All posts in Robbie Telfer

This week found us looking at Martín Espada’s “I Apologize for Giving You Poison Ivy by Smacking You in the Eye with the Crayfish at the End of My Fishing Line.” I love that […]

Today’s workshop was inspired by Sharon Olds’ “Rite of Passage” which traces the roots of how young people grow up into their possible personalities. So the 8th graders looked back on their long lives […]

This week the 8th graders of Taft read Tim Seibles’s amazing simile explosion “First Kiss.” This poem shows not just the power of a simile, but how it can serve the poem with energy […]

Every day can be Valentine’s Day if you have love in your heart! Or at least if you have me as a teacher. We read and responded to Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Valentine for Ernest […]

Writing persona poems in the voices of animals is always one of my favorite workshops not just because the students all have personal and interesting relationships with animals but also because the personas can […]

“Hanging Fire” by Audre Lorde is all about being 14 and therefore I love teaching it to 14 year olds to get their reflections on her reflections – and to also show them that […]

This was the first of my ten weeks with all the 8th graders at Taft. I already miss the 7th graders but I suppose the 8th graders aren’t evil either. So we looked at […]

This was my last day with the 7th graders and I’m going to miss them. I was dreading teaching 7th grade because I remember how horrible MY 7th grade inner and outer life was. […]

Once again, I brought in the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener’s Insect Petting Zoo to teach bug facts through poetry. I had some giant African millipedes, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, and Rosie, the rose-haired […]

Mrs. Asvos 7th Grade, 6th Period “Cake” A poem by Claudia M. Me and cake, we go way back. To my very first birthday. I can’t look at you, because if I do, I […]


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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.