Rhyme is one of the most immediately recognizable features of “The Armadillo,” by Elizabeth Bishop, we discussed this week. Not all of its rhymes are perfect, and I asked how that affected our appreciation of it? Are slant or half-rhymes OK? We also talked about the poem’s narrative—what exactly is happening, what’s “illegal,” who’s speaking and listening, its setting—and its vivid imagery, as well as the poet’s use of italics, especially in the last stanza; why might italics be employed in a poem or story? As far as the title, I asked why Bishop waited so long to introduce the armadillo, and how it compared to the other animals (owls, rabbits) in the poem?

Prior to poeming, I wrote the four elements (earth, air, fire, water) on the board, and told the students they could use one or more of them in their work. Here’s the latest…

Mr. O’Brien, 4th Grade

Stephen G.

I see a fire
it burns it hurts
I see them they
have warmth I feel
bad for the earth
all of a sudden the
air it hit me
the fire it grows
I wish I could
do something and they
put it out

Amarion G.

Today you can go outside and get
fresh air because it’s nice
today in Chicago not cold it’s 61 degrees
or 59 degrees.

Four Elements
Mac I.


Fire is as hot as a stove
Water is as wet as
Earth is as rocky

Nasir L.

Air is all around
us. Air is the stuff
we breathe. Air keeps us
alive. Air helps in every
way. Air cools us off.
Air warms up.

Alex M.

Water is fun it can hydrate you you can
have fun with water it will let
you do anything in it!

Ondra P.

Fire flips water swirls
Earth spins and twirls
Air breathes through the

All elements spin and spin
they come together
they shine so

bright at night! They twist
together they shriek &

But all together they
make our life.

Raagvi S.

The wind is mistly in the sea. The sea is
moving slowly fish are swimming. The earth is
warm it felt like fire.

Mrs. Rupp, 4th Grade

Chloe B.

Water can destroy you but it can save you.
It’s weird
water shouldn’t destroy you
and save you. That’s like
saying something can get
destroyed but it can’t.
I just
don’t get water.

Kelly E.

O—fire is very big to cook with
O—air is very clean to breathe in
O—earth is very round to live in
O—water is very drinkable
now we are done!!!

Alex E.

Water, so light, but when angered
a massive force, from tsunamis, to
pools. If anything disturbs it
it gets mad. Water is a massive

Katy H.

Four elements,
as the forests ignite, sparks
shoot out from the sky.
Animals scramble out, looking
for shelter. As big red trucks
arrive, locals are ordered to stay

Water comes out of long tubes
from a truck, and stops the
fire. The trees, still wet, are no
longer on fire, and the animals
are safe.

The earth is charred and black,
no longer able to grow plants.
Animals run, trying to find new

The air smells a fire, with
smoke still polluting the air.

The Wonderful Elements
Alex R.

Water is clear, as a piece of glass,
which should be told, to a young lass.

Extinguished fire, with a single blow,
and flows and flows. Cuts through
the earth, through rock, and it can
wet a sock.

Air, can never be limited, free, floating
about, and sometimes has the urge to shout,
blows, rocks away, but better stay away
from its rage.

Earth, has rocks, and is the builder of
the four elements. Shall be still, except
for once. When it is enraged, for once.

Fire, always angry, will burn and burn,
in its menagerie, it always will dance,
will never stop, and will always be enflamed.
For once.

Ms. Travis, 4th Grade

Four Elements
Logan F.

This is when
homes flood.
Swishing through
the air into parks.

Someone caused this
damage. Could it be
him, her, you, me?
Someone caused this

damage. If I were you
I’d let it be. At least if
it were a hot summer day,
frying while the swishing.

It would be a relief. But
a domino effect. Water triggering
the fire, triggering the air, into the
earth. Someone caused this, and our
world may be lost.

Alistair G.

Falls like the earth.
People play
as it falls.

Water puts
out the heat.
But do humans
take out the

The Zodiac Sign
Jasmine M.

