With lines like “Eyes, eyes/looking left and right,/crying tears sometimes,/resting through the night,” Charlotte Agell’s Dancing Feet helps us appreciate everything our bodies can do. This week I read Agell’s book to my 2nd graders, and we discussed the pattern of the words. The book features lines about many different body parts, but we narrowed the focus and wrote a poem that focused solely on our hands.

Before writing the poem, the class reviewed the definition of verbs. We brainstormed a list of dozens of verbs that describe activities that our hands can do. Since the poem uses the gerund or –ing form of verbs, we also reviewed how to drop the “e” and add –ing. As the students wrote their poems, I reminded them that we all have unique hands with special talents and powers. I encouraged students to reflect that uniqueness in their verb choices.

Hands, Hands

Hands, hands,

Throwing a basketball,

Making a bird house,

Cutting paper,

Writing a poem,

Fetching a ball,

Drawing a piece of a sun,

Sharing a piece of pie,

Chopping a tree down,

Washing the dishes,

Baking a cake,

Washing a lot of clothing,

Opening my present,

Picking up trash,

Moppin’ the floor,

Hands, hands.

by Zoreiah, 2nd Grade

I got to know my students better through their poems. I learned who enjoys art, who loves sports, and even wits-blog-pics-007.jpgwhose hands like to eat corn on the cob!

posted by Amy Lin, Writers in the Schools


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