Tricube Challenge #PoetryFriday

While April and National Poetry Month have ended, along with my #AvianAllusions project, I find myself still writing about my feathered friends. This may be in part because my remote Kindergarten poet/naturalists have embarked on an eight-week-long study of our backyard birds, guided by our mentor text, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s Every Day Birds.

We are learning Amy’s book-length poem one stanza at a time, and doing a deep dive into the “every day” birds mentioned in that week’s stanza. This week we are all about Chickadees, Blue Jays, Nuthatches, and Goldfinch. Here are a few of their poem responses.

I also decided to take up Matt Forrest Esenwine’s tricube challenge. You can read all about that here, but essentially it’s a poem with 3 stanzas, each with 3 lines, and each line having 3 syllables. Here’s our tricube crafted out of the observations my young ornithologists made as we observed Cornell Lab’s FeederWatch Cam at Sapsucker Woods, which we do each and every morning all year long. With a little poetic midwifery magic, here it is.

Image: Cornell Lab of Ornithology FeederWatch Cam at Sapsucker Woods

And lastly, I am very excited to be leading the month-long “Playing with Poetry” course this July for Teach Write. If you know of any teachers who are interested in learning how to incorporate more poetry into their classroom lives (or if you are!), I’d love to have them join us! To learn more, click here.

Many thanks to this week’s hostess, Bridget, for inviting us to join her on this Poetry Friday. You can find the roundup on her blog, Wee Words for Wee Ones. Thanks for hosting, Bridget!


14 thoughts on “Tricube Challenge #PoetryFriday

  1. What a joy to watch and write about birds each day! Your students have amazing responses. Your poem is wonderful, full of just right words, scares…sneaks….pecks.


  2. Christie, it’s so cool to see your students’ work — I love it! It’s great to see those kiddos learning that they’re poets and writers from the get-go. I like your group’s tricube poem as well. I’ve been playing around with the form and find it to be not as easy as I thought it would be. Thanks for sharing all of this!


  3. What fun you are having with your students, Christie. And your tricube is much better than the FeederWatch Cam could ever be! But I think your student Aaron captured my heart with his poem about the culinary choices of birds! What a hoot! Hee hee! 🙂


  4. Oh, I love it! I remember learning about birds with my first grade teacher…those lessons come back to me today. What a great tricube your kids have come up with. Lucky ducks!


  5. I love the work and learning you do with those young ones, Christie. At my school every students used a field journal, just like the observations your students are doing, terrific, and writing too. Amy’s book is so great for the support. Your tricube takes in all the birds. That last verse made me smile! It may not be anyone else’s first, but I spotted my own first finch yesterday at my feeder!


  6. I so love that you watch a bird cam EVERY day! What a generation of naturalists (and poets) you are raising!


  7. I can’t possibly express how much I love this. Ruth,


  8. What a delightful tricube! I love how you’ve managed to capture so much personality for each bird (and the squirrel) with such economy of words!


  9. Such a great experience for your students! My husband got the BirdNet app yesterday and has turned into an enthusiastic bird call searcher/recorder.
    We had a bit of a Mother’s Day tragedy here…our cardinal nest is empty. I looked up what might eat a cardinal’s eggs and it turns out squirrels, chipmunks, blue jays, raccoons, possums, and snakes all eat cardinal eggs. Chipmunks!! They seem so innocent.


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