The Night

Posted March 9, 2012 & filed under Notebook.

Owls are hooting

The stars look pale yellow

like they are invisible

When everyone is asleep

thousands of animals hunt

In the north sky the moon

is bright white

There’s a sweet smell coming

from the trees

The night goes by very fast

like butter slipping out of your hands

until the sun comes up

By Rhea, 6th grade

The Moon Rises

Posted March 2, 2011 & filed under Notebook.


When the moon rises,
apples and pears start dancing,
and the spaghetti cries because it misses its sauce.

When the moon rises,
my stuffed bear dances with the puppy.
Then they all start dancing.
The blinds start moving and

When the moon rises,
the couches and chairs
talk to my mom as she cleans.

When the moon rises,
my pet bird, Pumpkin,
talks to my dad.
He also barks.
Then the T.V. falls asleep.
And snores.

When the moon rises,
the chairs and the swing
dance to the music
the trees make when the wind blows their branches.

When the moon rises,
the crows fly in the window of my tree house,
and they peck at the wooden wall
like woodpeckers looking for worms.

When the moon rises,
the Christmas ornaments
decorate the attic
when no one is looking.

When the moon rises,
the powders and lipstick
wake up the mirror.

But when the sun rises,
the lights flash,
and the day begins
all over again.

By Madison, 2nd grade

Photo by the National Archives UK via Flickr

The Sounds of the Night

Posted August 4, 2009 & filed under Notebook.

What do they mean, the sounds of the night?
The outside of midnight is dark
Like the world is gone, as if it never
Had existed.

When I go to bed, sometimes I feel
Like I’m scared; the sounds are strange.
Each night is different. The cats do a meow
Sound, maybe because they are cold.

The sound of the wind is so slow,
And so quiet, but you can still hear it.
I hear what the outside carries, different
Sounds by the way the outside goes.

But when I wake up everything
Is like yesterday.

By Fatima, 7th grade
[photo by deatonstreet via flickr]

Ink Heart

Posted April 17, 2009 & filed under Poem of the Day.


What the night hides:
a stranger in the dark,
fire and stars,
snakes and thorns,
a house full of books,
a night full of words,
the lion’s den,
going farther south.

By Cody, 4th grade
[photo by fotologica via flickr]

This poem is featured as part of the 2009 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by WITS that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click on the logo to the left to learn more.

Yo en la noche (I am in the Night)

Posted April 14, 2009 & filed under Poem of the Day.

Es de noche
Escucho un gato peleando en la fábrica.
Yo escucho a los monos brincando
De un árbol al otro, hacen mucho ruido
Y no me dejan dormir.

Es de noche, y en mi casa escucho
La tele prendida, mis hermanos gritando,
Y yo pienso que las estrellas se fueron
Al otro lado, bien lejos, donde no las puedo ver.

Es de noche
Y en mis sueños escuho un avión
Que me lleva a México para ver a mi abuelita.


It is nighttime.
I hear cats fighting in the factory.
I hear monkeys jumping
from tree to tree.
They are making a lot of noise,
and they don’t let me sleep.

It is nighttime,
and I hear the TV on at my house.
My brothers are yelling,
And I think of stars that have left
to go to another place, very far away,
where I can’t see them.

It is nighttime,
and in my dreams I hear an airplane
that takes me to Mexico to see my grandma.

By Jazmin, 1st grade
[photo by Tim Noonan via flickr]

Click here to download a free poster of this poem!

This poem is featured as part of the 2009 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by WITS that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click on the logo to the left to learn more.

Stars in the Sky

Posted July 28, 2008 & filed under Notebook.

bright shiny
glittery in the
(sky) we come and
go on the ground
rest in the grass
tired, lazy, we go up down
up down all over again

Some other ones
come along play with me
going up down rest for
a little but then fly around

Look in the sky with
me in the sky looking around
the homes, looking bright
in the sky flying looking
for new things to do
then in the morning go sleep
then in the evening we do it

by Erika, 3rd grade
[photo by IHP via flickr]

Silly Things

Posted April 25, 2008 & filed under Poem of the Day.

If I’m bored at night I go out
to try and catch a shooting star.
I fly up into space like a rocket ship
and stick my tongue out
googolplex feet until I reach
the star belt and find a shooting star to eat.

When I slip in mud at school
I fly into space to use twilight
to clean it up. I carry a hat
and go to the moon. I see twilight
and fill my hat and put it on my head.
I am not done. I need the moon’s towel.
I get it dry like paper and stiff as wood.

If I had a smart hen
I would teach it to be my secretary.
It would answer my phone calls
and take messages while I am out.
I would not pay this creature because without
me it will be nothing
in space.

By Eleanor, age 9

video = 49 seconds

New Teachers, New Perspectives

Posted January 22, 2008 & filed under Notebook.

Teachers work carefully to cultivate their classroom spaces, establishing small communities that each have a unique culture, personality, rules and consequences. Experienced teachers have tried and true methods for working with their students, and I have picked up many new skills just by watching the teachers with whom I’ve worked.

When I enter a new classroom, I try to be conscious that I am in another teacher’s territory. I want to be respectful of their space and of the way things work in the particular community that has emerged in their classroom. Even though I may approach the subject of writing in different ways than they do, ideally, we find ways to work together so that the students can get the most benefit from my presence.

Oddly enough, the novelty of my presence alone seems to make a great deal of difference to some students; hearing old information from a new person makes a bigger impact. A new face can provide a surprisingly new perspective, helping students make a firm connection where they’d struggled before, or helping firm connections become even stronger. I’m sure you can imagine how a classroom teacher’s voice might gradually turn into the infamous “woh-woh-woh” white noise of Charlie Brown’s teacher. There’s not necessarily anything that the teacher is doing wrong–it’s just that it’s human nature to tune out the familiar.

Sometimes, I get to experience the phenomenon of how a new face or a new space makes a difference for my students as well. Recently, one of my elementary schools visited the Menil Collection Museum to take a writing tour of the collection with several other WITS writers. I was delighted when WITS writer Yolanda showed me a poem that one of my students had written on her tour. Cole has always been an imaginative writer, but with Yolanda’s new perspective, he had taken his work to the next level: stars in motion

Tick tock goes the clock.
It strikes twelve. “Bum bum
bum,” goes the man with
the stars. He lets them go–up up
up they sail. I can hear
the man in the moon crying “Here
come the stars!” I can see
Pluto turning into a duck. I can
sense all people sound asleep.
I can feel the wind wipe
my feet. I feel so graceful as
the night goes by. When day
rises, I go home with a sigh.

by Cole, 3rd Grade, Briargrove Elementary

(Photo by Fort Photo via Flickr)

To me, this is part of what WITS does so well: we bring new faces, new perspectives, and new ways of approaching writing to young writers. In Cole’s case, I think the results are absolutely breathtaking!

posted by Tria Wood, Writers in the Schools