Friday, May 1, 2015

what do kindergarten poets do?

As promised last week, I'm celebrating the (endless end) of National Poetry Month today with poems by 17 kindergarten poets from North Kensington, MD!  After our (year-long) week-long poetry study, the most fun this year was noticing who learned what about poets' techniques--some clearly took in the lesson about creating strong feelings; some chose carefully where their words would go on the page; some used repetition (occasionally by accident!) and some went for juicy words or juicy rhythm.  Once again, I consider it my greatest success as a poetry teacher that all but a couple had good ideas and felt capable of writing a poem.

As the teacher I often get both the first and the last word, but today I'll go first and let Anthony have the last word.  You'll see why. 

Frog Song

tadpole  polliwog
tadpole  polliwog
   (gills   gills)

  back legs   shrinky tail
  front legs   shorty tail
    (change  change)
      frogpole   frolliwog
      frogpole   frolliwog
          (lungs   lungs)


by Ms. Mordhorst

Ameera’s  Mirror

my mirror
was gone at
it was alone
and shiny

by Ameera

Planes and Trains

the airplanes
are flying
the trains
are rolling

by Cristian

A Ballerina Dancing

a girl put on her shoes
blue dress
blue shoes
then the girl performed
then she took a bow

by Charm

Star Wars Legos

circles and squares
I made the
Death Star

by Thomas

Ice Cream

I love to eat
ice cream and
eat other colors
of ice cream!

by Catherine


Space oh space
how I love you
you are 1,001,000
miles away   oh
how you make
my brain tickle

by Jack


The maniac
gets you and
he steals  money  
he sneaks in your
house      he steals
treasure  he steals
food        he steals all

by Jacob

    The Butterfly

the butterfly
is in the
in the flowers

by Ari


swiveling snake
shedding its skin
slithering away from
a roadrunner

by Aidan


fish live in
streams and oceans
too    fish eat
plants and insects

by Michelle


I have a
birthday party
I make a cake
and to have
my cake
come here
I like
my cake and
I like my cake

by Jocelyn


tiger eating

by Edwin

My House

my toys are
behind my chimney
my kitchen
is in order
my room is
my house looks

by Victor

My Egg Hatched

Look at my
egg    it hatched
there is a chick
this chick is
so cute that
I keep it     oh

by Hannah


lions are the
of the
lions are

by Nadia

Ice Cream

I eat ice cream
at my home and
my brother eats ice cream
in a cone
We like

by Victoria

The Clouds Are Nickels

the first part of  it
nickels are the right size
for a cloud 
the next part of it
clouds are soft 
clouds are like
rice and mashed potatoes.
I will drink lemonade wow!
I am holding a cloud bank
of nickels  wow!
a lot of nickels outside

by Anthony


When illustrating, Anthony took a nickel out of his pocket and used it for tracing the round fluffy shapes of clouds.  And truly, he knew--or created--the cloud bank image.  So much goodness wow!  Which kindergarten poems are your favorite?

The May Day round-up is with Ellen at Elementary Dear Reader--see you there!


  1. I like these informational, imaginative poems! Something about Edwin's direct approach appeals to me. Ameera tells a whole narrative in just a few words. I like Jack's brain tickle, Anthony's imagery, Aidan's alliteration, Jacob's dramatic storytelling, Jocelyn's enthusiasm -- I could go on and on! I haven't even gotten to yours yet. Good job, all!

  2. I love every poem. They were all fun to read. My favorite though was Thomas. I like how all that just lead to the death star.
    Thanks for sharing, its lovely to see young kids get poetry. :)

  3. Jack and I wrote similar poems this week. About how space is just too hard to think about. I think he put it so well with brain tickle. Yes, clearly all the kids are integrating deep knowledge of poetry.

  4. There is so much to love about these poems. My favorite was the leaping frog. That one shows a clever sense of language and sound. I love that not one of them is like the other, no formulas here. Just kids loving words and playing with rolling them around on the page.

    1. Why, thank you, Margaret! Just making sure, though, that you realize that the frog poem is NOT by a kindergartener but by their teacher, striving to put all those things poets do into one curriculum-connected poem. : )

  5. They are so wonderful! Thank you for sharing these poems. No way am I picking a favorite! But I do especially love that Amira thought to say her mirror is "alone and shiny" and the way Jack notes that space is "1,001,000 miles away" and it makes his "brain tickle." And that Aidan used the words "swiveling" and "slithering" plus more S words. Way to convey what poets do! They got it!

    (Your students' poems brought out the exclamation points in me!)

  6. These are terrific, Heidi! I love the exuberance of your kindergarten poets, especially Jack's line about space: "you make my brain tickle." So true!

  7. I am in love with those cloud banks full of nickels. I will never look at clouds the same! Ari seems to have a bit of ee cummings in her. I totally agree with that ! for the finding of nectar. And Edwin's would make any haiku master jealous. (I like the frog poem, too, especially considering the experience of the Kinder who wrote it!)

  8. Each one has a beauty in it. I started to write my favorite lines, but then decided not to, everyone knows already! Thanks for sharing these! What a joy!

  9. Heidi, these are all so precious! I am not sure I can pick a favorite! "Star Wars Legos" made me smile--my boys would have written a poem like that in kindergarten! It is wonderful how you are exposing these children to poetry in the classroom. Planting these kinds of seeds early leads to a lifelong love of language!