Swap treasures in the mail! #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! I’m back after a bit of a hiatus while the school year finished up. Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect is our hostess this week, and she’s showcasing some sweet summer souvenirs!

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On the very first morning of my summer vacation from school, our mail carrier delivered a delightful package from poetry swap-mate Brenda Harsham, who blogs at Friendly Fairy Tales. It was bursting with color, ladybugs, and a friendship theme. What a way to begin the season!

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the best friends appear when you need them like ladybugs — Brenda Harsham

I adore ladybugs (how did she know?), so I will treasure her creative offering. I also chuckled when I saw Brenda’s return address on the envelope and realized we live SO CLOSE to one another and I know exactly where she lives! Let’s meet some day, Brenda!

And then, a few days later, this arrived.

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The True Definition of Vernal Pool
Vernal pools, could just as easily be called poke puddles, observation opportunities or wonders water. These pools typically fill when kindergarteners are indoors missing the outdoors due to seasonal weather. If you’re fortunate, Mrs. Wyman will bridge the gap between vernal pools and lessons with jackets, boots, journals, pencils and a wander plan. Hands will get muddy, wonders will arise, research will begin. Poems about frogs, leaves crustaceans and life cycles will be written. These pools will continue to lure insiders out-of-doors whenever there are learners near a Massachusetts woods and Mrs. Wyman to lead them. — Linda Mitchell

Wow. I’m not going to lie. This left me in a puddle of the-school-year-just-ended-and-I’m-a-bit-of-an-emotional-wreck tears. Some of you know of my fondness for vernal pools. Ok. Let’s be honest. It’s an obsession! I write about them often, in both poetry and prose. Linda Mitchell (we ARE going to meet IRL one day, Linda!), who blogs at A Word Edgewise, followed along faithfully during the month of April, as I wrote a poem a day about vernal pools as part of poet/author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s 1 Subject 30 Ways challenge. My journey began here.  Linda had never heard of vernal pools and…well… “poems are teachers,” as Amy’s book is so aptly titled. Now Linda knows all about them! And her card will be treasured along with Brenda’s.

Many thanks to Tabatha Yeatts, who brilliantly coordinated this summer poetry swap!

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I hope you’ll join Tricia and the rest of us for some summer Poetry Friday fun here!

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The Greens of Spring #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, everyone! Brenda Harsham is hosting this week’s celebration on Friendly Fairy Tales and I’m joining in the fun by jumping in to the not-so-way-back time machine for today’s offerings. I’m resting up a bit from participating in Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s amazingly fun “1 Subject 30 Ways” project. Having written 30 poems related to vernal pools over the last month, I’m filling my creative well back up again and luxuriating in daily scribbles in my writer’s notebook with no agenda, no deadline.

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I also had the enormous pleasure of participating in this year’s Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem in April, contributing line 18 to our gorgeously collaborative work, “Poet’s Jasmine, Blooming Lovely.” If you haven’t met our sweet Jas yet, I hope you’ll stop by Live Your Poem, where the project’s organizer, Irene Latham, will continue to care for our young poet.

Spring has finally arrived in the northeast, and I think it’s here to stay. In just one short week filled with intense, unseasonably high temperatures, the world around us has come to life.

Green Tanka

This tanka from last spring feels appropriate for this week. The number of shades of green that appear each spring continues to amaze me.

Copy of Open for the season, cry the robin and red-winged blackbird Flags, banners, and bunting billow in the early spring breeze Earth_s springtime awakening beckons me, my senses No

Is there anything more cheerful then daffodils that greet you in the morning?

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I hope you’ll join Brenda and the rest of us for some Poetry Friday fun!

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How Many Times #NationalPoetryMonth #NaPoWriMo

Oh my! Happy very last day of National Poetry Month and the final day of this poetic challenge. I have been tagging along with poet/author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater during what has become her annual NPM Project. You can click here to learn more about this straight from Amy! This year she wrote and shared a new poem every day, each highlighting a different poetic technique, but keeping the same subject. Her challenge, 1 Subject 30 Ways, was also a bit of an informal book study and master class, as she’s used her fall 2017 release Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann) as her guide. For those of you who did not follow along, her posts all month long were a treasure trove of poetic knowledge. Don’t miss them before they disappear on Thursday. Thank you, Amy!

Today’s 30th and final poetic technique chosen by Amy is to use sensory language. In Poems Are Teachers, Amy suggests minimizing, or omitting altogether, visual descriptors, forcing the author (and reader) to rely on their remaining senses. My subject is, and was all month-long, vernal pools. While I adore our local vernal pool, I am equally fond of the walk along the trail to get to it. It is a journey I would gladly take daily if I had the time to do so. For today’s final installment, I have chosen to honor the well trod path that guides me and my Kindergarten naturalists to our beloved vernal pool. I have intentionally not included an image alongside my words, as I so often do, hoping readers will be able to imagine this magical walk we take. Join me!

