Posted April 25, 2014 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Late at night, she sits outside her house,
in her rocking chair,
waiting patiently for me to arrive.

Once I step into her kitchen,
the smell of tacos, pozole, and tortillas
fills my nostrils
and when the food is finally done,
everyone gathers around the table,
but we must squeeze in,
for our family is very, very big.

Then, late at night, she always stays up late
to make some tamales.
She mixes the flour, meat, and water
between her soft, wrinkly hands.

Early in the morning, she wakes everyone up
with the delicious aroma of her tamales.
Once everyone is up
and out of their beds,
we go devour those delicious, soft, scrumptious tamales
that make my mouth water
just thinking about them.

In the evening, after having dinner,
we all help her clean up,
and once we’re finished,
she gathers everyone out to the porch.

As we watch the sun set,
and hear the frogs ribbit,
and grasshoppers chirp,
we enjoy the comfort and company
my grandma give us.

by Rosario, 7th Grade


Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Grant Cambon, a 7th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. The background music is “I Have A Dream” from Best Songs of Abba on Spanish Guitar, by The Harmony Group. Produced by Susan Phillips.

This poem is featured as part of the 2014 Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more.



Original post: February 7, 2014


Chicken Noodle Soup

Posted October 8, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

Slurp. Down it goes.

Noodles sliding

down my throat.

Chunks of chicken,

little carrots,

a bit of celery.

Brown broth.

Hot, so hot on

a cold night.

By Dinorah, 4th grade

Ode to Nuts

Posted August 16, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

Oh, how I love nuts

almonds and pecans

walnuts and cashews

and even those hard

Brazil nuts that make

my jaw hurt and my

teeth break off and

my head ache.

By Tim, 10

Oda a una mandarina (Ode to a Mandarin)

Posted May 11, 2010 & filed under Notebook.

Una mandarina anaranjada,
como una cruz.
Huele de la selva suave,
el sol brilloso y por dentro,
una flor jugosa.


A mandarin orange,
Like a cross.
It smells of the gentle jungle,
the brilliant sun, and inside,
a juicy flower.

By Janet, 3rd grade
[photo by Kyra Camili via flickr]

Apple Pie

Posted November 2, 2009 & filed under Notebook.

I see red apple peels on the counter.
I hear my mom chopping.
I smell cinnamon and brown sugar in the kitchen.
The smell swirls around the room.
I see the crisp crust on the outside.
I know it’s something good for dessert.
It feels like a holiday when I eat it!

by Desiree, 4th grade


Where I’m From

Posted May 22, 2009 & filed under Notebook.

I am from the beach in Acapulco
that smells so fresh,
from the ice cream that melts
in the hot, hot sun,
the waves that come and go,
from the sand that people use
to build sandcastles at sunset.

I am from the food cooking
in the warm kitchen,
the barking that my dog does
when he is hungry,
from the cup of water that I drink.

I am from the bread I like to smell,
from the voices of people trying
to talk to each other,
and the bread coming out of the oven.
I’m from my Mom who I touch
so that I will not get lost.

By Maria, 3rd grade
[photo by *Widget* via flickr]

I Am

Posted December 12, 2008 & filed under Notebook.

sushi-moleskine-by-renmeleonI am the taste of sushi like butter on my tongue.

I am the smell of my grandpa’s old books that smell like dust.

I am the bursting fireworks and the smoke they leave behind.

I am music without a beat.

I am the smell of exotic spices.

I am the messy fluff on my dog’s head.

I am the scholar that ponders impossible questions.

I am always sleeping.

I am the taste of spicy wasabe burning my mouth.

I am the graceful arcs and curves of the Japanese alphabet.

I am the velvety fur of my rabbit.

I am the overgrown backyard full of soft grass and strong oaks.

I am the mysterious trinkets collecting dust in the attic.

I am the smell of treats baking in the oven.

I am the scratchy blankets that warmed my mom once.

I am ancient voices telling forgotten stories.

I am a page full of printed letters worn by time.

I am the spicy bursts of flavor in Thai food.

I am the calming warmth of a cup of tea.

by Charles, 7th Grade

Food for Thought

Posted March 17, 2008 & filed under Notebook.

grapes-by-flauto.jpgWhat is more inspiring than food? Nothing!

I enjoy bringing grapes, carrots, and strawberries into the classroom. I use food as a way to encourage students to make observations. The students make observations of the food’s outside: its colors, textures, and shapes. Students must brainstorm a list of ten words or phrases before they are allowed to eat their food. As they eat their food, they are also brainstorming descriptive words about its taste.

I conclude the brainstorming session by having each student share one idea from their list, which I record on the board. Then I ask all the students to write down three more ideas from the board onto their individual lists.

Next we read some poems about food, and we discuss what descriptive words are used. Students are then given time to write their own poems.

The Perfect Grape

When I touch it,
It is cold and wet,
But soft as a baby’s foot.

When I pick it up,
It dangles like a dangling green leaf on a tree.

I look at it.
It is the color of lilac.

It is sour, juicy and delicious.

It’s chilly like the Antarctic.

It’s green like a
Green lime and reminds
Me of the perfect green grass.

By Clinton, 3rd Grade

A fun way to publish the poems is to have students write their revisions on paper plates.

Posted by Amy Lin, Writers in the Schools