“A poem, folded small”

Last week at Swift, we talked about gifts. Students discussed gifts they have received, such as video games, baby dolls, pets, family, and being in the world. And then talked about gifts they would like to give such as big family hugs, makeup for Mom, clothes for dad, raises and bonuses for teachers, and kindness. We watched a video of poet Janet S. Wong, who read a few pages from one of her books, and talked about gift-giving. She said that she wanted to share the message with kids that the best gifts are not always the most expensive store-bought gifts, that “maybe the best present may be a poem, folded small….” Students brainstormed about gift-giving, and I read from Janet S. Wong’s encouraging book, You Have to Write.

In all 4 classes students brainstormed about memorable gifts they have received such as:

my mom giving me a hug
a robux gift from my dad
a camera
something my mom had when she was a child

a backpack from a summer camp teacher
a life from mom and dad and God
a homemade butterfly for Christmas

students brainstormed gifts they would like to give such as:

a drawing, a craft, or a love poem
homework for mom and dad!
a homemade stress ball
drawings and poems made of cardboard

students considered gifts that don’t cost money:

pick some flowers
handmade books and bracelets

Stuff your parents can’t give you
by Jose R.
, 3rd grade (Ms. Herlo’s class)

  1. a moon
  2. a private yacht
  3. the whole universe
  4. the whole earth
  5. infinite money
  6. a party on the moon
  7. a party underwater
  8. a private plane party
  9. a time travel machine
  10. a watch that can slow down time



“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.