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Home, Run

When I read Sandy Florian‘s poem, “House” to Skinner’s 4th graders, I paid special attention to the poet’s odd use of periods and capitalization. Afterward, I asked why she might’ve […]

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Halve a Heart

Classes fell on Valentine’s Day this week, so I brought in Lorna Dee Cervantes‘ wonderful poem, “Valentine.” Before I even read it, students acknowledged its unusual format, resembling half-a-heart. I […]

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Oh, Guitar!

Personification is when you treat non-human things as if they were people. “The weeping of the guitar begins” opens Federico Garcia Lorca‘s “The Guitar,” and one of the first questions […]

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Shadow of a Doubt

This week we read “The Wings of Daylight” by W. S. Merwin. It’s a seemingly straightforward poem word-wise, which a number of students pointed out; but while it uses simple […]

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Picture This

We settled into our groove for the second week of poetry by reading and discussing Afaa Michael Weaver‘s “Self-Portrait.” There’s a lot of sophisticated language in the poem, and I […]

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How Do You Do?

This week, I began my residency with the 4th graders. I had a majority of these students back when they were in 2nd grade, and it was amazing to see […]

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Poetry Is…

We had our concluding classes of the 2nd grade residencies this week. First, we read Bill Yarrow‘s poem, “Laundry List.” Many students initially focused on its playful final line—“Do the […]

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What’s New?

Late in December, during the last week of classes before the holiday break, we read Jimmy Santiago Baca‘s “It would be neat if with the New Year.” Students immediately noticed […]

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All Quiet on the Skinner Front

Last week, we read “The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm” by Wallace Stevens. The students really liked this poem, and the first thing I asked was why […]

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Bless You

In his poem, “A Blessing,” James Wright tells the relatively simple story of two people and their encounter with a pair of ponies. What is really interesting is how little […]