How Many Times
How many times
Have my feet tread this path
Soft mulch underfoot
Each step
Releasing pine’s soothing perfume
As I make my way
Through the sea of green to you
The dew of an evening past
Gently raining down upon my face
The brook’s familiar murmur
And Bird’s sweet melody 
Guiding my way
Until I am at peace
Calm 
Still
How many times 
Have my feet tread this path
Never growing tired of 
This journey
Or destination

I hope you’ve been following along the journey of the 2018 KidLitosphere Progressive Poem, a fun annual collaborative project lovingly begun in 2012 by poet/author Irene Latham. This poem has magically, and quite literally this year, been growing right before our eyes daily during the month of April. This year we are following along the journey of Jasmine, a seed, and her companions Moon and Owl. Jasmine, from a long line of poet’s jasmine, made her way in the world and found her poetic voice. The process has been fascinating to follow and I was excited to dive in for the first time with line eighteen. I hope you will take a peek at Jasmine’s journey by clicking on the blogs in the list below.  Doraine’s final line today was exquisite!

April

2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
Janet F. at Live Your Poem
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads

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This post is part of my personal National Poetry Month celebration. I hope you’ll join me in sharing your favorite poetic gems throughout the month of April whether they are written by you, your students, or another poet.

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Metaphor #NationalPoetryMonth #NaPoWriMo

Greetings from NY’s gorgeous Hudson Valley, where I’m on a mini road trip. Happy National Poetry Month! This month I am tagging along with poet/author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater during what has become her annual NPM Project. You can click here to learn more about this straight from Amy! This year she is writing and sharing a new poem every day, each highlighting a different poetic technique, but keeping the same subject. Her challenge, 1 Subject 30 Ways, is also a bit of an informal book study and master class, as she’s using her fall 2017 release Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann) as her guide. Join us!

Today’s poetic technique chosen by Amy is to use a metaphor. My subject is, and will be all month-long, vernal pools. In yesterday’s list poem, I referred to vernal pools, a type of wetland habitat, as a biological supermarket. The number of animal species who find nourishment in this smorgasbord of an ecosystem is astounding! I wish I could take credit for that wonderful metaphor, but alas, I cannot. I also wish I could remember where I stumbled upon this clever phrase in my research on the subject over the last few years. It seemed the perfect anchor for a freestyle haiku.

Wetlands Freestyle Haiku.png

I hope you’ve been following along the journey of the 2018 KidLitosphere Progressive Poem, a fun annual collaborative project lovingly begun in 2012 by poet/author Irene Latham. This poem has magically, and quite literally this year, been growing right before our eyes daily during the month of April. This year we are following along the journey of Jasmine, a seed, and her companions Moon and Owl. Jasmine, from a long line of poet’s jasmine, began is beginning to make her way in the world and find her poetic voice. The process has been fascinating to follow and I was excited to dive in for the first time with line eighteen. I hope you will follow Jasmine’s journey for the remainder of our Progressive Poem month by clicking on the blogs in the list below.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

April

2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
Janet F. at Live Your Poem
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads

*******************************************************

This post is part of my personal National Poetry Month celebration. I hope you’ll join me in sharing your favorite poetic gems throughout the month of April whether they are written by you, your students, or another poet.

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What If? #NationalPoetryMonth #NaPoWriMo

Happy National Poetry Month! This month I am tagging along with poet/author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater during what has become her annual NPM Project. You can click here to learn more about this straight from Amy! This year she is writing and sharing a new poem every day, each highlighting a different poetic technique, but keeping the same subject. Her challenge, 1 Subject 30 Ways, is also a bit of an informal book study and master class, as she’s using her fall 2017 release Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann) as her guide. Join us!

Today’s poetic technique chosen by Amy is to ask what if? My subject is, and will be all month-long, vernal pools. As you can well imagine, with the arrival of our wood frog eggs yesterday (some hatched overnight!), my Kindergarten poet/naturalists have about a million questions swimming around in the heads. I once again turned to them for guidance with today’s challenge. Today with came up with our own What If? Here’s a draft we crafted together today. We can’t wait to add more!

