Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Welcome to Mrs. Ferrara's Cats...Students!

Dandelion, Footloose, & Xylophone
(Our Current Foster Kittens)
Photo by Amy LV

Today I am very happy to welcome teacher Marianne Ferrara and her third grade writers from Klem North Elementary in Webster, NY!  I was lucky enough to visit Klem North earlier this month to work with teachers, and I was tickled when Mrs. Ferrara met me in the hall to share how her students have been reading and writing here at The Poem Farm.

This class writes all day long, and writing after listening to poems is a normal way for them to spend time together.  Sometimes these students write their own poems in response to the poems they read, and sometimes they write prose.  Either way, these young writers are playfully exploring language and making all kinds of new ideas.

Here are the poems mentioned in the letter, Poem Farm poems that this class knows -

Here is my poem from October 12, 2012, If I were my dog for just one day, and after the poem you can read the responses of these young writers.  Thank you, children, for allowing us to peek into your poetry journals, allowing us to read these first thoughts as you listened and talked and let your hands speak to the page.  Thank you, Marianne, for sharing your students' work with all of us. Woof!  Meow!

Just click on any page to make it bigger!

Aren't these a lot of fun?  Honestly, they are making me think that one could write a whole poetry book on this topic of turning into different things!  If you still want more, and if you did not hear Matt Forrest's poem about what he would do if he was a cat, you can do so here.  Isn't it neat to think about all of the many different things we would do as cats?

Teachers - Short writing responses such as these do not take a lot of time, and they offer students a variety of ways to see the world.  One could read my poem or any of these and write any kind of "If I were..." poem.  Regular and brief open-ended writing exercises are wonderful for stretching writers' brains.  I love doing them too!  One never knows what will grow from one thought.

You may have noticed that some of these responses are written in a listy poem style and some are written in paragraphs.  Both are wonderful ways to respond to poems, and either could be switched to the other genre if one wished.  Paragraphs can turn into poems...and poems can turn into paragraphs!  

Many thanks, once more, for this visit.  Thank you, poetkitties...and thank you to you, Marianne!

You can see a perfect example of ideas growing over Sharing Our Notebooks this week.  Stop by and see how Nina Crittenden takes sketches and turns them into full color artwork.  (You will also have a chance to be entered into Nina's generous drawing of a book and pocket notebook.)

Please share a comment below if you wish.
To find a poem by topic, click here. To find a poem by technique, click here.
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  1. Amy you should be proud of yourself. These kids are getting nourished through children's poetry thanks to you and Ms. Ferrara. VANDERWATER POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. These are wonderful! Love their poems and drawings!

  3. Just wonderful to have these young writers come visit, Amy. Thank you!

  4. Thank you to Mrs. Ferrara's students and Amy LV for this post. I no longer have any kitties at my house, but my mother does. These poems brought back wonderful memories. I could see and hear and feel my beloved kitties because of your poems. I hope you keep writing poems! You are so lucky to have Amy LV as your poetry mentor and Mrs. Ferrara who is sharing it with you. I look forward to reading more of your poems. I used to be a 3rd grade teacher so I feel a big connection to you!!!

  5. I love to hear about classrooms that engage in this much writing and response...and that love it in the process. You can tell these kids are just soaking it all up. Awesome!

  6. Amy, this is really cool. What great interaction with students. Very inspiring to your fellow poets as well! Thanks for sharing. -Ed

  7. The combination of poetry-minded classroom and a fun inspiring poem sure creates writing magic. Thank you for sharing the examples of these young writers.