All posts in Rachel Castro

For our final writing day together, the 4th grade poets at Volta created collage poems with a word bank to choose from or add (just a few words) to. Each table of students received […]

After a recent field trip, Ms. Sontag, one of the teachers I work alongside, came up with an exciting follow-up poetry prompt. A few days before we met, both classes went on a field […]

In previous classes, I noticed that the student poets at Volta enjoyed writing and talking about some of their favorite items at home: Nintendo switches, soccer balls, or even pens with invisible ink. This […]

The start of spring in Chicago felt like the perfect opportunity to write about our dreams. Using a lesson template from CPC poet Leslie Reese as a guide, the students at Volta read a […]

This week, the students at Volta looked at various examples of erasure poems, poems that are created by crossing out or drawing over parts of an existing text to reveal a poem. They then […]

This week, our class talked about ekphrastic poetry. We read a poem by the youth winner of the 2021 San Antonio Museum of Art Ekphrastic Art Contest and looked at five paintings, including a […]

During our third class together, the 4th grade poets at Volta Elementary read a translation of a poem about the color blue. We talked about symbolism and how an image, symbol, or color can […]

For week two, the 4th grade poets at Volta read two poems that included descriptions of sounds and examples of onomatopoeia. They listened to poems with a rooster announcing itself every morning and a […]

For our first bilingual poetry class, Volta 4th graders read a translation of Nikki Giovanni’s “Winter Poem” and spent time thinking about their five senses and images in poems. To prepare for their own […]


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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.