“Some may wonder why,” a golden shovel, and a challenge reminder #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Molly at Nix the Comfort Zone is our lovely hostess this week. I had the great good fortune to meet Molly IRL, as they say, a couple of weeks ago at Heinemann’s annual teacher tour in Portsmouth, NH. Molly and I have been chatting through comments here on PF, on our Tuesday Slices, and in the TeachWrite Facebook community for some time. It was fun to finally meet face to face, albeit for just a short time…this time!

Molly has been crafting the most gorgeous sonnet for some time now, and it’s finally ready for it’s debut. Don’t miss it! You’ll be swept away by The Solace of the Ocean.

One of my goals for the summer was to try different types of writing (tipping my hat to you, Jennifer Laffin!), including new poetry forms. A golden shovel was on my hit list — taking a line from someone else’s poem and then using each word in that line as the last word of each line of the new poem. But which poem to borrow a line from?

I’ve been talking a lot about notebooks this summer with the goddess of writing notebooks, Michelle Haseltine, the TeachWrite community, and on other social media venues, so notebooks it is! Who better to borrow from then Ralph Fletcher, one of the pied pipers of the students-using-writing-notebooks community. His poem, It’s a Place, was the perfect fit. (Click the link to read his original text.)

So here it is, my first golden shovel, borrowing from Ralph’s first line, “Why am I keeping this notebook.”

Some may wonder why (Golden Shovel)
Some may wonder why
But its who I am
Whiling away the hours, my pen and I
Words sounds, feelings, oddities, life, stored away for safe keeping
Ready and waiting for a time such as this
To be quarried like gemstones from my notebook

Poetry challenge reminder: I’m hosting Poetry Friday next week, on August 17. I threw a bird-related poem challenge out last week to anyone willing to fly along. Your poem can be about any bird you like, or birds in general. It can be in any form you like. Just wing it! If you are stumped, take a look at all the bird-related wonders on Wonderopolis.org. Choose one and create a “found” poem by highlighting key words, or why not try a “blackout poem,” crossing out/covering up unused words.


Thanks for visiting and join us for some Poetry Friday fun!

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I found it in the vernal pool! #SOLC18 #PoetryFriday

Time for one final Slice of Life and Poetry Friday mashup for 2018! This post also serves as a bit of a warmup for National Poetry Month, which launches on Sunday. The annual month-long Slice of Life writing challenge is organized by Two Writing Teachers. And this week, Heidi Mordhurst is hosting Poetry Friday over at My Juicy Little Universe. I hope you’ll stop by there as well and learn about this year’s Progressive Poem, lovingly begun in 2012 by Irene Latham. It will magically be growing right before our eyes daily during the month of April. It’s fascinating and this year I’m diving in for the first time with a line right in the middle of the month — April 18th. Stay tuned and check in on Sunday to see how Elizabeth Steinglass kicks things off.

First up, a poem found in the text of an article about vernal pools in Mass Audubon’s spring issue of “Explore.” Vernal pools are very much on my mind today as it is 50 degrees early in the morning and raining just west of Boston. These are ideal conditions for amphibians to breed in local vernal pools. As some of you know, because I write about it frequently (sorry!), our science curriculum in Kindergarten in my district focuses on several natural communities abutting our school property — the vernal pool community and the organic farm community, with its farm stand and chicken coop. We begin teaching our Kindergarten scientists about the vernal pool community on the first day of school, but at that point, most of its inhabitants have moved on. In fact, the vernal pool is often no longer there when we take the first of our monthly walks. We patiently wait throughout the long New England winter for things to change, and they finally have. This magical forest community is coming to life once again.

Vernal Pools
Waiting for spring
Spectacular, natural
Vernal pool season
Symphony of calls
Temporary, isolated
Spring rain
Woodland hollows, low meadows
Breeding habitat
Warming spring days
First soaking rain
Big Night
Chorus of wood frogs quacking
Tiny fairy shrimp eggs survive
Spotted salamanders congress
Spring peepers sharp, peeping calls

You can read the original text here. And to listen to a majestic chorus of wood frogs, click here.

And my second offering for the day is an acrostic tribute to the Slice of Life Challenge, which sadly wraps up tomorrow with our final posts. It’s tough going at times, but I wouldn’t give up participating in this community for anything.

Slice of Life Acrostic

To learn more about acrostic poems, and perhaps share with your students during National Poetry Month, check out Wonderopolis’ “Wonder of the Day” #169: What Is an Acrostic Poem?


If you want to take a peek at the Padlet of writing ideas I’ve created, I’m happy to share. It grows every day.



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