Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody, Everywhere

Posted May 26, 2015 & filed under Notebook, Student Writing.

Sara Selber, PhotoMy grandma was a kindergarten teacher, and one of the songs she taught her class was, “Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere. Clean up, clean up, everybody do their share.” Whenever we went over to her house and made a big mess, she’d start singing this song.

 

My grandma made an impact on me because now whenever something bad happens in my community, I don’t just sit around. I get up and ask, “How can I pitch in?” because in the back of my head, I can hear grandma singing, “Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere.”

By Jolene, 11th Grade

 

Button Poems

Posted May 20, 2015 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

eternally_entwined

Long legs

strong as a

tree trunk

 

Long snake

hiding in a

dark hole

 

Long grass

in the dark

night

 

Roots like a

spider web

of fingers

 

By Carlos, 1st Grade

I Wonder

Posted May 6, 2015 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

30439-astronaut-sketchI wonder what it would be like to live on the moon

and wear an astronaut suit to school

I wonder what it would be like if my parents still

lived together and we were a happy family

I wonder what it would be like to have a pet

dog that I could call my own

I wonder what it would be like if we only

saw the world in black and white

I wonder what it would be like if no one was

ever mean to me

By Tasha, 4th Grade

No Killing

Posted May 4, 2015 & filed under Student Writing.

FullSizeRender (9)Hurting is not the option. No bombs, guns, or gas. Only words matter and are the option. Talking may not always be the option, though…like the police, if they don’t surrender, they might have to use their weapons. We have to use [weapons] to hunt, fight enemies, and win wars. But we need that to survive. We know that killing is wrong, and there is a book and a TV show that shows that lesson. It is called Batman. Although Batman dodges and uses skill, he does use violence, but he still will not kill. He thought that we should not kill but only fight for a right. I thought of this because I was hurt and almost killed. I was at the hospital. My family was there with me. There were so many tools and gadgets. It smelled like a cake. It sounded like beeb. . .  beeb. . . beeb! My family said, “You will be alright.” I was shocked, and I felt scared. This is why I believe that people should not kill people but use skill or words.
By Xavier, 3rd grade

Change

Posted April 27, 2015 & filed under Poem, Poem of the Day, Student Writing.

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Photo by: Aikawa Ke

 

Sometimes I don’t like change

but then I remember how

leaves turn red and gold,

then fall of and then grow

back again bright green.

I remember change is part of the life

cycle and I’m okay with it.

 

By Justine, 4th grade

 

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Caprice Haddad, a 6th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. Faculty is Susan Calvin, 8th grade History Teacher The background music is “Hope For Tomorrow” by Seastock. Produced by Susan Phillips.

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Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

 

Original post: January 12, 2015

 

When a Sheep Dreams

Posted April 23, 2015 & filed under Poem, Poem of the Day, Student Writing.

 

When sheep dream

They don’t look up at

the sky, but their heads

are filled with clouds

floating quietly

this way and that

 

By Alashia, 4th grade

 

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Arianna Vara, an 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. Faculty is Jerri Deleon, Assistant Principal. The background music is “J. S. Bach: Sheep May Safely Graze – BWV 208” by Kevin MacLeod. Produced by Susan Phillips.

NPMbanner

Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

 

Original post: February 12, 2015

Tracking

Posted April 9, 2015 & filed under Poem, Poem of the Day, Student Writing.

 

 

I track the clouds

in the sky

as they fly

I track birds

in the trees

as they sing

I track ants

on the ground

where they crawl

I track my cat

on the fence

where he slinks

 

By Tricia, 2nd grade

 

Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Alonna Johnson, an 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. Faculty is Rolethia McKelvey, piano teacher. The background music is Sidewalk Shade” by Kevin McCleod, Incompetech.com. Produced by Susan Phillips.

NPMbanner

Poem a Day is made possible in part by H-E-B Tournament of Champions, Copy.com, The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and KPFT 90.1.

 

Original post: January 26, 2015

Calling Poets in Grades 7-12!

Posted March 31, 2015 & filed under Contest, News, Poem, Student Writing.

