Category Archives: clmooc

Thesaurus of Color: NPM20 Day 27

Last year in April I experimented with paint chip poetry with my students.  It was so much fun to rifle through the paint chips, picking them at random and then incorporating them into poems.  I noticed right away how this color language elevated their poems, adding a layer of sophistication to their already beautiful ideas.

And in this time of remote learning I wanted to figure out a way to bring a version of paint chip poetry to my students.  Some google searches uncovered a thesaurus of color by a blogger on the web.  This color thesaurus became our new version of paint chip poetry.

Having played with poetry dice a couple of weeks ago, students had already experimented with incorporating words into their ideas and poetry from outside sources.  So today’s assignment to pick some color words to use when crafting their color-focused poems wasn’t a stretch.  And there were some wonderful results!

K played with yellow words:

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R took us out in space:

SPACE

 

AT THE CENTER 

MILLIONS OF TINY COLORS

LIKE SWIRLING BRIGHT BUTTER 

IN A MIXING BOWL, FUCHSIA,

 MAGENTA, GARNET, SCARLET,

THE COLORS OF THE GALAXY!! 

 

WHITE FLECKS, TOO, OF ROSES AND SNOW,

ORANGE OF SUN, BLUE OF THE DEEPEST SEA.

 

AND THEN THERE’S LIGHT.

NOT THE WHITE LIGHT OF THE STARS, BUT

THE LIGHT OF THE CLEAR BLUE SKY, WHERE

BIRDS DRIFT AND SOAR. THE BLUE OF ICE

DELICATE AS LIFE.

And E started with canvas and ended up with autumn’s leaves:

Canvas.

An ivory surface,

A beautiful sheet.

Changing over time,

But sticking to an overall beat.

Crimson red,

As hot as it is magnificent.

Apricot orange,

Chaotic as fire.

Butterscotch yellow,

Glowing like the sun.

Lime green,

Leaving a trail of bitterness.

Lilac blue,

Spreading seeds across the page.

Night sky purple,

Dark but not dreary.

All these colors,

Put into one piece of paper,

One pile of Autumn leaves.

For my own poem, I found inspiration in my neighbor’s lawn as I walked down the street to check the mail.

Flamingos

They arrived in a flamboyance*

of blush

every color of pink

from the palest of morning sunrise skies

to the mortification

of heat that creeps up the neck

to blaze in your cheeks.

 

Planting themselves

on the lawn

chewing bubblegum

en pointe in ballet slippers

a display of extravagant proportion.

 

A quarantine gift for a neighbor

A delight for the neighborhood.

 

®Douillard

*a group of flamingos

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Pick some interesting color words and try your hand at writing some poetry under the influence of color today!

 

From the Scraps: NPM20 Day 26

These last couple of days have felt like summer.  Temps rising into the high 80s, cloudless deep blue skies, lengthening days and so much time at home–it’s hard to believe we are still in April.  And we came home from the grocery store with an artichoke yesterday; a huge, round, green globe that ended up as part of our dinner tonight…and the subject of today’s poem.

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In the Artichoke Scraps…

In the purple papery leaves

summer emerges

and I remember racing through the sprinklers

screaming as the cold droplets landed on warm skin

laughing with my sister

as we ran back and forth across the lawn

 

In the salty butter

I taste home

dinner like clockwork at 5

our family of 4 gathered around the dinner table

to eat and argue

mediated by dad and the dictionary

 

In the sharp spines

a fortress is present

circle the wagons

with our hearts, soft and tender, at the center

guarded carefully

closing tightly when necessary

 

In the leaves, the curves, the smells, and the taste

of an artichoke

lives

my childhood

home

comfort

and love

all wrapped up in a thistle

®Douillard

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Ordinary: NPM20 Day 25

Yesterday my students used Valerie Worth’s poem Safety Pin as their mentor text.  This is a poem we had studied earlier in the school year–when I discovered that many of my students didn’t know what a safety pin was!  Luckily, I had some safety pins in the classroom to show them.

