What Students Love: #writeout

As promised, here are some of my students’ poetry inspired by Lee Bennett Hopkins’ City I Love.  (For more details, check out this previous post.)

Even before pulling out City I Love, I launched the idea of writing about place by reading All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan and Where Am I From by Yamile Saied Mendez.  Students then created heart maps of the places they love (ala Georgia Heard).  By this time students were excited about the places they love, eager to tell each other and me all about them.  But instead of diving right into the writing, I asked students to “map” themselves.  I tried to keep this direction pretty broad, letting students take it in any direction they wanted.  These watercolor and black sharpie marker masterpieces are the result!

This map is a wonderful map creature by H.


And his poem:

Morro Rock I love

Looking at the dormant volcano 

The fish swarm in the water 

The sound of the sea gulls

The smell of the salty sea.

Casting a line

Getting the bait 

catching the fish.

It’s just sitting in place

Day after day

Year after year

For hundred of years.

Walking on the beach

looking at the fish and crabs

and looking at the ocean scenery

Sitting on a dock waiting for a fish

like waiting for a train.


And a pineapple map by I.


And her poem about a very special bench that honors her grandmother:

The Bench I Love

 On the bench I sit at

      Bench I love 

I watch the flowers flowers flow 

As the birds glide slow as they pass by their home

Through the palm tree garden I go 

Past the great sun’s glow

On the bench I sit at

Bench I love 

I sit down and watch the tide curl 

Up & down it will go 

On the bench I sit at 

bench I love

The breeze flies past my hair 

And chases the ocean’s salty waves

On the bench I sit at

 bench I love

I sit down and inhale

Look up and exhale

And a horse map by S.


Accompanied by a barn poem:

Barn I Love

Barn I go to

barn I love.

Horse smelling wonder beyond city.

Gallops of emotion. Races of hearts.

Barn I go to 

barn I love.

Each morning a sweet smell of hay .

Each night a thankful nay.

Barn I go to 

barn I love.

Morning wet covers the arena.

Full of playful horses running.

Barn I go to 

barn I love.

Stardust black mares galloping in the cold moon.

 Sunset colored  butterflies leave at the end of the day.

I told my students that I would use my blog to amplify their voices (our vocabulary word from last week!).  I know they will appreciate your comments.  And know that these are just a glimpse of what my students created as they thought about the places and activities that matter to them.

How are you celebrating writing in your classroom, in your home, in your life?  #writeout


7 thoughts on “What Students Love: #writeout

  1. dogtrax

    Dear H:
    I very much enjoyed your poem and your map, and …

    Sitting on a dock waiting for a fish
    like waiting for a train is like
    watching a poem unfold like a
    paper airplane about to soar,
    and the wings seem just about right

    Dear I:
    Your poem is such a treasure of memory and of watching.

    On the bench I sit,
    I’m never alone,
    I’m always watching
    the world, spinning
    with the people I love
    and those I have loved;
    they’re always guests
    in my stories


    Dear S:
    Your horse and horse poem and horse dreams are wonderful things.

    Stardust black mares galloping in the cold moon
    the afternoon brings us to the fields of words;
    a poem, a bite, a nibble; a story; the hayloft calls us
    back to daydreaming

    — Mr Hodgson
    Sixth Grade teacher
    Southampton, Massachusetts

  2. Amber Nerbas

    These are very powerful pieces of work. The art capture the poems perfectly. Feeling very inspired and connected to these places.

  3. Sheri Edwards

    These are lovely! And some of my favorite lines from each of your poems make a new poem for you:

    For hundred of years
    Walking on the beach
    As the birds glide slow
    Through the palm tree garden–
    Gallops of emotion. Races of hearts.
    Sunset colored butterflies leave at the end of the day
    Past the great sun’s glow
    Walking on the beach
    For hundred of years…

    Thank you for sharing and helping my heart sing.

  4. Pingback: Write Out Week 2: Sharing Stories – WriteOut

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