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 done that, and we decided, like so much unusual or eccentric grammar in poetry, it was for emphasis. So what is the poem about? The title seems to suggest it is focused on a particular house, or the more general idea of home, but interestingly, the students honed in on the poem’s underlying emotional tone—how the poet (or poem) feels about home. We also identified and discussed some of the various definitions of “home” in the poem, such as “a burrow or nest or / cave,” “a place / of worship,” and “the harder / shell of a snail. Or. A tortoise,” and considered Florian’s employment of long, prosy lines and their overall effect. Although this poem is quite complex the students reacted to it immediately, with deep thinking, thoughtful comments, and enthusiasm!
They were then asked to write their own poems about where they live, or would like to live. Enjoy these examples from each class.
Mrs. Carlson, 4th Grade
In a Sunny Neighborhood
In a sunny neighborhood,
there is a red brick house.
Oh, those bricks,
so very pretty.
Through the door of my pretty
red bricked house
is a long hallway.
What a slippery hallway,
it’s perfect for
To the right of my
slippery hallway is some
broad, brown stairs.
I love sliding down those
stairs! It just hurts my,
you know what I’m talking about.
Farther up the stairs is a second
and third floor. Second floor:
bedrooms, library. Third floor:
one bedroom, one den, and then the big, big window.
I live in Chicago.
A city where hot dogs are popular.
Chicago is my home.
Chicago is where I’m from.
One day, I will make Chicago better than it is.
It has so many fun things to do.
The Children’s Museum, Navy Pier, Museum of
Many people who have changed the
world have come from Chicago.
I will always love Chicago.
My home is Chicago.
Chicago is a place where you don’t have to
worry about sharks, crazy animals, tornados or
My home – my shelter in this strange world.
My light, through the darkness of time.
My world, which reassures me I will always have
somewhere to go.
My life, where the magic of memories are
Me – I am my home, and my home is where
I will always be.
Where I Live
I live in a house where I feel good.
I live in a house with red bricks on the outside.
I live in a house that I know is safe.
I live in a house with a huge basement.
I live in a house that almost nobody can find.
I live in a house that has an alleyway.
That house is where I live.
oh you may be short
you have 3 floors
Although you may have problems
leaks and stuff
you are my favorite and my only home
Have you ever seen a Bronzeville
You are tall to me
you will be
You are You are You are
I think you are ten years old
You’re a special house
I have so many memories
You will always be in my
You are my HOME A Bronzeville home
You are my everything
Home Sweet Home
My home is like a big diary
I let out my feelings in silence
It has now my grandmother
whose house is now
Never shall I be
happy about that
Home Sweet Home
It is my Soul.
is a house
with a roof
in well condition
it carries many things
it carries clothes
it carries toys
it carries food
it carries water
it carries books
it carries people
the one thing I love the most
that it carries is its memories
Mrs. Rupp, 4th Grade
Big. Beautiful. Cozy.
It is My House.
My house to love.
My house to care for.
My house to live in.
Where I Live
I live in the city.
The very busy city.
Many cars run past.
Many people walk by.
The house I live,
big but cozy.
The house I live,
busy, and loud, and quiet.
The house I live
nice and warm.
A lot of kids.
A lot of people.
A lot of fun.
I live like a
No two the same.
My house is not like others.
And that is not
Some snowflakes have
3 sides or 5.
Some houses have
6 floors or 2.
But even though snowflakes
House lives together too.
Home to Me
A long day
of the family
Neighborhood, crazy place
Not good parties
I don’t like it
I want to move
Mrs. Travis, 4th Grade
I have a house it
is wonderful I love
the house it makes
me feel good.
I live in a condo. My favorite room
in the house is my room. My house is
Home. Home is where I eat and sleep. Where the water runs for
the radishes. I live here, come here after what I have done. I stay
here before I go somewhere. The ocean is home for fish.
Shells are homes for little creatures. A burrow is a home for
a bunny. But that’s not my home. I live in a condo, with lots
of neighbors. It’s made with red and brown bricks. I know I won’t
live in the same one in the future, but I will get one just the
same, but more modern! This is that what is my home and sitting
at the table.
I went to my old house it was
broken down, hard, rough what happened?
Well I didn’t care about it I didn’t want
it I never loved it and that is why
it is the way it is today my old
house because of my fault.
My home has this sweet sweet
smell that welcomes me when I
walk in through the door I feel
comfortable and safe and warm.
I like when I go home I feel
happy and thrilled.
Eat, Sleep, Swim
My condo has simple rules
Eat, sleep, swim. I eat pancakes
I sleep in a bed, I swim swimming.
The Clouds My House
I live in the clouds with rainbows
and a dream it’s in Ireland. There are
dogs there tons the people there always
go to pubs. I Irish dance and take lessons
in the clouds I never come down I live
in clouds of blue and white
My Old House
but better than my new.
Some say out goes the old and in comes the new,
Had a dog,
had good life,
when I remember,
will never forget.
My penthouse is big. It makes. Me. Feel like
a rich person but we are not rich we are
average. I like being average. So I
An average life……
Mr. O’Brien, 4th Grade
My house looks like a
TV wood under the TV. We
also have carpet inside it we have
a bed and I have an apartment.
I am looking for a bunk bed in
the apartment. On the carpet there
are toys a lot of toys.
Home is a place where you can
be yourself and have fun and enjoy life
with your family.
A Penguin’s Home
A penguin’s home may
not be home to you
but to them it’s paradise
fish water everything
I live in an apartment
I like it I have a room
I have a family and
I love my family
A big mansion, 10 rooms,
11 bathrooms with a 120
inch screen TV.
A big 50×50 swimming pool
a condo, with a gaming
room and 2 kitchens.
I love a black and
house so my house is
black and white themed.
I would have a butler
and he would be amazing.
I will describe my house. I have
13 rooms and I have a small
house to fit 13 rooms.
My basement has four
rooms nine rooms upstairs.
An apartment sitting alone in a place called
nowhere, where is this place? I guess it’s not
called nowhere for nothing. Where am I? I guess
in nowhere. Well bye for now nowhere.
I live in a big house. I have a big backyard.
I have seven rooms with four floors. The color of the
house is reddish, brownish, orange. I have five bathrooms.
My house is a yellow brown house with
6 bedrooms 25 windows 1 dog 3 kitchens
5 energy sources and 5 pairs of
shoes. This is a description
The Red House
I used to live in a Red House
and now that is what we call it.
We would sled down our giant hill
in winter and pick dandelions in summer.
My best friend Bella used to live
down the street and she came with me
on the bus on my first day of kinder-
garten. Now, I barely see her anymore.
That was the house where it
all started . . . bad things and good
Once, I got a splinter on the
deck and I worse shoes after that.
There was a giant pool (circle) and
I played in it all day long. Bella had
one that was huge and looked like
the number eight. Hers also had
We would always prank-call people
and it was so fun. This house
was in Indiana.