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!


Turkey Soup, Kinder Poets, and TLD #PoetryFriday

It’s Poetry Friday and Bridget Magee is our hostess this week for the poetry roundup on her blog, wee words for wee ones. Perhaps you’ll join us?

carcass simmering .png


The most heavenly aroma is wafting through our home this morning, as the carcass from yesterday’s Thanksgiving meal simmers in a pot of broth, onions, carrots, and celery. This is a welcome scent, as my poor husband has been down with the flu and pneumonia since my return from NCTE. While he had to miss our family’s festive gathering yesterday, the healing vapors from our stockpot are helping him to feel he hasn’t missed out entirely. He usually cooks the bird in our home, and then we bring it to my parent’s home just a few minutes down the road. Not this year.

thankful I am feeling thankful for so much this year. My Kindergarten poets asked if we could write a group poem about being thankful together. My answer? Of course! Here is our sloppy copy. We will work on editing it together next week, and I will wave my magic poetry midwifery wand around a wee bit.

Screen Shot 2019-11-29 at 11.02.27 AM

I am also feeling incredibly thankful for Michelle Heidenrich Barnes and her wonderful team of poetry reviewers at Today’s Little Ditty. My copy of The Best of Today’s Little Ditty 2017-2018 was waiting for me when I returned from NCTE, and I was thrilled my little hummingbird tanka was selected for inclusion in the Window Poems category.


I have been working my way through the book, reading each challenge, and marvelling at everyone’s work. Have you ordered your copy yet? It’s the perfect Black Friday or Small Business Saturday purchase! I will be certain to make taking up the Ditty of the Month Club challenges part of my regular routine. How about you?

Thanks for hosting this week, Bridget. So nice to “meet” you! Now bring on the poetry with a slice of pumpkin pie on the side!