What If_

I hope you’ve been following along the journey of the 2018 KidLitosphere Progressive Poem, a fun annual collaborative project lovingly begun in 2012 by poet/author Irene Latham. This poem has magically, and quite literally this year, been growing right before our eyes daily during the month of April. This year we are following along the journey of Jasmine, a seed, and her companions Moon and Owl. Jasmine, from a long line of poet’s jasmine, began is beginning to make her way in the world and find her poetic voice. The process has been fascinating to follow and I was excited to dive in for the first time with line eighteen. I hope you will follow Jasmine’s journey for the remainder of our Progressive Poem month by clicking on the blogs in the list below.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

April

2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
Janet F. at Live Your Poem
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads

*******************************************************

This post is part of my personal National Poetry Month celebration. I hope you’ll join me in sharing your favorite poetic gems throughout the month of April whether they are written by you, your students, or another poet.

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Can You See Me? #NationalPoetryMonth #NaPoWriMo

Happy National Poetry Month! This month I am tagging along with poet/author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater during what has become her annual NPM Project. You can click here to learn more about this straight from Amy! This year she is writing and sharing a new poem every day, each highlighting a different poetic technique, but keeping the same subject. Her challenge, 1 Subject 30 Ways, is also a bit of an informal book study and master class, as she’s using her fall 2017 release Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann) as her guide. Join us!

Today’s poetic technique chosen by Amy is to address a subject directly. My subject is, and will be all month-long, vernal pools. In Poems Are Teachers, Amy suggests revisiting a previously written mask or persona poem and perhaps flipping it to speak to your subject rather than as your subject. I did just that, taking my Fairy Shrimp mask poem and addressing this tiny creature directly in Can You See Me? My title comes from the final line in both poems.

Can You See Me_Fairy Shrimp

I hope you’ve been following along the journey of the 2018 KidLitosphere Progressive Poem, a fun annual collaborative project lovingly begun in 2012 by poet/author Irene Latham. This poem has magically, and quite literally this year, been growing right before our eyes daily during the month of April. This year we are following along the journey of Jasmine, a seed, and her companions Moon and Owl. Jasmine, from a long line of poet’s jasmine, began is beginning to make her way in the world and find her poetic voice. The process has been fascinating to follow and I was excited to dive in for the first time with line eighteen. I hope you will follow Jasmine’s journey for the remainder of our Progressive Poem month by clicking on the blogs in the list below.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

April

2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
Janet F. at Live Your Poem
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads

*******************************************************

This post is part of my personal National Poetry Month celebration. I hope you’ll join me in sharing your favorite poetic gems throughout the month of April whether they are written by you, your students, or another poet.

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Vernal Pool Beautifuls and Funnies #NationalPoetryMonth #NaPoWriMo

Happy National Poetry Month! This month I am tagging along with poet/author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater during what has become her annual NPM Project. You can click here to learn more about this straight from Amy! This year she is writing and sharing a new poem every day, each highlighting a different poetic technique, but keeping the same subject. Her challenge, 1 Subject 30 Ways, is also a bit of an informal book study and master class, as she’s using her fall 2017 release Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann) as her guide. Join us!

Today’s poetic technique chosen by Amy is to use striking words. My subject is, and will be all month-long, vernal pools. After 22 days of writing a poem-a-day, my well is, admittedly, beginning to run dry. I turned to my Kindergarten naturalists/poets for inspiration this afternoon. Today was our first day back after spring break and the wood frog eggs from our vernal pool that we are head-starting arrived, so our classroom was buzzing with excitement.

The mentor text I chose for today’s challenge is this week’s Poem of the Week in our classroom, Mary Lee Hahn’s Earth, You Are. 

Earth, You Are (Mary Lee Hahn)

This wonderful Earth Day-themed poem can be found in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations: Holiday Poems for the Whole Year compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (Pomelo Books, 2015). As a class, we brainstormed the “beautifuls” and “funnies” of our vernal pool — the soothing sound of birds, salamander smiles, many shades of green, eggs like Jell-o…

Vernal Pool beautiful and funny

Using our list, I selected one from each category (so many gems to choose from!) — beautiful, shiny water and funny frog games of Hide and Seek and Peek a Boo — to be used. Thesaurus.com helped us generate some more striking words — sparkling for shiny, comical for funny.

Vernal Pool, You Are (2)

It will be fun to create more “beautiful” and “funny” pairs using their ideas. Stay tuned!

