Friday, March 6, 2020

A Poem Can Be a PSA

by Amy LV

Revised on March 11, 2020 for air hugs instead of elbow bumps.
(We sneeze into our elbows.)

Recording Not Yet Revised

Students - I am lucky to spend time in schools, and yesterday I had the chance to talk with some wise teachers talking about the importance of education around COVID-19 and about keeping each other healthy when sickness is in the air. My mom volunteers in classrooms, and one of the teachers she works with has taught her students to make finger hearts to say hello and goodbye each day. I have been reading articles about ways to greet each other too, because with COVID-19 here, it is important to be responsible and to take care of each other.

Today's poem is a public service announcement (PSA), a poem message to share important information. I am looking for new ways to greet people, and I thought you might be too.

You may have seen some scary pictures and news stories about COVID-19. And there are some pieces of writing out there that are not true at all. This is a time to listen to scientists and to trust their words. Young people usually do not get very sick with this virus, but we need to think of older people and people whose immune systems are not strong. By not touching each other now, we keep other people safe, even if we are young and protected. Some things we do for the community, even if we would prefer to do something else. So while I would like to shake your hand through the screen here today, instead I place my hand on my heart and give you a deep nod.

We can write about what is happening in the world. When we see something that feels like a need....we can add a few words or a bit of art or music to help make sense of things. We can connect with syllables and sentences. 

Rebecca is hosting this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Sloth Reads. Visit her blog to read two of her own water-inspired poems written during Laura Shovan's Daily Poem Project last month. We invite everybody to join in each Friday as we share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship. Check out my left sidebar to learn where to find this poetry goodness each week of the year.

Please share a comment below if you wish.


  1. My granddaughter Ingrid is often fearful of germs so this latest crisis of the Coronavirus makes her expecially anxious. Thanks for sharing this, Amy. I will share!

  2. I like all the options you suggested, some fun ones to help the fear dissipate. Thanks for this.

  3. A great way to keep some lightness in the heaviness of current events.

    1. We used elbow bumps in my classroom, so this new way of greeting is not new to me. But I love the finger hearts and taps on the heart. Here's to getting through this latest challenge.

  4. Thanks, Amy, for your straightup explanation and lightly serious guiding poem. Kids want information like this, and they need current events poems!

  5. Thank you for this lovely poem. I am currently working on a poetry unit for my Y4s and found another poem of yours. May I share this one and also 'Sticks'?

    1. Thank you for your kind words. You are most welcome to share any of my poems with students for classroom purposes. This one is now an illustrated poster too, and I will be sharing it in the sidebar here tomorrow for free download. Please know, too, that I am giving free writing video talks each day about keeping a notebook at Take good care. Peace. xx