Friday, July 12, 2013

Sticky Hands and Shirley's Poets

Sticky Hand!
by Amy LV

(I will share an audio recording of this poem when my voice comes back!)

Students - It's clear to see that this poem is simply fun to read. That's why I wrote have fun in my mouth. The verse is about a feeling I have every time I roast marshmallows (I like them burned, peeling each layer off, seeing how many layers I can eat). The word 'sticky' repeats so many times because this is how I feel when I'm licking my fingers clean.

I love poems that play with sound, poems such as: "Click Beetle Clack Beetle" by Mary Ann Hoberman, "The Pickety Fence" by David McCord", "Lemons" by Patricia Hubbell, and "Yellow butter, purple jelly, red jam, black bread" by Mary Ann Hoberman.  Find these, and read them aloud with a friend!

For today's Poetry Peek, I am so happy to introduce teacher and writer Shirley Thacker from Indiana.  I had the pleasure of meeting Shirley at All Write! this year, and it is a pleasure to welcome her sharing student work here at The Poem Farm.

I love the beginning of the school: new supplies, fresh ideas, and brand new composition notebooks. . . a home to exciting stories and heartwarming poetry. No matter if it is my looping classes (Grades 1 or 2) or my Composition Comp Camps--on the first day we always decorate our new notebooks with stickers or pictures to personalize them. I use Georgia Heard's AWAKENING THE HEART to have the students make a heart and fill it with topics that they are experts at for future ideas. I use Ralph Fletcher's HOW TO WRITE YOUR LIFE STORY to make a map to record the place/time they're most familiar with. . . themselves and their surroundings.

I begin my Poetry Study in Reading Workshop 2-3 weeks before I start it in Writing Workshop. Students will have read and enjoyed lots and lots of poetry before I ask them to write any. (Some will already be ahead of the game!) One of my favorite mentor texts is PEACH AND BLUE by Sarah Kilborne. It is rich with a variety of writing craft that I use for mini lessons. I had re read the section describing the pond when we talked about imagery. Bray wrote his piece about Rock Skipping.

Rock Skipping Pond
by Bray Wilson

When you skip your rock
A magic
Overwhelms you.
It feels so good.
As it sinks
The magic seems
To leave,
But really the magic
Never leaves.
That’s when you wonder . . .
What might
Happen next??

Sometimes ideas are generated from class discussions too. After reading SOMEDAY, by Allison McGhee, students paired up to discuss their somedays . . .which led to 'I Wonder' with some of them. Kingston wrote his 'I Wonder' for Comp Camp.

by Kingston Browning

Why do birds fly? Why can’t fish cry?
Why do we walk? Why can’t dogs talk?
Why do we pass away? Why can’t we stay another day?
Why don’t we live in ice and snow? Why do fibs just grow, grow, grow?
Why is the world so big and round? Why are things lost and found?
Why isn’t every day a sunny day? Why do pets run away?
Why are bugs so small? Why can’t we fit inside a ball?

Mentor texts: ALL THE PLACES TO LOVE by Patricia MacLachlan, OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO! by Dr. Seuss, or Mark Teague’s HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION are all great leads to the students’s special places. Madysin wrote about her desire to go to Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Hershey, Pennsylvania
by Madisyn West

Smells like Chocolate
Light Posts with Hershey Kisses on the top
In another state
Hershey Kisses on the pillows at night
I can’t wait to go there. . .
I know I will someday
I know it smells like Chocolate,
I know it is temperate,
I know it is sweet.
I can’t wait to go there. . . .
I know I will some day
Someday . . . Someday . . .

Out to the garden to pick green beans, listen to the birds, and watch the butterflies. Summer is good!

Much gratitude to Shirley and her young poets for joining us today with these delightful poems and suggestions.

This week, I shared a writing exercise at Kate Messner's Teachers Write! Summer Camp. You can read the exercise - and stunning writing in the comments - here and read my whole DEAR STRANGER letter here if you wish.

If you have not yet peeked into Linda Baie's notebooks, you may do so at my other blog, Sharing Our Notebooks, a place to highlight notebooks and notebook keepers of all kinds.

Michelle is hosting Poetry Friday over at Today's Little Ditty.  Visit her place to find all of the poetry goodness being shared in the Kidlitosphere today.

Please share a comment below if you wish.
To find a poem by topic, click here. To find a poem by technique, click here.
Like The Poem Farm on Facebook for more poems, articles, and poemquotes!
Visit Sharing Our Notebooks to peek in all kinds of notebooks...


  1. I also love the crunchycrunchycrunchy with my "stickystickysticky" in the s-mores! And, hard to believe that those special poems are written by younger grade students-they're wonderful. Thanks for the funny poem, Amy, and to Shirley for all the different links and process ideas, too. I will note them!

  2. I love the way you played with stickiness- those gooey, glommed together words. Shirley's post and student poems made me think of the Fall, and beginning our poetry study. Can't wait....

  3. Love all these and thanks for the book suggestions.

  4. Nothing says summer like sticky s'mores... and now I'll have something to recite while eating them. ;) Thanks to you and your guests for the PF goodies.

  5. Eating marshmallows is well worth the "stickystickysticky" risk! Thanks for this gem and all the amazing info as well. =)

  6. I love a good burned marshmallow too! Love the student work here too. The resources listed are great ones to use.

  7. I love it when you experiment with word play and smash things together -- you show me I need to relax sometimes and just have fun with words. Thanks, Amy!

  8. I am spending Friday night wondering through all the Poetry Friday posts. Your post made me smile because my family is outside right now around a bonfire perhaps eating a gooeyooey marshmallow. I love the ideas that Shirley shared for her class on building a strong foundation of poetry.

  9. Amy,
    Please tell me Shirley has a blog. After reading her book and poetry connections, I think she'd be perfect for our picture book 10 for 10 event on August 10th (#pb10for10). I enjoyed all the poetry shared here again today.

    I see you have been busy. This week I have been to Pittsburgh, Battle Creek (#nerdcampbc), and busy with family events. I hope to get caught up again early next week.


  10. Hi, Amy. I especially love the "Dear Hershey" poem. Going to the park every summer is a family tradition with our cousins. I hope Madisyn gets there soon!