Tuesday, April 24, 2012

OIK Tuesday: what do kindergarten poets do?

I love kindergarteners.  They are just so fresh and willing when it comes to language, ideas, possibilities!  Last week, to supplement our biweekly Poetry Friday activities, we worked all week on a poetry study  called "What Do Poets Do?"  Each day brought a new poem and a new thing to notice.  I guess I need to learn how to upload a document, but here's what the cover of the booklet looks like. 

What Do Poets Do?

Dear Family,   


This week we read poems to find out what poets do.  We noticed that poets often choose to write about one small thing.  We noticed that poets choose juicy words that sound good together.  We noticed that poets choose how to arrange their words.  Then we tried writing our own small poems by choosing and arranging juicy words.  Please read all the poems with me, and when we’re done, let’s talk about which one gives us the strongest feeling.

                                              Love, ____

The poems included are "April Rain Song" (Langston Hughes), "Hey, Bug" (Lilian Moore), "My Mouth" (Arnold Adoff) and "Night Comes..." (Bernice Schenk de Regniers).  On Friday we listed some small things we could write poems about and some strong feelings we could make room for, and then off they went.

Here, without further ado, are the poems that resulted, in no particular order (a few of the twenty need a little editorial development--or just plain deciphering. I'll add them soon).  I'm so pleased that they all felt equipped to be The Boss of Their Poem, and that their work, each according to his or her means, is as individual as they are! 

Apple Pie

apple pie to ice cream
up            down
apple pie go ice cream
up           down

by Sidney L.


the night
it’s dark and
come out

by Cale H.


hair is perfect
it I love
hair is pretty
it I love

by Johanna A.


trains on the
trains on the
trains on the
trains on the
track go
trains on the go!

by Juan M.R.
Tea Party

my best friends
we had a tea party
with my toys
with Jasmine and Sarah
that like to do
with my toys
that was happy!

by Camille G.


basketball rock
basketball roll
basketball awesome
basketball shoot
basketball miss
basketball bounce

by Ezer Y.

the sun

the sun
shines down
on us  it glimmers up
on us  it spreads
on us  it spins
out there in
space   it goes
down at sun set
it goes up at sun

by Talia W.

about food

when the food
wakes up the
food is so happy

by Edwin M.
This one deserves special mention because of the detailed pencil-and-crayon drawing that shows apples and carrots with faces using tiny arms and legs to leap, wide awake, right out of the ground and their tree! 

Me and Camille
and Sarah we are
princesses  we
are going to
the woods.
We are excited
because we are going
to the woods!
because we are going
to see
deer and birds!

by Jasmine R.

Aw man

aw man aw man
aw man aw man
aw man aw man
aw man aw man
aw man aw man
mom   what can I do?
perhaps you can
play with your
aw man!

by Jordan L.

Star Wars Grand Canyon

Darth shot
the Grand
Light sabers
Luke grew flowers
They battled
The people grew

by Hamish D.

The camp

Camping is fun
when I go out
for a hike
I love
to camp  do you?

by Octavia S.

Sea Monsters

    Me and
    my brother
    saw the
sea monsters
    then the
    into Bernard’s

by Byron A.

Ice Cream

I eat ice cream
eat eat ice cream
the ice cream

by Alfredo C.F.


are fun you can
learn about things
like the world you
can pick whatever you
want you can pick
whatever game you
want   I say I like
this game a lot!

by Emily L.



by Gloria C.

Happy indeed, the surprises and gifts of 6-year-old poets!  Which are your favorites?

Meanwhile the Progressive Poem is leaping and landing and buoying towards its conclusion, with the latest addition being Renee LaTulipppe's at No Water River. I'm excited because I've been wanting to get back to Jeannine Atkins's silver slippers

I have really enjoyed getting to know Renee's work over the last eight weeks or so, through the March Madness Tournament and her blog.  Despite having the increasing feeling that We All Know Each Other in the KidLitosphere, this will never be true, so it's a good thing that we are so welcoming and supportive here when "new" folks explode on the scene.  (I'll skip over the part about how envious I am of the time Renee and others spend working on so many fabulous projects...we makes our choices, right?)

Poetry Friday--the last of National Poetry Month--is happening today with my "walking friend" Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference.  I just love her Fictional Favorites series, and since I haven't read so much of the fiction which is being linked with the poems, I get a double dose of goodness:  the poems, and the pointer towards what to read.  The good news is that I seem to be returning to Reading Mode after many years of resisting books out of self-preservation.  How will I ever catch up?!


  1. Wow! Love your lesson, and the poems. I can all but see some of these kids.

  2. These are great! They really get a mood going. Some of my favorites are: the sun, Star Wars Grand Canyon, and about food. I like the way trains, Apple Pie, and basketball have really good rhythms. Also, I like the way Olivia gets me thinking about camping! And Cole gets me spooked!

  3. So fun. They clearly got the idea of small moments and juicy sounds. I found Cole's really spooky. I loved that the sea monsters disappeared into Bernard's mouth. I also loved that Luke grew flowers in Star Wars Grand Canyon. And I really liked the rhythm of "it I love" in the hair poem. There were a few that used repetition really well. Yay! for K poets.

  4. My favorite is the Sun by Talia. Wonderful collection! Some of my favorite memories of teaching young children are the poems they wrote. I saved a bunch of hand-made anthologies over the years!

  5. Aw, Man - these are fantastic! Congratulations to the young poets. Your classroom must be magical.

    (About catching up on the books, well... I'm wondering if maybe we get to do that in Heaven or something, because my list grows faster than I can keep up.)

  6. Oh yes, such juicy goodness! What lucky and talented students you have!

  7. Wonderful poem! They did a great job - thanks for sharing.

  8. Little K's are fearless and open, loved all of these. I think my favorite is Basketball, great!

  9. What a fabulous bunch of poets you are growing! Lucky them. Lucky you.


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!