Friday, January 12, 2018

writing from research: 2nd grade poems

As last year, one of our big projects in 2nd grade is researching and writing informatively about "special places," which I link with our geography objectives by narrowing (or broadening!) to habitats or ecosystems.  This year our information brochures covered forests, both temperate and rain, grasslands and coral reefs.  To close our project, we read selections from Forest Has a Song by Amy Ludwig Vanderwater, Rejoice! by Mendon Center Elementary 3rd Grade and Water Sings Blue by Kate Coombs to inform and inspire our habitat poems.

As always, I know that our Poetry Friday and Writing Workshop have been effective when just about all my 7- or 8-year-olds can strike out on their own poetry paths, making empowered decisions about what and how to express their learning in poetic form.  Enjoy--there's more to come!

Animals in the Trees
by Max R.

deer hide
between the trees
porcupines claw
and climb the trees
wolves run far
through the trees

                       Rainforest is Sea
                               by Caleb BA

                       Amazon rain forest
                       big big rainforest
                       is an ocean of trees
                       flowers are corals bees
                       are polyps jaguars are
                       sharks swimming
                       in the sea

The Tree Men
      by Xavier AB.
by Xavier

the trees are tall
like a man is inside
the tree   the trees
are green as the
grass         and the
yellow    light green
dark green
in the tropical rain forest

Animal Cultures
by Eric E.

Jaguars with spots,

lurking for prey,

snakes with patterns,
slithering around the tree tops,
toucans with sharp beaks,
spying with their bright blue
or green eyes on other

   by Elena F.

Anacondas slither through
the Amazon River
just looking for
       food and

    when they find

  their prey they
  squeeze their
prey and swallow
            it whole

Pretty Polyps!
   by Kathy AG.

In coral reefs polyps
are soft and small and amazing animals.
They pile up together to
look like a beautiful plant.

Rainforest Animals
      by Henry D

Sloths are sleeping
monkeys are swinging
jaguars are pouncing
for prey    mouse opossums are
being hunted by tree
boas     they try to get away
from the wide
deep jaws

Sharp Animals
by Ines W.

In the forest, porcupines have
sharp quills showing
In the forest, woodpeckers have
sharp beaks pecking bugs
They poke predators.

   by Tyler P.
Jaguars are lurking for their prey.
The Amazon River is in their way.
The jaguar turns and runs away
from their prey.

Eels Electric
      by Arya J.

Eels  long black eels
like a long skinny rope
with electricity it will shock
anyone with its long
sharp electric strong
teeth to swallow prey.
Sharks’ Teeth
      by Arya J.

Sharks   big teeth
short tail   catches
prey with its big
sharp teeth
Watch out!!!!!!!

Bats Eat Fruits
   by Sophia ZD

bats eat
bats eat
 poop out          seeds
            poop out
 seeds         grow more
    plants for others.

Wow, right?

The Poetry Friday round-up today is with Jan at bookseedstudio, where she and Martin Luther King Jr. remind us that like "each log or tree has a difference," each of us has a difference that sounds in our various voices.  Go hear!


  1. Um, yeah. WOW! Not only are these young people stringing words together in beautiful word pictures but they are playing with form in a seriously impressive way. Please let them know how much I admire their willingness to share these poems here. I have learned from them! Today, I will keep my eyes open for deer, porcupine, mongoose, lion, anaconda (yikes),zebras, elephants and more. A wonderful post, Heidi. I'm so glad these kids are our future!

  2. I'm wowwed! "Rainforest is Sea" really struck me, and I love the use of space and shape in the poems. Great details and creativity.

  3. What a collection of amazing poems! I see similes, metaphors, alliteration, intentional line breaks, and creativity GALORE. I especially like "The Tree Men."

  4. Wonderful! Activities like this are proof that there is hope for this planet, that the next generation is full of intelligent, creative young people who are so full of love for the special places in our natural world.

  5. I share your wonder over this collection. They must have an amazing teacher! :) Beautiful messages, much needed, especially today. :)

  6. Wowza! Are you sure these are 2nd graders? What an impressive bunch of poems, so varied and full of poetic elements. You have every right to be proud.

  7. Beautiful to read and imagine how much they learned about rainforests and coral reefs, those different and wonderful things nature gives us. I read 'wonder' in the poems, Heidi. Thanks for sharing that 2nd graders can write poetry!

  8. Wow, indeed! These students have learned so much--fascinating information and so many craft moves to express themselves. Thank you for sharing!

  9. What a report card on you, Heidi! I love their use of action words and precision.

  10. Oh, these are wonderful!! I always love reading the poems your students create, Heidi. Congrats to each poet! (I particularly enjoyed how Caleb combines imagery from two ecosystems in "Rainforest is Sea".)

  11. Adorable. I love those tree men, with the picture.

  12. Fun and lively collection of critter inspired poetry by your students Heidi, thanks for sharing them!

  13. Oh my gosh wow. These are wonderful. Your students' poems are full of the sounds and songs and rhythms of poetry. So wisely and perfectly did they repeat and play with shape and metaphor. I am going to share this post in the sidebar of my send more readers over. And I will be saving this post for me to read and reread too. Thank you, young poets. I am honored that our poems are friends. xxoo, Amy