Growing Up With 5th & 6th Graders

Last Thursday was not only 5th and 6th graders eleventh week of poetry but also my birthday. It was great to celebrate my special day with students. I even shared a video reel with a few photos of myself from infancy up until adulthood. Most students loved the song that played in the background, “Never Grow Up,” sung by Taylor Swift.

Inspired by birthdays and ideas about growing older, we read the poem “Life” by former Haugan Elementary 8th grader Jocelyn V. In her poem Jocelyn uses similes and metaphors to describe how she has grown and changed at different ages of their life.  At age 5 Life is colorful like rainbows /Age 9 Everything is kinda a bumpy road. I have some responsibilities/Age 13 Life is like a dark hole. There are new emotions. A lot of insecurities. Jocelyn realizes that growing up means new challenges to overcome. It may seem like life is hard, but each experience shapes who we become.

Students wrote poems reflecting on their experiences from their younger years to their current age. Below is my video reel and a birthday card from one of my 5th graders K’Michelle B.



Ms. Yassky’s 5th Grade
Group 1



Growing Up With Anthony
by Anthony H.

Age 5
My very voice is soft and playful.
Loving bubble baths.
Having dreads.

Age 7
Being taller and faster.
Smart and creative.

Age 11
I am a tall, smartest ant.
I am the fastest in class.
I am very funny with friends.


Growing Up With Andres
by Andres T.


I’m tiny, waiting to be BIG.
I woke up at 5.
I know my number at 5.


I looked at bit fat.
I had so much fun.
I could cook bread.

Age 11

There are fake friends.
4 or 5 friends.
Less happy.


by Rashaun T. 

Age 5

I am an only child, like a lone wolf.
But I still have my parents with me to help me hunt.

Age 7

A new wolf joined our family.
He needs help to hunt since mom and dad aren’t here right now.




Ms. Yassky’s 5th Grade
Group 2


Fun Days & Dark Days
by Jaray B.

Age 5

Life is all unicorns.
Everybody loves me.
Toys are very fun.
Oh Hey Jaray.

Age 8

Everybody wants to be my friend.
I love to cook and help.
I have to clean up my room.

Age 11

Life is just now a dark cloud.
Now it’s a lot o crying and sadness.
Fake friends, Fake Smiles, now
just about music, my fav song
is when I’m sad is darkness.


Growing Up With Tamajay
by Tamajay B.

Age 1-5

I was small like a mouse.
I was growing a lot of hair
At 5 my mom cut it.

Age 5-7

I grew my hair again.
I was very happy.
I was emo when I was 7.

Age 7-10

I got back on my grind when I was 8.
I got glasses when I was 9.
When I turned 10 everything changed.
My mental health, school is mentally
draining me.


Past & Present
by Zahir S.H.

Age 5

I’m happy.
I get fun things.
Getting bullied a bit.

Age 8

More responsibilities.
Trouble controlling my emotions.
lots and lots of crying.

Age 10

Doing too much.
Not a lot of friends.
Get’s made fun of.
Not a lot of free time.
Lot’s of work.




Ms. Henry’s 6th grade
Group 1


Growing Kaden
By Kaden D. 

Age 2

Happy Mickey Mouse
Sneaky like Spiderman
I was loud as a clock tower.

Age 8

Life is getting as hard as math.
Voice squeaky like basketball shoes.

Age 11

Growing old like a worn-out shoe.
My voice loud like a lion.
voice keeps going like an engine.


I Was
By Aleah G.

Age 5

I was a funny as a comedy show.
I was as fun as playing in the park.
I was as sweet as a nerd rope.

Age 8

I was a playful as a prankster.
I was as interesting as a book.
My voice was as loud as an activist.

Age 12

I am as bold as a teacher.
I am as strong as my dad.
I am as talkative as a bird.


Then & Now
By Anthony O.B.

Age 3

At the age of 3 I took risk.
Dressing myself and more fun being myself.
Eating without sharing.

Age 8

At age 8 it was hard. I had a lot things to do.
At age 8 I still had fun but it was hard, was scary.
It was easy to shoot hoops.

Age 12

At age 12 it’s hard to be myself.
It’s like I wish I was young again.
I don’t have any time to be myself.



Ms. Henry’s 6th grade
   Group 2


Growing With the Past & Future
By Goumbala D.

Age 5

Life is happy and exciting like your birthday.
It feels free and fearless like a pigeon flying.
I love going to the beach.

Age 9

Things are getting rough like the bark on a tree.
School is difficult like climbing Mount Everest.
Life is not fun, like eating tomatoes. Yuck!

Age 11

Life is like I’m falling from the sky with no parachute.
At this point it feels like life is about fake friends, fake memories.
On top of that, responsibilities. It all feels like the lonely
dark part of the Pacific Ocean.


Robert Grow
By Robert L.

Age 5

I was learning to ride a bike
on a hot summer day at an island.
It was bigas the U.S.

Age 9

I had the best time of my life
with my Dad and my Mom.
I saw the world.
Fun at age 9.

Age 12

I had my 12th birthday.
I came to the U.S. at age 11.
At age 12 I wanted to go back home
to my country to see my dad, friends.


Age Evolution
By Javier Y.

A time, I was 2 months. 
I crawled like a worm.
or got fed like a bird.
or sensitive as a bee.

When I was 4 I was scared as a fly
or when I was shy like a butterfly.
Or when I was cool like a lion.

My current age 12, I’m old as a tree,
still as a rock, collecting things like a bee.










“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.