5th & 6th graders use their thought machines

I’m excited to be back at Shoesmith Elementary to teach poetry to 5th & 6th graders. It was great to see familiar faces but also meet some students who were new to writing poetry. Last Thursday was the first day of our poetry residency. I asked students “How can poetry help you think more creatively?” The majority of students described how poetry allows them to express their feelings, become artists by painting pictures with words, discover new ideas, relax, and be as silly as they want.

Together we read the poem “Thought Machine,” by Laura Mucha. In her poem Mucha used an extended metaphor, which is when a poet compares two unlike things using the words is, am, or are and continues this comparison throughout the entire poem. Mucha compares her mind to a machine that generates different types of thoughts. Sometimes my thought machine makes thoughts like /THAT WENT WELL or YOUR DOING GREAT or YOU GOT THIS/ but sometimes it makes thoughts like/ THAT WAS TERRIBLE or HOW EMBRASSING or WHAT A MESS. Anytime the negative thoughts become too much, the poet sings, dances, writes, swims, or listens to music. By doing activities that she enjoys, the poet’s thought machine creates new positive thoughts.

Inspired by Laura Mucha, students used extended metaphors to describe their unique minds and thoughts. Please enjoy the poems below. Hopefully reading them will give you some positive thoughts.

*The artwork below was drawn by Grace A. and Marilyn W.



Ms. Yassky’s 5th Grade
Group 1


Thought Storm
by Lastasha B.

Thought storm with rumbling clouds and loud thunder yelling.
My mind is a whirl wind, twisting and turning with thoughts.
A broken clock is right twice a day they say.
You may say, I’m a painter with no paint brush.
My mind is a mirror reflecting everything.

My mind is a thought storm
with rumbling clouds.

a broken clock is right twice
a day, they say

this is my thought storm.


Thought Lights
by Journie C.

My thoughts are lights that were lit.
My mind is a lightbulb flickering,
when bad thoughts come.

My mind is lights being replaced.
My mind is lights lightening up the sky.

My mind is lights shutting off when I’m asleep.
My mind is lit when I’m awake.

My mind is a power light in the way.
My mind is working when I’m busy.

My mind is power!


Thought Colors
By Zoe S.H.

My brain is like a watercolor set.
The colors never showing what I feel.

Like when I’m thinking of the color Blue.
My thoughts are sad, like Why would I say that?
Everyone just saw that! They’re probably judging me.

Or when I’m thinking of the color yellow.
My thoughts are happy!
Thinking of things like you did a great
job today or I feel great today.

Or maybe red,
red usually means anger.

I think about the reasons why I’m upset,
like gosh, what is she thinking about
behind my back?

My mind is like a color set.


Thought Cloud
by Vina W.

My mom always told me to dream big.
My mom always told me to make high hopes.
My Mom always told me to reach for the sky.
My mom always told me to believe in myself.

After what my mom told me, I believe
my mind is like clouds, up high,
always wishing high.



Ms. Yassky’s 5th Grade
Group 2


Thought Dreams
by Amari B.

My dreams are clearer than the sky.
My dreams are brighter than the desert.
My dreams are softer than marshmallows.
My dreams are more encouraging than
Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech
“I have a Dream.”


by Akira S.

My mind is music.
It’s a melody of different sounds
and notes tapping and shaking.

My mind thinks like a Mad Genius.
That’s why my mind is intelligent.

My mind is creative and artistic,
because I love to create and draw
or design things.

My mind makes new things every day.


Thought Rain
by Leelah H.

My head hurts.
It feels like my brain is clogged up.
I’m tired.
Sometimes my thoughts just
won’t come out.
I think of the positive thoughts.

My head twinks, so I put
my headphones on.
I listen to my mind talk because
it says so many negative thoughts.
I soon drift off and dream.

I see so many amazing memories.
I believe that my mind was wrong.
So, I run, skip, and dip and swim
into all the positive things.

I feel alive, my vibes, not going to die.
No matter how much, my mind
tries and tries and can’t kill my vibe.

I feel so much better and I drank water.
I’m fine, I’m fine
I feel much better.


Ms. Henry’s 6th grade
Group 1


Thoughts, Milk & Dark Chocolate
By Grace A.

My thoughts don’t like being burnt or cooked.
They love being smooth….
Not thrown away after being bitten out of once.
They like being drizzled on a cake and celebrated.
Sometimes people take a bite out of my thoughts
and don’t like what they taste.

I love being the free chocolate that I am.

I can be white chocolate,
tough but sweet

I can be dark chocolate,
bitter and disrespectful.


An Endless Void
By Isis C.

My mind is a void,
taking everything in.
It all falls into a large loophole,
never spoken of again.

I know it for a while,
then its lost.
I never know why?

So much I care for.
So much I do.
Its falling down
in my void, now.

My void is big.
I’m trapped in it too.
So, I’ll be careful,
not to trap you.

Once you’re in.
You’re never out.
So be careful….
An endless void


Fire On Wax
By Kyleigh F.

My mind is candle.

I light up the way,
use me til’ I’m done.

You might think a
flashlight is better
but she runs on a
timer too.

You’re scared of the
dark so I tried to
protect you.

But I melted,
once again.
What shall we do?

Oh, please don’t
leave me in the dark.
I tried my hardest

Just a little more
wax and fire
I’ll shine again,
I promise.


Thought Rainbow
By Keira L.

My mind is a rainbow
after a really rainy day.
And the sun comes up,
all the colors in my mind.
and when that rainbow goes
away, so does my thoughts
and sadness.
That is when I clear my mind
and see the sunshine
with no rainbow
and feel the water dripping
from the roof
and onto the hard



Ms. Henry’s 6th grade
   Group 2


Thought Chicago
By Nyah D.

My mind is like Chicago,
bright and beautiful.

My mind is as big as the
Chicago Bean.

My mind is like the
Buckingham Fountain,
Spitting out thoughts.

My mind is busy and bustling
like downtown Chicago.

My mind is My City.
Big and beautiful.


Thought River
by Thaddeus H.

My mind is a winding river,
twisting and turning at every chance.
Ideas and memories rushing down,
always flowing, never stopping.
Thoughts splashing in and out.
Sometimes calm.
Sometimes rushing.
Emotions falling like pebbles and leaves,
all emptying into a pond at the end of the day.


Thought Tree
By Rocky L.

My mind is a tree with many branches.
Always growing, even when snowing.
Branches off to different information.
My thoughts carry the power of a nation.
My thoughts lively like an Evergreen.
The most beautiful thing you have
ever seen.


Thought Cycle
By Oumar K.

My mind is a cycle,
it’s never ending.
I think and think and think and think.

My brain is like a Cheetah.
It runs at full speed.
I can finish math equations in two seconds.

My brain is like the weather,
it’s cold as a blizzard
and hot like a heatwave.


Thought Book
By Gian R.

My mind is a large book.

It has a lot of pages,
full of knowledge.

Every day, I come to school
ready to learn.

Just like you learn from a book.
A lot of books have information.
Full of knowledge every day.

My mind is adventurous.
It’s so exciting and fun.
My mind is a fantasy,
unpredictable and enthusiastic.

My mind is full of knowledge.
Just like a book.









“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.