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A personal invitation from Flashbang! Writing Studio, which is seeking poetry by students in grades 7-12 for publication on its website during April, National Poetry Month:

As participants in NaPoWriMo, Flashbang!’s Sarah and Jeff are writing and posting a poem a day for the month of April. But we want more! We want your poems. Send us your love poems, hate poems, pet poems, unicorn poems, football poems, name poems, video poems, macro poems, gif poems, breakfast-lunch-and dinner poems.

Come back to the blog every day in April for a new writing prompt and at least one new poem. Note: The poems you submit do not have to be based on the prompts we publish. If they are, that’s awesome! Let us know! But more important than following our prompts is writing something you love. Send us what you love.

All poems accepted for publication on the blog will also be considered for publication in the inaugural issue of KaPow!, Flashbang!’s creative writing zine, scheduled for May publication. If your poem is published, you’ll receive a free copy of the zine. Additional copies will be available for $5, and all proceeds will benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council. (Want to raise more money for GPLC? Learn more about and register for our Poem-A-Thon here: http://www.flashbangwritingstudio.com/poem-a-thon/)

To submit: Send an email with your poem attached as a Word document or just pasted into the body of the email to flashbangwritingATgmailDOTcom. Please include your name, age, and school name in your submission. (School names will not be published unless you explicitly ask us to do so.) Let us know where you heard about us, too. Deadline for consideration for KaPow! and the NaPoWriMo celebrations is 4/25. BUT we will still consider poems on a rolling basis after that deadline for publication on the blog.

My Chicken

Posted March 23, 2015 & filed under Notebook, Poem, Student Writing.

Cheep cheep cheep

my chicken pokes around

his eyes move fast

his feathers are smooth

I love my chicken

By Stuart, 1st Grade

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Green Day

Posted March 17, 2015 & filed under Notebook, Poem, Student Writing.

imagesI like to play tricks on a green day

like pinch my aunt on the shoulder

and put green eggs in my dog’s bowl

I like to sneak around on a green day

like a leprechaun in the bushes

I like to wear hats on a green day

and listen to the band Green Day

while I wear my lucky green socks

By Jonathan, 3rd Grade

 

Katrina 5

Posted March 12, 2015 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

Lwr94JanBentStopsign

Lwr94JanBentStopsign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They can’t prevent me.
I loom above them like a thundercloud.
A cat about to strike
Down upon a defenseless mouse.

The ocean can’t stop me.
Just a hurdle, a centimeter off the ground.
Crushed beneath my feet.
People fleeing, screaming, crying, wailing.

They can’t stop me.
I’ll tear it down.
I’ll tear it all down.

by Lucy, 7th Grade

Poetry Contest for Homeschoolers

Posted March 10, 2015 & filed under Contest, Student Writing.

croppedFrom the HSLDA website:

Poetry Contest 2015

Submission Dates: March 1st through May 1st 2015.

Entries must be postmarked by May 1st. We receive a high volume of entries around this date, so if you submit a poem toward the end of the submission period, please be patient. We will notify you via email when we process your entry!

HSLDA invites homeschooled* students to write a poem based on the theme prompts below. Each student may submit 3 different poems.

Submission Dates: March 1st through May 1st 2015

Entries must be postmarked by May 1st. We receive a high volume of entries around this date, so if you submit a poem toward the end of the submission period, please be patient. We will notify you via email when we process your entry!

HSLDA invites homeschooled* students to write a poem based on the theme prompts below. Each student may submit 3 different poems.

* For the purposes of this contest, an eligible student must have received a majority of his or her education in the past year through home education. The staff and immediate family members of HSLDA and all related entities (PRO, HSF, GenJ) are not eligible to participate in contests sponsored by HSLDA or any of the related entities.

Themes:

Category 1: Ages 7-10 as of April 1st
“Green Eggs and Ham”

Dr. Seuss’s poem “Green Eggs and Ham” has become an American favorite, beloved for its humorous repetition and wacky illustrations.  Read the excerpt below and write a new, creative continuation of this zany poem, picking up right from where the excerpt leaves off!

Assignment: Keep the original rhyme scheme of AABB and keep your poem’s length to no more than 6 quatrains.

