Wednesday, October 3, 2012

He's My Bud - Poems from Life & Books

Goldfish Backpack
by Amy LV

Click the arrow to hear me read this poem to you.

Students - When I was a little girl, my grandmother had a pet goldfish.  His (her?) name was Goldie, and he (she?) lived in a fish tank on Grandma's kitchen counter.  He (she?) got bigger and bigger and then stopped, just as they say fish do, depending on the size of the tank.

How did I get the idea for today's poem?  I have no idea!  But as I trace back in my mind, I think it may because last week, I read aloud Dan Yaccarino's THE BIRTHDAY FISH, an adorable book which includes a picture of a girl pulling her fish bowl in a wagon.  This picture must have stayed with me.  That and Goldie, of course.  I often pretend to know what other creatures are thinking...and goldfish probably do want to travel a bit more.  Don't you think?

If you are not sure what to write about today, you might want to read a picture book or a magazine first.  What picture strikes you?  What does it make you think and wonder?  Just start writing, and see what happens.  You might surprise yourself.  I did.

Almost every line in this poem has eight syllables.  But there are four lines with only seven syllables. Can you find them?  You may also notice that the last two lines are much shorter, really one line broken in two.. Sometimes it's neat to finish a poem like that, funneling it down to a slowed-down, short-line ending.

This week I am thrilled to have author Kate Messner visiting Sharing Our Notebooks.  If you are notebook keeper, you will want to visit here to peek inside her notebooks.  If you are a teacher and your class keeps notebooks, this site is growing to be quite full and useful!

Remember, it is Banned Books Week and also time to nominate books for the Cybils too!  Here you can see the poetry books that have already been nominated.

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  1. Dear Mrs. VanDerwater,
    We just read the poem He's My Bud about the goldfish and we think we found the two sentences that have only 7 syllables. Are they the first two sentences in the last paragraph? I told the class about when my dog Bentley was missing my two daughters when they had just moved out of the house. He sat in the middle of their empty bedroom as if to say "Where did everybody go?!" We had a great class conversation about thinking and talking like animals.
    Your friends in writing,
    Mrs. Luft and students

  2. Dear Mrs. Luft and Students,

    Oh, poor Bentley! Animals really just show us with their faces what they feel, don't they? I think that our dogs (Cali and Sage) understand when we are packing our suitcases...they know we are going away. I am wondering if any of you wrote a poem about an animal and his/her feelings.

    And yes! You did find two of those seven syllable lines! (Mary brought a lamb to school./I bring my fish everywhere.)But you know what? There are two more lines with seven syllables hiding in this poem. I suggest that you each get with a partner and clap the lines out, listening to see if you can find them! Please let me know if you find them. Now I am going to check that this is indeed true.

    Happy clapping, happy writing, and happy poems to my new friends...


  3. One of my grandmothers had a goldfish too, Amy. She continued to claim that he visited her at the top when she tapped the bowl. Your wonderful poem reminded me of that. I love the idea of letting the fish have fun in the lake "swimmy-swooping" like a bird. You are full of whimsey for sure. Thanks!