All posts in Leslie Reese

Last week Shoesmith 4th graders reviewed our blues exploration from the previous week. Students brainstormed a ton of rhymes before closing-out our residency by rhyming and repeating and moaning and singing their blues poems. […]

Twain 5th graders ended the residency reviewing the poems they have written, re-watching Joaquin Zihuatanejo’s performance of “Abuelo’s Garden,” reading poems aloud in English and Spanish from Cool Salsa, and pitching-in to write group […]

So many students wrote poems inspired by the classic Gwendolyn Brooks poem, “We Real Cool” that I had to publish some more. Read the first group, here. Enjoy! Ms. Bell5th Grade We real fun…by […]

It’s hard out here in these poetry streets trying to get students to write poems as they count down the days ’til the end of the school year! STILL Swift 2nd and 3rd graders […]

Today Shoesmith 4th graders got bluesy. When I talked about the origins of blues music, some students remembered learning about it during a Black History Month program that explored the evolution of music created […]

I got to meet with Twain 5th graders twice this week! On Monday, we worked on poems inspired by “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks. I started losing my voice Monday evening, and had […]

I love the energy that Shoesmith 4th graders bring to our poetry workshops each week! They always seem open to new ideas, ready to think, and eager to tap into their creativity. If we […]

In addition to reading aloud from poetry books and watching the “We Real Cool” video produced by the Poetry Foundation, Dubois students discussed things they like and dislike about writing. Students reflected on things […]

Poems from our 16th sessions reflect a mixed bag: while 2nd graders continued to write identity poems, 3rd graders played with ideas that reflected on their trip to the zoo. Ms. Reed’s class still […]

Last week I got to meet with Twain 5th graders for our 4th and 5th sessions. Students spent more time working on their dream poems, some of which you can read, below. Before getting […]


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“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.