Category 2: Ages 11-14 as of April 1st
“Jabberwocky”

In 1871, Lewis Carroll published one of the best known English nonsense poems in his fanciful sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.  Titled “Jabberwocky,” the poem uses nonsense words and whimsical language to transport Alice and all of its readers to a mythical land where strange creatures dwell. Carroll paints an unreal world using unreal words, but in doing so, he leaves a very real impression of mystery and mythology that brings the story vividly to life in the imagination!

Assignment: Be creative in a similar way: write a poem of similar length (5-7 quatrains) and rhyme pattern (ABAB or ABCB) that takes place in a fun, perhaps mysterious, new world!  Incorporate some of the techniques Carroll used, including made-up vocabulary, neologisms, words with strong visual impact, and rich creativity of expression and idea.

Category 3: Ages 15-19 as of April 1st
“To My Valentine”

With his characteristic humorous flair, American poet Ogden Nash uses unexpected metaphors and atypical expressions to convey his nonetheless powerful love in his poem “To My Valentine.”  Think outside the box to do the same: defy clichés and write a modern-sounding poem that expresses a positive emotion in an uncharacteristic way.  Let your choice of vocabulary, metaphors, examples, theme, and/or the very emotion expressed be laced with originality.

Assignment: Follow Nash’s rhyme pattern (ABAB or ABCB) and keep your poem’s length between 5 and 7 quatrains.

Prizes:

Cash congratulations, plus a wonderful transcript booster!

Visit the HSLDA website for information about how to enter. Good luck!

Guest Post by WITS Writer Gloria Alvarez!

Posted March 5, 2015 & filed under Classroom Reflections, Lesson Plan, Notebook, Student Writing, WITS People.

Mischievians Invade Meadow Wood Elementary!

By Gloria Alvarez

Meadow Wood ElemMy cooperating teachers at Meadow Wood Elementary, Tabitha Peña and Hali House, are the best a WITS writer could ask for:  enthusiastic, supportive, and eager to extend WITS lessons to their own teaching.  We exchange book suggestions, ideas for revision, and strategies for reaching underperforming students.  They open their classrooms to me and work alongside the kids during WITS.

One recent effort so inspired Ms. House that she made it her own.  I’d brought in William Joyce’s The Mischievians, a book about those mysterious creatures swipe TV remotes and cell phones, mislay or devour homework, and generally cause embarrassment and trouble.

We both love Joyce’s work, including Rolie Polie Olie and the Christmas tale Santa Calls.  I’d chosen The Mischievians because it’s so funny: everyone relates to the misplaced iPad or mismatched socks. The illustrations are just as clever.

The story follows a Q & A format: the questions in a child’s voice and the answer like a formal encyclopedia entry.  We read sections of the book, the students brainstormed new Mischievians, and finally they wrote their own questions and answers.

The students completed their drafts and read some aloud.  We will revisit the stories in several weeks to select and revise pieces for our class anthology.  For now, for me, the lesson was over.

But not for Ms. House.  She promptly purchased her own copy of The Mischievians for the classroom and displayed it on an easel at her desk.  Ms. House read their pieces, providing feedback and editing advice.  After allotting class time to revise and recopy their work with illustrations, she created a bulletin board to display all the finished pieces.

“They turned out great,” House said.  “Everyone had fun with it.”

I think so, too.  I was beyond thrilled that a lesson—a new, untested lesson at that—had struck such a chord with both students and teacher.  Here are some samples.

Boy at Meadow WoodThe TalkeyMer TalkyPants Mischievian

By Jonathan

Q: Whenever I’m supposed to be quiet, I whisper to my neighbor.  Then my voice gets louder until I get into trouble.  Why does this happen?

A:  There is a Mischievian on the loose called TalkeyMer, TalkeyPants.

Q: Where are they?

A: There are four of them in your mouth: Down, Up, Right and Left.

Q: How do they make you talk?

A: They jump up and down and make your mouth talk.  Once your mouth is moving, your voice wants to talk.  They jump harder and harder until your voice gets louder.

