Friday, January 31, 2014

Straight From the Heart

Poetry Friday is hosted by Tricia from  The Miss Rumphius Effect.

I went into some classes this week to teach a poetry lesson. I asked students, "What is a poem?" The answers varied across the grade levels.
"They rhyme."
"There are poems about dogs."
"They are like a song."
"It's a little story."
But the most touching answer for me was when a first grader said, "Something you write from your heart."

All these students understood some element of poetry, but this student understands it deeper. He realizes that these little stories about dogs, the rhymes, the little nuggets that poets pull from stories come from our hearts. It was as though he took those words straight from my mouth as I find myself always writing poetry from my heart. I'm sure you will agree.

Today is Chalk-A-Bration at my other blog, Teaching Young Writers. You can get a peek at the lesson I taught and the poems students chalked from their hearts about what it is like "being them."

Here is my chalk poem for the day as I sit on yet another snow day in Michigan.

My thinking drips
like an ice cold slick.
I grab at drops
too quick as they slip.
Away from my tips
my fingers, they grip.
This chalk in my hand
my words finally land.


  1. Great poem for a snow day Betsy! It changes the look of the chalk poem to see it in the snow and ice world. The little sweetie who said the poetry was written from the heart? Priceless.

  2. Hi Betsy,
    I like your story about sharing about poems with wee ones! Fun to hear what they say. I got to sub all week in my friend's 3rd grade, same school I taught in for 38 years (!) which seems impossible. I visit this class at least weekly to teach them poems. So this was a golden opportunity to fit in more poetry. I will check out your other blog and the lesson. cold was it for your chalk poems? Such dedication. I am not sure we have any clearable sidewalks right now! My kids love learning poems by heart! Reading poems, writing them and learning from them, too. And when it happens with a new group of kids it always makes me happy and convinced it is so important to bring it into their lives in so many ways. I am going to give chalkabration a try this spring! Keep those poems on the tip of your fingers please!
    Janet F. Clare