I hope you’ve been following along the journey of the 2018 KidLitosphere Progressive Poem, a fun annual collaborative project lovingly begun in 2012 by poet/author Irene Latham. This poem has magically, and quite literally this year, been growing right before our eyes daily during the month of April. This year we are following along the journey of Jasmine, a seed, and her companions Moon and Owl. Jasmine, from a long line of poet’s jasmine, began has begun making her way in the world, and has at long last found her poetic voice! The process has been fascinating to follow and I was excited to dive in for the first time with line eighteen. I hope you will follow Jasmine’s journey for the remainder of our Progressive Poem month by clicking on the blogs in the list below.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

April

2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
Janet F. at Live Your Poem
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads

*******************************************************

This post is part of my personal National Poetry Month celebration. I hope you’ll join me in sharing your favorite poetic gems throughout the month of April whether they are written by you, your students, or another poet.

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A Message for #EarthDay #NationalPoetryMonth #NaPoWriMo

Happy National Poetry Month! This month I am tagging along with poet/author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater during what has become her annual NPM Project. You can click here to learn more about this straight from Amy! This year she is writing and sharing a new poem every day, each highlighting a different poetic technique, but keeping the same subject. Her challenge, 1 Subject 30 Ways, is also a bit of an informal book study and master class, as she’s using her fall 2017 release Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann) as her guide. Join us!

Today’s poetic technique chosen by Amy is to end with a message. My subject is, and will be all month-long, vernal pools. It’s Earth Day today, so if ever there was a day for messages, this is it. In reflecting on the poems I’ve written throughout this month-long challenge, I often end with a message.

Let's go for a walk (1)Woods Walk (1)I believe (1)Vernal Pools

As Amy states, sometimes the message comes to us before the body of the poem. Other times the poem guides us to the message. One message that stands out to me, perhaps stronger than the others, is the final stanza in I Believe — “I believe you were born curious/Let that curiosity/protect the world we call home.” In rereading that stanza, and looking at it closely, I realized it’s a message that can stand on its own two feet. I became curious to see if the syllable count or form followed any formal poetic structure. Much to my surprise — and delight — it can be both a Fibonacci poem (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8) and a Blackjack poem (7, 7, 7), with a little editing.

I do believe (fibonacci)
Fibonacci form (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8)
You were born curious (blackjack)
Blackjack form (7, 7, 7)

I hope you’ve been following along the journey of the 2018 KidLitosphere Progressive Poem, a fun annual collaborative project lovingly begun in 2012 by poet/author Irene Latham. This poem has magically, and quite literally this year, been growing right before our eyes daily during the month of April. This year we are following along the journey of Jasmine, a seed, and her companions Moon and Owl. Jasmine, from a long line of poet’s jasmine, began has begun making her way in the world, finding her poetic voice, and teach us a new game. The process has been fascinating to follow and I was excited to dive in for the first time with line eighteen. I hope you will follow Jasmine’s journey for the remainder of our Progressive Poem month by clicking on the blogs in the list below.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

April

2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
Janet F. at Live Your Poem
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads

*******************************************************

This post is part of my personal National Poetry Month celebration. I hope you’ll join me in sharing your favorite poetic gems throughout the month of April whether they are written by you, your students, or another poet.

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Wonders of Science #NationalPoetryMonth #NaPoWriMo

Happy National Poetry Month! This month I am tagging along with poet/author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater during what has become her annual NPM Project. You can click here to learn more about this straight from Amy! This year she is writing and sharing a new poem every day, each highlighting a different poetic technique, but keeping the same subject. Her challenge, 1 Subject 30 Ways, is also a bit of an informal book study and master class, as she’s using her fall 2017 release Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann) as her guide. Join us!

Screen Shot 2018-04-20 at 1.43.55 PM

Today’s poetic technique chosen by Amy is to be inspired by science. My subject is, and will be all month-long, vernal pools. The inspiration for today’s poem came straight from the “Find Ideas in Science” section of Amy’s book. A resource she suggests are the “Wonder of the Day” articles on Wonderopolis.org. Last year my Kindergarten class and I submitted a wonder to Wonderopolis and this winter it was published — Wonder of the Day #2105: What Is a Vernal Pool? (Click here to read more.)

Screen Shot 2018-04-21 at 8.10.48 AM
fairy shrimp, rare flowers
survive harshest conditions
find homes in vernal pools
wetlands, grassland areas
climatic conditions
vernal ponds
ephemeral pools
temporary
seasonal
change
winter
rains arrive
accumulate
small as small puddles
large as shallow lake
bacteria, protozoa, algae
multiply rapidly
food source
aquatic invertebrates
eggs resting, waiting
all-you-can-eat buffet
frogs, snakes, birds, mammals
ecosystem
spring
species grow
flower
bursts of color
summer
dry
disappear
reawaken when winter rains return
amazing adaptations

Using the text from this WOTD, I created a blackout poem, highlighting the text I wished to keep and slightly blacking out what I did not wish to use. As is true with all of my poems for this challenge, it remains a draft that I will return to. For now, the visual image of the final text appeals to me. It somehow reflects the ebb and flow of the vernal pool life cycle.

