Friday, February 6, 2015

Friendship - Writing from Words, Writing from Joys

Word Blanket by the Students of Wealthy Elementary
Photo by Amy LV

Poem from My Website

Wealthy Word Blanket Close Up
Photo by Amy LV

Students - What a magnificent week it has been for me here in the East Grand Rapids School District in Michigan!  I have had the opportunity to love poetry with children in all three elementary schools and could not be more thankful.

The picture you see above is of a paper word blanket with one favorite-word-square made by each student in Wealthy School.  When I walked into this school on Wednesday, I was tickled and humbled to find that my "Word Blanket" poem had come to life in this glorious rainbow paper quilt.  

Today's poem grew from a close up photograph I took of this quilt, also above. You will be able to find some of the poem's words in the quilt squares as I wrote my poem straight from this portion of the quilt.  The feelings of today's poem grew from the feelings in my heart which is telling me that I am very lucky indeed to have met so many new friends this week.

You can write from the Wealthy Elementary word blanket too if you wish.  Simply enlarge the quilt picture by clicking on it and choose a word or two to get you started!

So much gratitude to Third Grade Teacher and Poetry Club advisor Kim Doele, Principal Anthony Morey, Art Teacher Peri denDulk, and to all of the teachers and parents who made art, read poems, set up beautiful lunch tables, coordinated displays, and made this week a magical wonderland of poetry.  As I walked into school yesterday, I found a mom writing this on her child's locker whiteboard.  It is a great question that each of us can ask ourselves every single day.

Locker Note from a Mom at Wealthy Elementary
Photo by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

I feel so thankful to have spent this time at Wealthy Elementary.  Late this afternoon, I was given a beautiful framed quilted tree, just like the one in the Word Blanket above.  Both were made by parent Gloriana Zimdar, and now, when I do not know what to write...I will look at it and feel my friendship with the people at this wonderful school.

Gorgeous Quilted Tree by Gloriana Zimdar
(A Match to the Word Blanket Tree)
Photo by Amy LV

Here are two teachers' blog posts about this past poetry week at Wealthy School. Read Poetry Club advisor and Third Grade Teacher Kim Doele's post here at Mrs. Doele's Third Grade.  And here you can read Mrs Goodman's Second Grade Blog post.  All I can say is...I am a lucky and grateful person.

Award-wise, this was a wonderful week for poetry!  Head on over to The Miss Rumphius Effect to learn of the poetry books that won awards and honors at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter meeting in Chicago this week. Congratulations to all!

Liz is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup over at Elizabeth Steinglass.  Visit her cozy online home today to join us in a poetry celebration that holds all of us in the same poetry hug.

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. So much goodness in this post! I absolutely love that word quilt.

  2. I love, love, love the word blanket, and the poem you wrote about it.

  3. Making a word blanket is a great idea. I love your poem to go with it. Oh, you've got me thinking about friendship--what a wonderful word. Poems are coming, thank you!

  4. I love the quilt, and how sweet the kids did that for you?! Wow! How could I ever pick only one word?? :-)

  5. What a "Grand" time everyone seems to have had! Thanks for sharing. Sigh-worthy poem, and after reading about its inspiration, I see why. LOVE that idea for a word quilt!(Um, have you read Austin Kleon's STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST, and how do you feel about that,generally? 'Cause that really is a great idea...;0))

  6. Amy,
    Life doesn't get much better than this! Thanks for passing along your glorious experience. So happy for you!

  7. Both blanket and your poems are beautiful, Amy. What a lovely surprise.

  8. I love the way the colors swirl in that word blanket! I can't wait to make a favorite word display that grows and grows throughout the year!

  9. Everything about this post made me feel the delightful warmth of friendship. Thanks, Amy.

  10. I love the word blanket and the way you have used it to sew your own poem. Wonderful!

  11. Beautiful from beginning to end. I love the idea of being wrapped in a blanket of words!

  12. "Sleeping with words" - I so love that image. This post is one of my favourites this week. :)

  13. How very, very awesome. All of it. Every little piece.

  14. Amy,

    What a fun time had by all at the school! You inspired me to write a poem using almost all the words on the section of the quilt that was highlighted.


    My name is Willow, Mommy calls me
    Sassafras because I question her all the time.
    Whether it’s going to bed, finishing homework,
    Or doing dishes, I constantly ask, “Why?”
    I love spaghetti, my fluffy cat Marshmallow,
    My droopy eyed Labrador Sponge Bob.
    I enjoy laughing when Daddy makes funny voices,
    Climbing the Redwood tree in our backyard,
    Playing with my baby brother, who I call Shark
    Because he loves eating my leftover blueberry pie.
    My best friends name is Amy, we play basketball,
    Hockey and sip warm cocoa when it snows.
    I get a little cranky when I don’t get my way,
    A little pouting, here a little shouting there,
    Overall though, I’m a good kid. At least that’s
    What Mommy and Daddy tell me, I believe them.

    (c) Charles Waters 2015 all rights reserved.