Three Days of Poetry at Isanti Intermediate School [Poetry Friday]

Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

Last week, I was honored to spend three days with 4th and 5th graders playing with poetry. We wrote 15 Words or Less Poems, Paint Chip Poems, Things To Do If You Are… Poems, I Am Poems, Found Poems (using pages from National Geographic that were just one big picture plus a caption or very short paragraph), and Equation Poems. We wrote quickly and wildly. We wrote quietly and noisily. We didn’t get to ALL of the poetic forms I would have loved to write with them, but that’s okay. (I only had three hours total with each class, one hour per day.) Because in addition to writing poems, they shared their work with the room. They asked questions about both my work and their own writing. We talked about the difference between writing for a grade or for a boss and writing for the sheer joy of creating something, We talked about risk, about the essential fact that every single one of them has creativity worth expressing–whether other people get it or not. And we had fun! At least, I hope they had fun. And I hope when they left, they took–along with their envelope full of poems written on index cards, lettering strips, magazine pages, neon pink paper; and their new notebooks, pencils, and bookmarks–a sense of adventure about playing with creativity and self-expression.

This week, I’m sharing a poem about metaphors, which appeared in the very first Poetry Friday Anthology.

How Is a Meadow an Ocean?

A meadow’s an ocean with wild waves of wheat

Thunder’s a drummer that’s keeping storm’s beat

A bus is a puppy that runs down the street

A desk is a robot with round, metal feet

A metaphor’s a window that changes our view,

A gift to unwrap something old made brand new

–Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

Thank you, media specialist Margaret Boege, all the staff at Isanti Intermediate School, and the Minnesota Department of Education–which organized this program. Here are a few photos from my residency (used with permission).

And for lots of wonderful poetry, don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup with Dani at Doing the Work that Matters!


13 Responses

  1. Wonderful! I’m absolutely SURE the kids had fun…and you’ve created a lasting memory. I love all the metaphor’s in one short poem! I may need to add this to my poetry pandemonium for next year.

    1. Thanks, Margaret–and I loved doing paint chip poems with them. Shared your paint chip season haiku. They all knew your name by the end because I referenced you several times. You and your students are an inspiration for the way I share and write poetry with kids. AND the Poetry 7 are doing skinnys, which I first heard about on your blog. Whew. You are amazing. Happy end-of-year to you!

  2. Wow! It sounds like everyone had an amazing and memorable experience.

  3. How exciting for those students to have you working with them Laura. I always end up with shivers when I read poetry children write, no matter what age they are. It seems to trigger a creativity and honesty we don’t get to see often enough.

  4. Sounds like you all had a really fun time writing and sharing poems, Laura! I enjoyed unwrapping your metaphor poem today, too. 🙂

  5. This sounds like so much fun! What an amazing opportunity for everyone! I love your metaphor poem, too. “A window that changes our view” is exactly right.

  6. Hi, Laura–

    The energy that working with kid writers gives you is beaming out through my screen right now! It’s a whirlwind, but you are “doing the work that matters.” Cheriee has it right:” I always end up with shivers when I read poetry children write, no matter what age they are. It seems to trigger a creativity and honesty we don’t get to see often enough.” This is the message I’m trying to send to my district as I hope to convince them to hire me to do all poetry all over the district 4 days a week.

  7. Love your metaphor poem Laura, I can envision it growing an turning into a picture book… Thanks for sharing all the pics from your school workshops how fortunate they were to have you!

  8. Love your metaphor poem Laura, I envision it growing and turning into a picture book. Thanks for sharing all the pics from your workshop–how fortunate they all were!

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