I hope you’ve been following along the journey of the 2018 KidLitosphere Progressive Poem, a fun annual collaborative project lovingly begun in 2012 by poet/author Irene Latham. This poem has magically, and quite literally this year, been growing right before our eyes daily during the month of April. This year we are following along the journey of Jasmine, a seed, and her companions Moon and Owl. Jasmine, from a long line of poet’s jasmine, began is beginning to make her way in the world and find her poetic voice. The process has been fascinating to follow and I was excited to dive in for the first time with line eighteen. I hope you will follow Jasmine’s journey for the remainder of our Progressive Poem month by clicking on the blogs in the list below.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

April

2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
Janet F. at Live Your Poem
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads

*******************************************************

This post is part of my personal National Poetry Month celebration. I hope you’ll join me in sharing your favorite poetic gems throughout the month of April whether they are written by you, your students, or another poet.

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Bluebirds and Let’s Go For A Walk #NationalPoetryMonth #NaPoWriMo #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday and National Poetry Month! Many thanks to Tabatha Yeatts for hosting our weekly get together today over at The Opposite of Indifference. She’s celebrating the release of IMPERFECT:  poems about mistakes: an anthology for middle schoolers. Thinking back on the hairdo (hairdon’t, really!) I had in middle school, that is THE time to be imperfect in your life. It’s all good!

Let’s kick things off with a bit of haiku inspired by a sweet bluebird who appeared during my well-filling walk Wednesday morning.

tiny bluebird
tiny bluebird you can’t hide/blue wave lengths of light/reveal your flight plan

Isn’t he sweet? We played a little hide and seek (or was it cat and mouse?) for a bit. What a joy! And I think it’s fascinating that blue feathers aren’t actually blue at all. Click here for the science behind that factoid!

fullsizeoutput_be89

This month I am tagging along with poet/author Amy Ludwig VanDerwater during what has become her annual NPM Project. You can click here to learn more about this straight from Amy! This year she is writing and sharing a new poem every day, each highlighting a different poetic technique, but keeping the same subject. Her challenge, 1 Subject 30 Ways, is also a bit of an informal book study and master class, as she’s using her fall 2017 release Poems Are Teachers (Heinemann) as her guide. Join us!

Today’s poetic technique chosen by Amy is a back and forth structure. My subject is, and will be all month-long, vernal pools. In the beginning of the month, I collected ideas from my Kindergarten students, vernal pool experts, for my writing. One of the conversations had been about what they thought the animals in the forest thought of our visits and what they might be thinking and possibly saying to us as we approach them at the vernal pool.

From these ideas, scribbled in my notebook, came today’s poem. It follows the back and forth structure and features comments and thoughts from both my Kindergarten scientists and the creatures we like to visit. Sometimes the animals respond, sometimes their comments are independent. It ends with a joint Earth Day-ish message for all.

Let's go for a walk (1)

I hope you’ve been following along the journey of the 2018 KidLitosphere Progressive Poem, a fun annual collaborative project lovingly begun in 2012 by poet/author Irene Latham. This poem has magically, and quite literally this year, been growing right before our eyes daily during the month of April. This year we are following along the journey of Jasmine, a seed, and her companions Moon and Owl. Jasmine, from a long line of poet’s jasmine, began is beginning to make her way in the world and find her poetic voice. The process has been fascinating to follow and I was excited to dive in for the first time with line eighteen. I hope you will follow Jasmine’s journey for the remainder of our Progressive Poem month by clicking on the blogs in the list below.  I can’t wait to hear what she says!

April

2 Jane at Raincity Librarian
4 Michelle at Today’s Little Ditty
Jan at bookseedstudio
6 Irene at Live Your Poem
7 Linda at TeacherDance
Janet F. at Live Your Poem
11 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales
12 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
13 Linda at A Word Edgewise
15 Donna at Mainely Write
16 Sarah at Sarah Grace Tuttle
18 Christie at Wondering and Wandering
19 Michelle at Michelle Kogan
20 Linda at Write Time
23 Amy at The Poem Farm
24 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Buffy at Buffy’s Blog
28 Kat at Kat’s Whiskers
29 April at Teaching Authors
30 Doraine at Dori Reads

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This post is part of my personal National Poetry Month celebration. I hope you’ll join me in sharing your favorite poetic gems throughout the month of April whether they are written by you, your students, or another poet.

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