Thursday, April 28, 2022

npm 29: and now for something not at all completely different!

 Greetings, Poetry Friday friends!  Today, to for the last Friday of National Poetry Month, I'm changing gears--but only a wee bit. I've been trying to write more narratively the stories of humans--especially women--who are helping humans solve the climate crisis.

But here is truly All We Can Save, the next generation, the foundation of our future. Here are the PreK Pandas learning about the miracle of seeds and writing collaborative poems about our garden. 

We have not read BEHOLD OUR MAGICAL GARDEN by Allan Wolf, but we will, and we have read DANIEL FINDS A POEM and WONDER WALKERS by Micha Archer, THANK YOU EARTH by April Pulley Sayre, and A NEW GREEN DAY by Antoinette Portis.

I was going to type them all up fancy, but maybe you'll enjoy seeing our process.

1) A small group visit to the garden to notice colors, shapes, textures, and elements of the garden.
2) Sticky notes: "What words do we need to write a poem about our garden?  Write the first letter here." Then I write the rest, mostly upside down.🙃
3) Rehearse words, often with signs or gestures.
4) Next, "Who has the first word?  What goes with that word?  Which order sounds better, 'smooth, soft' or  'soft, smooth'?"
5) Build poem together and read and reread, repeating each line twice.
6) Share with the class and make any changes that reading aloud make us notice. 


planting brown 
flower seeds
soft green
plants growing up

by Lyanna, Vincent, 
Mateo, Nina



green stalk
smooth soft leaves
sunflower nasturtium
water brown soil

by Emely, Ismat, Mariela, Molly

garden soil
hard seeds
water soft
green roots
flowers corn

by Carter, Fernanda, 
Matthew, Noella

Panda Flowers

dirt       water
seeds     plants
green green
yellow growing

by Michael, Kelsey, Christian

planta verde
flor suave
semillas en la tierra
agua para las plantas
por Allison, 
Santiago, Hector

Flower Magic
stem       beans
flower    leaf
crinkly green
dirty roots

by Josie, Jewels, 
Ava, Bella


A Poem about the Garden
Una Poema sobre el Jardin
water black seeds
stem          leaves
sunflower flower
rain from the sky

by Matthew, Gabriel, 
Brandon, Kaylee
sunflower growing
water black seeds
maíz plants
green triangle leaf
by Andrew, Helen, 
Kairi, Adish

And now, to close, a bonus poem spoken by Carter on the playground.  He said, "How about a flower?" and I said, "THAT sounds like a good poem!  How about a....?" and off he went. (He might have meant fins instead of fur, but we're going with it.) Carter is 57 months old.

How About A...

How about a flower?
How about a sunflower, following the sun?
How about a rose, shining in the sky?
How about a plant, spreading out its leaves? 
How about a fish, feeling all its fur?

by Carter (a spoken word poem)


Our host today is Jone Rush MacCulloch, who is beginning our day with a fine poem from IMPERFECT II.  I'll be closing the month tomorrow with another look at this brilliant anthology edited by Tabatha Yeatts.



My project for NPM 2022:
This month I'm making "human stories to move human beings.  Human stories are more powerful for inciting action than counting carbon or detailing melting glaciers." (Favianna Rodriguez, from her essay "Harnessing Cultural Power," in ALL WE CAN SAVE.)
5 A comparison of beaver wisdom with human attempts to control water & fire



  1. This poem makes my heart sing, Heidi. How lucky these children are to have you nurturing them toward their future. "How about a flower?" is a great question! Now I'm off to buy more seeds!

  2. I AM MELTING. These are just fantastic, the vivid words, the surprising images, the plant love.

  3. Those kids will remember this, Heidi. What joy you give them in their days! You can tell by their poems!

  4. Carter is brilliant beyond his months! "How about a rose, shining in the sky?" *swoon*

  5. What a GREAT DAY to spend with Pre-K'ers! Am going to steal your idea for my 5/16 visit to my sister's Kinder-class and, inspired by your Pre-K'ers, we are going to write a poem together! Thank you!

  6. I love the preschoolers' poems. Wonderful!

  7. This. All of it. I am filled to the brim with hope, as my eyes are with tears of joy. This. All of it.

  8. What an excellent activity, Heidi. Doing something like this that focuses on individual words helps students break out of sentence structure. I love these! (And that's such an awesome picture book, too.)

  9. I am so glad I read this post right after reading Mary Lee's because you too are a beautiful cheerleader for the plants of the children and poets and we are all so lucky!

  10. Heidi, I love your little ones' poems. My Pre-K granddaughter mentioned last week that we should write a poem. She and her little sister are staying with me in a couple of weeks while her parents indulge in a vacation. I will show her your Pe-K poems and maybe those will light a spark. May I add a few of these poems, both English and Spanish, to my Poetryliscious Gallery Children's Corner with credit to the Pre-Ks? Let me know.

  11. I so love this process for helping all children become writers and poets. Thank you for sharing them. I may just use “How about” to start a poem of my own.

  12. I love everything about this post, Heidi. So glad I stopped by. When I was working in classrooms my favorite was always the Kindergarteners. They are so open to possibility. And thank you also for sharing the process - wonderful!

  13. Oh, my gosh, this whole thing is so delightful! Utterly delightful. ❤️


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!