4th grade “Memory as Photographer” Poems

I was excited to ask Shoesmith 4th Graders what does it feels like to be wild and free? Students described the feeling as “crazy, not in control,” “feeling like a robot that has broken free, “insane, or feeling alive,” and “separate from my inner self:  weird and funny.” Then we talked about memories of events in our lives, and how our minds seem to take photographs of those times.  All of this was just a warm-up to the main event of introducing students to a poet who once attended their school.

We read and discussed a poem “3rd Grade Field Trip to the Silver Stallion Ranch” by Joy Young, before viewing a video of her reading her poem.  We were all captivated by the poem.  Here is a sampling of student responses to the poem:

  • Listening to your poem made us feel calm. We really liked the details. The details really put us inside the poem.
  • It was calm and put me in the mind of real life – I could hear it.
  • I like that you liked horses and described what the children were doing. I could understand what you were feeling.
  • I really like your poem and hope you write more!
  • I would say it felt calming and I could envision every thing she talked about.
  • How did you fall in love with poetry?
    (You can learn more about poet and teaching artist, Joy Young, by clicking here.)

Ms. Lehner
4th Grade – Room 207

the day I cried
Amir B.

In first grade I remember the first day
I cried in first grade
I remember everyone being like, “I’ve never seen Amir cry before”
And I remember the looks on people’s faces
I also remember how my face was red after I cried


Caleb C.

I have my paper and pencil in front of me.
Second grade, deciding to do a comic book.
It had to be Cat Man!
I’m writing my comic with many pictures with  action everywhere.  I feel so excited to create this Cat Man adventure.  I  drew the Cat Man with a  man in a catsuit.  I want to color the suit light yellow and orange.
Cat Man’s wife was an ugly woman with a cat face.  She had snakes for hair!


3rd grade wildness
Dion T.

When we were in 3rd-grade
me and my class had a good start.
Then this kid D the troublemaker got us all in trouble
sometimes because he would never listen
but most of the time he got in trouble.
So when we were in 3rd grade
mostly a lot of the time,
D would make us lose recess time so we wouldn’t have time
to run around and do that stuff. But then at lunch
we were all are good and we didn’t get in trouble,
but 3rd-grade was tuff and wild.


My 3rd grade memory
James L.

I watched a movie in class about white people and black people fighting.
They were in the streets. The white people were being mean and spraying water on the black people.
The black people were crying and screaming on the ground.

I didn’t like how they were using weapons and stuff.


Thaddeus H.

I remember in 2nd grade
I went on a field trip to a park meant for plants
and we had to draw the plants we saw
and I remember seeing a patch of purple flowers
and I saw some bees flying around an orange flower.


my past time
Zinanta N.

When I did multiplication I had a hard time
now that I keep doing it
I’m getting better and better

When I was reading I did not know some words
but I sound them out
now I know

When I went to a field trip to the museum
I saw hard working pictures and a boat that sank
and where a lot of people died

When I did multiplication
I had a hard time
now that I keep doing it
I’m getting better and better

3rd grade
we did a lot of reading and multiplication
and 2nd we did poems
and 1st I did writing a lot

4th Grade – Room 208

Bela C.

As the kids scream and shout
The man thumps down the hallway and grins
He’s catching children left and right always running for our lives
As he wanders each day
We still hide and run from him each day and night
we still hide.


blowing leaves
Eugene D.

I remember when I was in second and first grade
my mom, my brother, my sister and me would go on walks
and it would be very calm
the leaves on the trees would move
very calming
I would hear birds chirping and we would just walk
I had my skates on
my mom would pick me up from my school and then we would walk back home
when I would get home I was excited
to do it all again


the barnyard trip
Gian R.

We were at a barnyard with goats, pigs, mazes and other fun things.
Then we went to a beehouse
and we found the queen bee and it was awesome.
Lastly, my favorite part was the egg challenge.
You had to put an egg on a spoon and make sure it doesn’t fall.
And yeah it was fun and cool. Bye.


Grace A.

My heart is cold when I see people fighting
when I see mean things going on
but it is still going on from generations
and my heart goes cold
but now I see some people getting along
and peace
and I am so glad because this world was not like today
far from that
but now we are a team
now we can show people who is boss
we need to show people that is doesn’t matter what your skin tone looks like
because we are all humans and we all deserve respect.


Nia W.

Once upon a time
a girl name Nia and her Dad
they went to the park
she had her basketball
she went to the basketball hoop
then she tried to shoot it
but she couldn’t
so her dad picked her up and helped her shoot
then she was happy
as she got older she got ta shoot the ball
then when she turned 10 years old
she was really good
now she got to be on a basketball team at Shoesmith
she’s so happy.


my 3rd grade field trip
Misa S.

We went to school
everybody had their lunch ready
we sat down and ate breakfast

Me and my friends were seeing
who was gonna sit with me so I picked
and it was no sad pick
they took turns sitting by me
we did tiktok dances and we played hand games

there was a big speed bump so the bus went up
we flew up
but landed safe
We were singing songs
not just us
the whole class
and we didn’t stop until we were tired

When we got there
they split us up into groups
some people were with the teachers
some were with the parents
We went to the museum and we saw Abraham Lincoln’s death bed


John’s Birthday
Rocky L.

John had a wonderful birthday
With our bikes we were on the way
While gazing at the trees
And the entrance to the park we see
He surprised us with some confetti
Cupcakes there were plenty
We play on the swings
Pretend we have wings
stuff ourselves up
And we pet a pup
It’s time to say goodbye
But not before we eat pie!



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.