Friday, May 14, 2010

Poetry Friday

For the past couple of years, I've been enjoying Poetry Friday with the fifth graders at my school. Every Friday afternoon, I tromp in with a stack of books, and plop myself on the floor. I share a few poems, the kids share a few poems, we read poems, we write poems, we perform poems, we talk about poems…and it's about the "perfectest" way I can think of to end a week. I think the kids must love it too, because by Wednesday, I've usually been asked by two or three fifth graders if I'm coming this week…

Interspersed with simply enjoying poetry, I try to teach our tough, inner city ten year olds, a little about poetry. I talk to them about the purposes poetry plays in my life. I talk about how poetry makes me see the world in very different ways, and about how it helps me take time to stop and savor and celebrate life's little goodnesses. And about how I hope it will do that for them too…

A couple of weeks ago, around Earth Day, I shared Takayo Noda's DEAR WORLD, which is one of my favorite books. I wrote a couple of poems, then the kids wrote. I thought, in honor of the very special poetry journey we have taken this year, that I would share a little of their writing…

Dear Wind,

I like when

you breeze

and make me

feel clean.

I like when you

move trees for

the trees not

to stay still

and not hide

their smell.

I like when

you pass by me

even if you’re


you are just

a dream.


Dear Rain

I like how you

clean the streets.

I don’t like how you

bring sorrow and greyness

I like how you

bring the sound

of a pen dropping.

I don’t like how you

make it dark

around the city.

I like how you’re

so clear

like glass.

I don’t like how you

make me

stay in.


Dear Rain

I love

when you

come down

Sweet and

soft round

and round.

Dear Rain

will you keep

coming down?

Dear Rain

I love

your puddle

I want

to jump in it.

Dear Rain

I love

when you

come down.


Dear Lemon

I love when

you grow and

you show your

sport your yellow.

I love when

you make us

buy you at

the store.

I love when

I cut you

open to make

soft good lemonade.

I love when

you put lemon

juice on my salmon

you make it

so, so good

for me to eat.


Dear Spring,

The way you

show up right out

of winter like

an unexpected


How you

come and I

become mature

more and more

every day.

How you make

sun shine and

snow melt

You’re the perfect dream



Dear Soil,

I love when you

give a home

to insects.

I love when you

turn into mud

and worms come

to say, “Hello.”

I love your color

nice and brown.

I love how you

make my plants grow

and give them nutrients.

I don’t love

when you get me dirty

and my clothes too.


Dear Snow

I love when

you’re there and cold.

I love when

you’re always there

so I can have

snow fights.

I love when you’re there

so I can make money.

I don’t love

when you’re

always wet.


Dear Rain,

I love it

when you clear

the pollen

out of the air.

I love it

when you make

the bugs

go back to their homes.

I don’t love it

when you make

the cats

run away.


Dear Grass,

I love how you

cool me down on

a hot day.

I love how you shine

when you’re wet.

I love how you

surround the trees.

I love how you

reflect the morning



Dear Dog

I love the way you

come and wake me

up in the morning

for school.

I love the way

you come lay

at the door

until I get home

from school.

I love the way

you come

and cuddle with me

in the bed

at night.



Patrick A. Allen said...

This is one of my top ten must have books. If I were going to teach on an island, it's one of the books that I would take in my bag! Thanks for sharing with us.

all things poetry said...

Wow, tell the wonderful bunch of kids who wrote these poems: Great job!

Laura Evans

Mary Lee said...

Beautiful poems. Looks like a book I must have.