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:
E took on the power of paper:
And M–although I wouldn’t use ordinary to describe a clam, chose a clam as the ordinary object:
And I decided to write about my mask.
keeping my respirations close
breathing in and out
my own air
warmed by each breath
unrelieved by the breeze
distorting sore ears
to hold the cotton close
only eyes peering above
can you smile with your eyes?
I’m learning how.
Over at The Nerdy Book Club, Cindy has invited readers to share their favorite poets or poems.
I love poetry…especially in the classroom. Each week in our classroom we study a poem, noticing what the poet is doing and paying attention to the images it creates in our minds. We read it aloud and notice how the words feel in our mouths. Individual students read and together we read chorally.
Later in the week, we revisit our poem and create an illustration that captures our understanding of the poem. We glue our poem and illustration into a composition book we call our poetry anthology. By the end of the school year, students have read, studied, and illustrated more than 30 poems…over the course of the three years they spend in our multiage classroom, they have close to 100 poems collected and illustrated to take home and treasure.
One of my favorite poets to share with my young students is Valerie Worth. I love her short poems. They are accessible to children. And I love that she writes about ordinary things. But these are not simple poems…they are full of imagery, word play, and figurative language.
One of my favorites is Safety Pin.
Closed, it sleeps On its side Quietly,
The silver Image
Of some Small fish;
Opened, it snaps Its tail out
Like a thin Shrimp,
At the sharp Point with a Surprised eye.
What poets and poetry do you love?