A Concert In The Desert: The Carnival of the Animals

This week I had to distinct pleasure of writing poems to music with the Avondale 4th Graders. As part of the Poetry Center’s Collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, our students are listening to movements from Carnival of the Animals and creating poems for the animals in the music. In these classes we worked on songs for Donkeys, Cuckoos, and Tortoises. Enjoy!

Ms. Pease
4th Grade Literary Arts

Room 214

Maya Q.

Small, friendly, walking
along the water, or a big rock
to catch a snooze in the sun
A Queeen walks fast
and slow, so pretty, makeup
and everything. In her big
Tortoise castle she thinks
about flowers and butterflies
and how they have so many
colors and her castle is
purple, pink with shine


The Tortoise
Brianna G.

This little
tortoise loves
to dance

She loves to dance
by blossom trees
because it makes
her calm and peaceful

She said she could do it forever,
but she just could not,
her step mother just did not
let her

If her stepmother saw her
dancing she would lock
her up forever, she couldn’t

stand it so she just followed
her dreams


The Toroise
Alejandro A.

Oh little toroise walking to the pond,
meeting animals with which you’d like to bond,
slow and clumsy like you always are,
do no worry you are not that far

You make this noise tap! tap! tap!
But you can’t flap.

You’ve finally met with your fiends
Swimming everywhere all of the time
You seem happy

Room 215

Jasmine A.

He is the woods and he is imagining a
clock and he is singing cuckoo to follow
the noise of the clock. When he sings
he is moving his head left and right and
walking by himself. And he is finding
a friend or impressing a girl bird to be
his girlfriend with his singing voice.


The Totoise
Christian G.

The tortoise was dancing
and in the end it stopped
the place is a lake,
he is dancing back and forth

The tortoise was dancing
and in the end it stopped
The place is a lake
he is dancing back and forth


Cuckoo Deep In The Woods
Edwin N.

I went to the deep woods
and I saw a beautiful bird it
wasn’t any bird it was a cuckoo
and I liked it so we made a
song and it went like this

cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckooooo!

And I like it so I took
it to my home and we became
friends because we leave him
with no one

Room 216

Carlos F.

The donkey is making a
concert in the desert.

The donkey is playing the
piano crazy fast.

The donkey is going
super crazy.


Cuckoo Crazy
Brain A.

Cuckoo Cuckoo
what color
are you?

Yellow, white, black

Oh Cuckoo are you
shy are you crazy
energetic or hyper?

Where do live
up top or the
bottom of trees?


David S.

One donkey
wants to
run faster
than the
train because
his brother
was on top
and he was

And this other donkey
was at
a race track
racing the
ginger bread

Another donkey
was playing
with Michael

Another one
was playing
the piano

Another one
was driving
his car to
work and
he was
late so
he went
to starbucks
and got a
coffee and
he skipped



“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.