me think that it would be great to have math students write a little poetry defining different terms this month. Thanks to both of you!

  3. By embracing you never know what you may come up with. Good writers advice heck great advice in general.