Tuesday, April 30, 2013

OIK Tuesday returns! kindergarten poetry

Today Overheard in Kindergarten Tuesday extends into Poetry Friday!  My eighteen Mighty Minnows spent the week of April 15 meeting poems by Langston Hughes, Lilian Moore, Arnold Adoff and Beatrice Schenk de Regniers to learn what poets do.  On the Friday they worked to compose their own poems.  I'm excited to share this work from children at varying stages of independent writing ability.

My proudest accomplishment as a teacher is that EVERY child knew what they wanted to write and felt competent to write a poem, and that EVERY child chose a different small thing to write about (with one exception, and that was my fault; I gave homework the night before to write a little poem about pockets). How's that for Thinking and Academic Success Skills


I found a cat
I found another cat
I found three cats

by Nadja


I hate
They bite
They give me

by Bertrand


I like flowers
You do too 
They can be colors
Well, you can like them
Everybody can

by Karina

I Am Pretty 

I walk
to a big butterfly
I wear
my green dress
I go
to my castle

by Janie


I really like pockets
and what you can put
you can take it out
and show it
or you can keep it in
and hide
by Briella 

unleashing the undead
the night unleashes
the dead: vampires,
zombies, ghosts, ghouls
ripping your throat.

by Beck
[Beck and I mutually agreed that while this is a cracking poem,
it isn't quite appropriate for a kindergarten anthology.  He's written
a new one about shoes, but I wanted to post his original creation here.]

Scaring Carrie
I’m a giant.
and she goes

by Santiago 

put them in a row
flick really soft
flick with your finger
watch them tumble
see them tumble!

by Mikael

Fast brings
  speed.  fire
     super super
   super speed!
    speed   That’s what
I call it!
     by Arden

in my pocket
in my pocket
then my popcorn
pops away! 

by Antonio 

Why do you think
you’re going to
bed?   I don’t think
I am going to bed.
by Tonya

To the Sun 
I flew to the sun
and was gone
forever and
I said   NOOO 

by Tiago 

Sing me
and everybody
sing and
the world
can sing

by Henderson 

A Horse

the wind is going fast
when the horse goes fast
the wind goes blowing
through her hair
when the grass blows
the horse goes away fast
the horse stops
to get a drink 

by Le’Ann
[Can you see the influence of Christina Rossetti here?  One of our
anthology poems was "Clouds," with the white sheep walking away

Paul’s Pockets
pocket skirts and
pocket shirts and
pants and pretty dresses
all have pockets
but I like Paul’s pockets

by Cora

cats are furry
cats are cuddly
cats are friendly
cats are hairy
cats are mean sometimes.

by Merrilee 

The Pockets

the pockets
are very important
why?  they help you
carry things when you
need them 

by Indi 

My Shiny Bow

Shiny shiny!
Shiny bow
I like it
I like it
It’s very low
Very very
Very very
Very very
Very low

by Susye



  1. Oh Heidi,
    BRAVO! to the mighty minnows. I love so much about these small poems, about small things, that say so much. It's obvious your lucky kinders have the "feel" of poetry. Did you have to help them with the linebreaks or did they write them on the lines pretty much as they wanted?
    That is a great accomplishment: the idea of placing the words on the page as a "word artist". So excited to hear how it goes next year when you bring poetry on parade into your room in some fashion or other. I know it will be fabulous!
    I helped a class of 4th graders with their "planet" poems yesterday. They were learning to recite some NF ones their teacher had found. I helped them see how they could split the poem between readers to make it more interesting to listen to. (As opposed to sing-song recitation!) And we read Comets, Stars, the Moon and Mars by Douglas Florian, which they and I love(d). A follow-up would be to do what you did and get them to see what poets do and then try some on their own. I was the "sub" for one day, but loved it. However, verse...and poetry... I like to see kids say things in honest and maybe new ways. Writing NF poetry, well, maybe there is a different result for kids compared to the small poetry your kids did. I saw Amy LV's Poetry book co-written with Lucy Calkins and one other woman. Fabulous. I wish we could buy it by itself. And that there were versions for upper grades. Happy Poetry Month every day of the year in some small way. I hope your minnows will want to write more.
    Janet F.
    PS Going to Honesdale with Rebecca Kai Dotlitch this month and so looking forward to it.
    PPS What is OLK Tuesday???

  2. The poems were fun, but Cora's "Paul's Pockets" was so musical I read it several times! Great job by all.

  3. These are so wonderful! I want to know more about the poems that inspired them. Many of them are so musical and use repetition so well. And many have juicy words, of course, like flick!
    Yay Mighty Minnows!

  4. All of the Minnow's poems are inspiring! I especially like Bertrand's 'Mosquito' poem - I feel the same way! =)

  5. I'm impressed! I have several favorites, including Beck's "undead." Cracking poem indeed! Your comment made me laugh. Yes, I can imagine a few parents disarmed by such dark poetic tendencies.


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!