Follow These Instructions

For their ninth virtual poetry lesson, Haugan 8th graders explored the art of teaching. They were asked the questions What does it mean to be a teacher? What is one thing that you can teach someone else? One student mentioned that teaching takes patience, to not get easily frustrated and be encouraging. Teaching can involve showing your younger siblings how to tie their shoes, helping your grandparents set up a Zoom meet, or instructing your friends on the best techniques to win an online game.

Together we read the poem “Instructions On Climbing Your Father’s Garage,” by Philip Terman. The entire poem tells a story written as a set of instructions. Terman uses 2nd point of view by using the pronouns “you” and “your.” Its as if the poet is not just speaking directly to the reader but to his younger self, a boy sneaking outside on the rooftop at night. Sweat and strain, until you rise against the downward stress/Stand full-length and walk on the strange surface twelve feet up/Look down through the basketball net to the other side. Despite the danger of being so high up, just by following these instructions step by step, the boy can now see the millions of stars in the sky, a reward for his hard work.

Inspired by Philip Terman students wrote their own instructional poems. Please enjoy this week’s published poems .



Ms. Thomas 8th Grade
Group 1



Instructions On How To Make Homemade Pancakes
By Caroline C.

Swirl together the ingredients, add the salt and sugar too.

Create a well in the center, add in the second step ingredients.

Whirl slowly until smooth, add the eggs, vanilla, and vegetables.

Heat up in a frying pan, spoon up saccharine tasty batter

Add 1 half of a cup to each sugary, yummy, smell,

and flow homemade flecked pancakes
and do not forget to add the lovely syrup 🙂


Instructions On​ How To Ride A Hoverboard
By Bilal K.

First turn it on and try to stand on the surface with your small feet
Then try to balance while propelling forward without flipping, flopping, and falling over
Practice everyday to perfect to your expectation
Then you can ride whenever you want, wherever you want
Don’t forget to smile, don’t be selfish an say you where self taught


Instructions On playing Violin
By Arizbel R.

Slowly moving hands up and down touching the strings
Putting chin on the ending of violin
Playing a wonderful melody and slowly moving the bow
Slowly play fast then instantly slow as melody
Looking at symbols called current beat
Learning strong beat as rhythm
Hearing a melody play as moving the bow
Hearing a wonderful melody playing a wonderful song




Ms. Thomas 8th Grade
Group 2


Instructions On Sadness (What I do)
By Adan C.

At first you think that you shrug it off;
You tell yourself that you can’t be sad because you don’t too.
Then thoughts of your pain comes back…

Lloren guitarras, lloren porque dichosos los ojos que lloran porque serán consolados…

And you start singing to your sadness that you won’t come back to it even

if life makes you fall apart,
From your soul sadness will be gone…
Then you break down but who do you go to?
No one because you’re supposed to be cold, shrug everything off and not care…

Third thing you think is you were always rocks that always clashed…
You’ll get a train to happiness and your ticket is one way but you know…
you know you’ll be back…

Que me toquen las Golondrinas…
The song that comforts your pain and tells you everything will be okay…
Then there’s the other song…

Las golondrinas.
It’s supposed to mean love and that she’s better with you

And the other means that you’ll forget her and that you want to hear  one last

time because you’ll leave it and never come back…


Instructions On How To Get On Part Of The Roof
By Cesar H.

At the start, you enter the house
You make your way up the stairs,
the loud, old, shrieking stairs
You enter the first room in front of you
The room with a nice baby blue paint job
A window should be to your left
The window is dusty and old and very tough
There should be two ledges
Hold down both as you push up
The window creeks and a small bit of it is opened
Creep your way through and voila!
You are now standing on part of the roof.


The Enthralling Guide to Studying
By Ingrid H.

The Glowing Guide to Studying;
Enthralling and very Enchanting..
Take those thought-provoking,
Such gripping and engaging notes
and stare-
Write down on those
Beautifully Colored post it notes-
Wait- put that phone Away
Yes, I’m talking to you..
..Put it Away- ok
Now take that dazzling pencil-
and use it..
Yes-that one;
and now write down
a summary…
Now repeat!
Stare at those notes like your Life
Depends on it..
No-stop-stop that right now.
No doodling..
Yes, I see you drawing;
Put that down…
and now fixate your eyes onto the paper
and gaze at those captivating notes…
And now you, my dearest friend, are set—



Ms. Thomas 8th Grade
Group 3



Instructions On Building A Computer
By Michael B.

Get your case
Mount Your Motherboard
Put Your Processor don’t pressure
Too much or you bent the points
Install Your RAM
Use ram Slot 2 and 4
Install Your graphics card
In to the PCLE x1 slot
Install Your Hard Drive
Install Your Optical Drive
Mount Your Power Supply
Plug Everything In
The right plugs


Instructions On Szechuan Sauce
By Christian D.

Roast up the garlic and ginger
Wait till soft and light brown
“No oil or butter needed” I said
“Wow so fragrant” he said
The room filled up with the scent of garlic
The bottle of balsamic vinegar small yet so full
As I added it to the pan the smoke filed my nose
Then came the soy sauce smelled so salty
As well as the sriracha sauce and smell spicy
The dry sherry smelt of alcohol and was cold
It went well with the sauce
Then lastly came the brown sugar smelt bitter but made the sauce thick
When it was finished the Szechuan sauce was so silky smooth yet so thick
and creamy at the same time.


Instructions On How To Keep Your Bad Emotions In Another World
By Flor E.

A lot of people tend to break down and feel suffocated
Which is normal
But some may need help from someone
These little steps may help you
Go ahead
Try it out

First take a deep breath like there no forever

How bad do you feel from 1-10?

Why do you feel like this?

Do you regret it?

Okay now turn off your notifications and answer these questions yourself

How old are you?

What’s your favorite hobby?

What’s 5 x 5?

Who do you love?

If you would’ve gone anywhere for a vacation, where would you go and why?

What’s your favorite color?

What’s your favorite game to play?

Think of the funniest moment of your life?

Who are your friends?

Now that you answered those questions I want you to look in the mirror
That mirror full with memories and emotions of you
The mirror is your friend remember that
Look at yourself
And tell yourself you are loved
You got this
What your going through right now will pay off in the future
It’s okay not to be okay
You are a strong person
And deep inside you know you are loved by someone
I want you to hug yourself and tap your shoulder and let it out
Let out your mixed emotions
No one is seeing
Go ahead
Lastly how do you feel from 1-10
Do you feel better?
If not it’s fine
I love you 🙂



“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.