June, Zodiac, Water


The blue—aqua blue—dark blue—every
Deep Sea
Fishing net
Bring to the top
Crack, Squeeze
The water, how beautiful
Why pollute it?
Ask, why?
The water, how dirty
Please the animals
Please the Gemini, the June Birth Stone
Ask yourself

Aryan N.

Fire is soft, soft like fur
but when touched it gives
you a burn.

Water smooth like skin but
animal sounds.

Air invisible like care so smooth
but not could be heard.

Earth like grass gives life
to people but solid in despair.

The Sea
Vishal S.

The oceans
might be
legally separate
carrying life forms
through their
time on earth,
which influences
earth and
mammals too
like humans and
But in the end
the oceans make
one sea, to guide
the planet as
the only of the
planets to have

Ayden S.

Fire has burning
smoke can go in the air.
Water burns Fire.
Fire burns wood.
Fire vs. Water.

Annette W.

is the

substance on
the planet.

It helps

work out.
you wish!

Mrs. Johnson, 4th Grade

Deondre C.

Water caused a flood. Everyone, everything
drowned and sea birds, sharks died
because the water was toxic. Then luckily
I had scuba gear on when the flood
came. I had to be in my submarine
because remember it’s toxic. I fell
out then I was scared. It was
dark the toxic turned into acid!!!
that’s when I died.

Morgan H.

Fire: Is helpful to keep you warm, to help
you bake, and fire hurts you really

Water: Helps put fires out, gives you
water to drink, and you get to
swim in it.

Air: helps you breathe, also it helps
you with your body, and get
fresh air.

Earth: It’s where I live also it
is where most people live too.

Calvin M.

I like water. I can swim
in water. Water can be hot
or cold.

Caroline M.

Water is wet.
It can be
cold or hot or
in between,
frozen, boiling water.
Water can be in
many different states.

Lorenzo P.

Fire cooks food so
we can eat. Fire
makes light so we
can see. Fire can
be scary if you
think it is.

Leyla S.

Fire is hot
fire burns
I’m concerned.
Where is the fire?
I smell fire.
Uh oh.
I’m burning
my toast.

Uh oh run

Mrs. Oluewu, 4th Grade

Fire vs. Water (with a little help)
Audrey H.

Raging fire battles
churning water
(with help from Air and Earth)
Air blows fire towards Water
Water blocks
Fire, grows weaker
Water hydrates earth.
Earth lashes
Fire burns it to ash
Water is on its own.
Water drenches Fire.
Only small embers remain
Water has won
For now…

There Elements
Sirrena J.

She started it
it was toasty and the food was good
we got leaves and wood
she started it

He started it
it was hydrating
we got cups and he filled them
he started it

The Deadly Flood
Alexis M.

I never thought much about how the world
would end maybe fire, or water, or earth, possibly
air. Well it never seemed to matter to
me because I never would be alive for it
to happen to me. Well my world all ended & it
started with water

waves filled with junk that it picked up on
they way to our house it came fast & quick
boom boom BOOM Boom WUSH slow & quiet
at first then louder & finally crashing through
the walls making an instant pool in our
house & leaving us homeless.

It was.

Flood Deadly.

Sabrina Q.

A swirl of wind,
a small little breeze,
a little air
is what we need.

It flies and blows,
strong it can be,
but sometimes a good feeling.

Though danger could come.
Blow things away,
carry you around
to somewhere, you may lose your way.

But it is used everyday,
a breath of it is what we need.
A swish and flick, a breath and blow,
air it is, and one element.

Eason T.

Everything starts with nature. Ore and stones from
mines. Fruit and wood from trees. Used to
build foundations and make food.

But how does
nature start?

It’s hard to believe, but it starts as a
delicate seedling.

Then, it is given fresh air from the breeze,
and cleansing water from the rain.
Then it grows, seed to sprout, sprout
to plant, plant to a mighty tree! Then
it might perish under the fury of



“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.