Day #8…Final Day of the Poetry Challenge

A One Week Poetry Challenge

The children that I am working with “have” to learn how to write acrostic poems (so they can have one in their portfolio).  So I decided to write a few myself to show them how to do it!  Since I have two boys…I wrote a poem about both of them…here goes:



On the court

Shooting the ball into the


Up goes

Another—3 pointer!


Joshua LOVES to play basketball, watch basketball, read about basketball…he even slept with his new basketball on his birthday!   Brandon on the other hand…has too many “loves”. He plays the electric guitar and writes music and poetry.  He is an artist and sketches all the time.  But…what he really likes is his skateboard and video games!


Born eleven weeks early

Rides a skateboard

Always drawing, sketching or writing in his


Drums at his own beat

Often strumming on his guitar and

Never tires of video games 


The Nature Walk

YEAH! …we got to go on the nature walk…or should I say nature writing walk?  My friends were so excited.  Our mini-lesson was about poets observing the world around them…they take notes, or sketch what they see and then they write poems about the “seeds” they found.  I have done this a lot with my personal children and with a fourth grade class but I wasn’t sure how it would go with first graders.  They had a blast.  My friends took it so seriously…they were poets…and proved it!  They had boundries of where they could go and the rule was find a writing spot…sit/lay on your towel and begin observing and writing.  We were outside for thirty minutes.  I didn’t confer with anyone because I wrote too…but they didn’t seem to mind.  They were so actively engaged.  When we returned to the classroom we got in our share circle and everyone turned knee to knee with a partner and shared.  (I knew if I only let a few share today that I would break some little hearts!)  Once we turned back into the circle we talked about what we did as poets today and added to our “What Poets Do”  anchor chart.  Here is a poem by one of my first grade friends:

The Grass by A


A green prickly blanket covers

the Earth

keeping all the bugs and snakes warm

I promised them that writing workshop would be outside again today…I will share some more “nature” poems this weekend 🙂

Day #6…Poetry Challenge

A One Week Poetry Challenge

Today our focus in writing will be that poets observe the world around them.  They write poems about things in nature.  I wrote this poem yesterday morning in my notebook.  I am going to use it as part of my mini-lesson today.  Hopefully it will be warm up enough for my first grade poets to take a nature walk…with notebooks…and write! (I brought beach towels for sitting so this should be interesting!!!)


Early Spring Morning  by Marie



glistens through

the windows


good morning




throughout the house.


Day #5…Poetry Challenge

A One Week Poetry Challenge

We have continued to observe objects in our classroom…today I focused on the books in our library corner…

Books  by Marie


Open up a book

and feel the


surround you.


All the wonder and


will fill your

head with enjoyment

and empower you

with knowledge.


Open up a book

and feel the


surround you

Day #4…Poetry Challenge

A One Week Poetry Challenge

Today my mini-lesson was “Poets are like scientists…they observe the world around them.  I shared my Old Oak Tree poem from my nature walk on Saturday with the first graders that I am doing a poetry unit with.  It was raining outside so we couldn’t go on a nature walk…so we went on a “classroom” walk.  They all found ordinary objects in the classroom that we could observe and write about…and we decided that we would make a class anthology of the poems that were about “school stuff”.  I observed a pencil and wrote about it as a model writing. ~ Happy Reading!
The Pencil by Marie

The golden


freshly sharpened


to spill

it’s magic of words

out upon

a piece of




April is for…Poetry Lovers

Since it is April…National Poetry Month…and since I am in the Poetry Challenge this week at Two Writing Teachers … I decided that for this resource Monday I would round up some of my favorite poetry resources….just a thought…Katie Wood Ray says…”to write a poem, you have to read 100 poems first”  I agree with her 100%.  Reading like a writer has been the number one thing that has helped me to become a better writer…so go for it…read a 100 poems and then write one for yourself!

Front Cover         Front Cover    

About 8 years ago I heard Georgia Heard Speak at a summer literacy institute for 3-5 teachers.  Her topic was Poetry and she walked us through her book called Awakening the Heart.  I love this book and use it every year when I teach my poetry unit in April.  She has another book that I love called, For the Good of the Earth and the Sun.  Both of these two books are enough to get you started writing poetry for yourself!


Here are two poetry anthologies that I use: 

Poems    Creatures of Earth, Sea and Sky …the poems are written by Georgia 

Poems of Comfort   This Place I Know: Poems of Comfort  Georgia compiled these poems of comfort into one anthology in order to comfort children in Manhattan In September 2001!  This is a very powerful teaching tool…It will show your students how poems can evoke feelings.  It is a great anthology to read each year in honor of 9-11

Check out these PDF handouts from Georgia Heard:

Georgia Heard has recently teamed up with Lester Laminack to write a wonderful resource for K-2 teachers to use for teaching children how to read and write poetry.  It is called: Climb Inside a Poem: Reading and Writing Poetry Across the Year.  Georgia and Lester have stated, “It is not only possible but vital to weave poetry into the daily fabric of a school day by reading a variety of poems for a variety of purposes throughout the year.  We believe that children will fall in love with all kinds of poetry, if they have a chance to read or hear a variety of poems.”

Climb Inside a Poem

The lessons in this collection are well-organized and can be taught as a unit of study or throughout the year.  I agree with Lester and Georgia…exposure to poetry…will allow children to envision themselves as writers of poetry.  I didn’t get this resource until January at the Reading Recovery Conference…to bad I didn’t have it to start off the school year with!!

Happy Poetry Month 🙂

Day #3…Poetry Challenge

A One Week Poetry Challenge

I noticed that several of the other poets in this week long challenge have written Haiku’s…I have never really enjoyed them…mostly because I have a hard time writing them…so here is my first!


by Marie



such an immense, wondrous thing

takes you anywhere


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