Posted August 5, 2017 & filed under mentor text, Notebook, Poem, Student Writing.

Death is not

a tall figure dressed

in black.

It doesn’t have an intimidating

black cloak

or a skull for a face,

and it doesn’t bear a scythe to kill you.

We shouldn’t have to see Death as

this monster,

this scary,




Maybe if we saw


in a different light, not as a scary

entity, but as a small

but strong,


with dark–but not black–fur

and large, white, caring eyes,

we wouldn’t be so afraid

when Death crawls into our laps

to take us away.


by Cheyenne, 7th grade

The World

Posted April 22, 2014 & filed under Poem of the Day.

The world never stays the same.

Thunder flashes through the world.

Flames roar upon the people.

Darkness casts a shadow on us.

Water rides fast horses

up the world’s back.

The world has grown,

the old ways became paradise.

The world hides every secret

in the earth below us.

Feelings are different

for men and women.

Light calms the world in peace.

The world never gives a secret.

The world never stays the same.

by Daniel, 2nd grade



Click the link above to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Noah Heverly, an 8th grader at Johnston Middle School For the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. The background music is “Children of Africa” by Symphony of Science. 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: December 17, 2013

Azul (Blue)

Posted January 8, 2014 & filed under Notebook.

Azul, que bailas en el cielo
Azul, las cachapas de Venezuela
Azul, como “Mary”
Alas de un pájaro
Azul, el pelaje
Que te oigo
En el mar
Como si ves el bien
En un Dios
Te veo
Como amor

Blue, you are dancing in the sky.
Blue, the cachapas of Venezuela
Blue, like the “Mary”
Wings of a bird
Blue, the hair
That I hear you
In the sea
Like if you see the good
in God
I see you
Like Love

by Paola, 2nd Grade


Posted January 7, 2014 & filed under Notebook.

We always said goodbye to a lot of things

Like the tree has to say goodbye to its
leaves for the winter which precedes the spring.

As such I miss you very much and shall never replace you with anyone, because
you always will be in my heart.

I would like you always to be with me for
I love to take your hand and play with you,
but your sadness is like the slow passing
that reminds me of the old places we cherished.

by Marlon, 4th Grade

Cooking Away

Posted November 24, 2010 & filed under Notebook.

I watch my mom
cooking away,
her mind full of delicious
recipes. I find
her face full of concentration;
my own, full of delight
at the sweet smells
wafting up my nose.
I watch hungrily as
she puts in the last
ingredient and stirs it with
a wooden ladle.
She scoops it out into
a small bowl and hands
it to me.
I take it greedily,
but eat it slowly,
each ingredient rubbing
on my tongue.

By Julia, 5th grade

All Alone

Posted March 14, 2008 & filed under Notebook.


I’m all alone yet people
are all around me.

Sometimes I wake up
thinking no one cares.

I look out the window
watching the birds stare.

Thinking the whole time:
life isn’t fair.

Like a homeless child
sitting on the street…

asking if anyone
has change to spare.

By Sarina Neal, 7th grade
Jane Long Middle School

(photo by Suecsuecsuec via flickr)

8 Ways of Looking at Van Gogh’s Night Sky

Posted November 8, 2007 & filed under Notebook.


The moon wishes for a
quiet, dark night

The trees dance under the
night lights of the bright sky

The church screams as the
shooting stars fall

The bushes sway
whispering softly

The stars show
off their brilliance,
painting the houses
with a dull white

The mountain sing as the wind

The people pray as night falls

The night is never calm

by John, 5th Grade

art by Vincent Van Gogh
writing prompt by Wallace Stevens (“Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird“)


Posted August 20, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

I wish I could take abig-cloud.jpg
fluffy cloud home
and feel the softness.
I wish I could take
a cloud home and bounce
on it like a trampoline.
I wish I could go home,
lie on my bed, and
use a white fluffy
cloud as a pillow.
I wish I could keep
a cloud forever.

by Marden, 2nd grade