With this poem in our remote learning environment, students were invited to craft a poem about an ordinary object–as defined by each individual.  I am absolutely loving watching my young poets find their poetic voices!

D chose a spoon as the ordinary object:

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E took on the power of paper:

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And M–although I wouldn’t use ordinary to describe a clam, chose a clam as the ordinary object:

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And I decided to write about my mask.

Mask

Cotton covering

keeping my respirations close

breathing in and out

my own air

warmed by each breath

unrelieved by the breeze

 

straps

rubber band

stretch

pulling

distorting sore ears

to hold the cotton close

 

only eyes peering above

can you smile with your eyes?

I’m learning how.

®Douillard

masks

Slant: NPM20 Day 24

Slant

It’s all on the slant

slippery and sliding

out of balance

out of whack

 

Vision limited

window views

front door views

only in the neighborhood views

 

Living small

the world in a box

screen eyes, screens eyed

encircled by a 6 foot bubble

 

Waiting to connect

reconnect, person-to-person

straightening slowly

until the slant

tips upright

into place

and balance

is restored.

 

®Douillard

 

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Haiku for Healing: NPM20 Day 23

My students and I are 23 days into our poem-a-day challenge.  While not all have stayed caught up…many have.  It’s such fun to watch their knowledge and skills with poetry and writing grow as they engage with written language  and ideas every day.

Yesterday I invited students to create some Haiku focused on gratitude–something I had experienced through #haikuforhealing a while back.  This seemed like a good time for some healing Haiku.

It was such fun to see what my student came up with.  They posted their Haiku along with a photo on our class padlet.  Here is a small collection of just the poetry–and notice how many students focused on family members as the subject of their poems.

And my own:

Neighborhood Nature
wind brushing my face
dappled light bouncing off trees
nature brings me peace
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With a Repeated Refrain: NPM20 Day 22

Today we used a poem by Julie Fogliano called When Green Becomes Tomatoes, from a book by the same name, as our mentor for poetry writing in our virtual classroom.  Two defining features of the poem are the repeated refrain of when green becomes tomatoes” and the use of parentheses to bring in some extra information.

My students came at this poem from some different directions, some picking up on the structural refrain, others on the description of a season or time, while others played with the use of parentheses.  Here are a couple of examples.

Max created this gorgeous piece of digital art and composed a science poem with the repeated refrain:

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E’s poem captures his (and our) sense of this moment when solitude and staying home are our current reality and “busy’ness” is starting to sound good!

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My own poem was inspired by watching some small birds on the tree in my front yard…and then borrowing from Julie Fogliano’s structure to make sense of my thoughts.

Spring’s Song

When chirps become spring’s song

sunlight will flood the sky

and energy will sprout

like greet shoots emerging from rich, damp soil

when chirps become spring’s song

days will stretch

and we will itch

for beaches, parks, and winding mountain paths

when chirps become spring’s song

gentle breezes

will tickle the tree tops

and leaves will dance with the colorful blossoms

when chirps become spring’s song

birds will perch

watching over nests of wide-open mouths

singing songs of promise:

there will be tomorrows

(more happy than sad)

(more future than past)

when the world reopens (even just a tiny bit)

and chirps become spring’s song

 

®Douillard

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Poet-Tree: NPM20 Day 21

My daily walk to the mailbox is generally uneventful.  I follow the sidewalk down the hill, past the five or six houses that look similar to my own.  I notice the groomed lawns, the xeriscaped designs where lawns once grew, those miniature citrus trees.  And today, I noticed the tall thin palm dancing in the breeze.

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Inspired by the National Writing Project post, Writing In with #WriteOut, I wrote a Poet-Tree #smallpoem today.

Tree Dance

 

Against the azure sky

the lone palm dances

solo

slowly swaying

graceful fronds stretched wide

brushing the clouds

to the shush

of spring’s song

 

®Douillard