Some Days I Don’t Know

Posted February 25, 2015 & filed under Notebook, Poem, Student Writing.

windowSome days I don’t know

If I’m inside looking out or outside looking in

If I’m the size of an atom or the size of the universe

If I’m black or if I’m white

Some days I don’t know who I am

By Jacob, 10th Grade

WITS Student Featured in The Buzz

Posted January 26, 2015 & filed under Student Writing, WITS People.

10888867_990120621002537_69896790164733703_nWITS Student Rohan Gupta is the BUZZ Kid of the month. He writes about writing and how his WITS experience has changed his life in the most recent issue. Here’s an excerpt:

I love writing, and it’s important because I put my ideas into it. Writing is permanent. It can be cherished forever. My writing will change as I get older. It will make more sense, and I’ll use bigger words. Writing is fun. It comes in many different forms, and can be found everywhere. As you can see, my life of writing will always go with me.

To see the entire article, click here.

Oh, the Rain

Posted January 22, 2015 & filed under Student Writing.

Oh, the rain that falls

down it goes

down into a lake

that has a shield.

It splashes off

into a million

more rain drops

that gleam.

Step outside today

and notice how

light and soft

the raindrops are.

Go jumping from

puddle to puddle

feel the rain hit your

forehead and drop

between your eyes

Feel it for the

first time.

By Harmony, 3rd Grade

 

 

Yosemite Park

Posted January 20, 2015 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

I see a beautiful Grand Canyon-like cliff.

Sparkly emerald-colored trees.

I see a shimmery blue stream.

I hear the fresh breeze blowing through the trees.

I hear the stream’s gently rushing water.

I feel cold refreshing liquid on my fingers

as I run my hand through the stream.

I smell the sweet crisp green grass.

I smell the carefully dripping mother rain

as it falls on my arms. I taste the fruits

from the fruit-bearing trees in Yosemite Park.

I taste the sprinkling rain on my tongue.
by Kate, 3rd Grade

Ode to My Bike

Posted December 23, 2014 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

You are a strong, steel body
That rose from the dead.
The bike that survived
Decades of ride.
The soul of a factory bike
That is dependable.
You have seen a lot of things
Since 1948.
The bike that once rotted into
The ground it came from.
The quality you can feel
In the one-piece body.

By Jon
4th Grade

Arco Iris (Rainbow)

Posted December 22, 2014 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

Esta mañana vino el arco iris,

lleno de colores

pero la lluvia lo espantó con

su pelo de agua y

su vestido de nieve.

El lugar favorito del arco iris es la playa,

se baña en el mar y con un niño baila,

sus manos de colores.

Se despierta a la una de la mañana:

en el parque canta y con su amiga juega.

Ella quiere jugar contigo,

la nieve es su amiga preferida.

Su mascota mariposa es muy bonita.

En la escuela disfruta quebrando las reglas,

se siente triste por el viento.

Su pelo es de color de oro,

y sus pies como la plata,

en la noche con las estrellas canta.

¿Y tu amiga canta?

 

~
Rainbow

 

The rainbow came this morning,

filled with colors

the rain scared her away

with her hair of water

and her dress of snow.

The beach is rainbow’s favorite place,

with a young boy she dances

and in the ocean she bathes her colorful hands.

She wakes up at 1:00 am:

in the park she plays and sings.

She wants to play with you

and her favorite friend, the snow.

Her pet is a pretty butterfly.

In school, she breaks all the rules,

feeling sorry for the wind.

Her feet are silver

and her hair is gold;

she sings with the stars at nighttime.

Does your best friend also sing?
by Madeline, 3rd Grade

Corazón

Posted December 19, 2014 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

Porque te tengo en mis ojos.
Porque te pienso en El Salvador.
Porque eres el cielo, y eres muy amable.
Porque eres la miel del cielo de mi familia.
Porque existes mejor en mis manos
Y yo te tengo aquí a mi lado.
Estés donde tu estés siempre estarás
conmigo
Y te amaré con todo mi corazón.

~

 

Heart

Because I have you in my eyes,
Because I think of you in El Salvador,
Because you are the sky and very loving,
Because you are the honey of heaven for my
family,
Because you exist better in my hands,
and I need you here by my side,
Where ever you are,
You will always be with me,
And I will love you with all my heart.

by Katherine, 1st Grade