How Would YOU Write a Poem?

For our 10th and final session – which took place the week before school let out for the winter holidays – Twain 3rd graders brainstormed what is needed to write a poem. As students shared, I wrote their ideas on the board.  After that we read How to Write a Poem, from the book by Kwame Alexander and Deanna Nikaido. Because the piece is longer than other poems we’ve read, students were invited – seven at a time – to come before the class and read a stanza or two aloud. A few lines of the poem suggest that you “close your eyes, open the window/of your mind, and climb out…”  as well as to “listen to the grass,/ the flowers, the trees —/anything that’s friends with the sun…” Below you can read “choose your own adventure” poems as well as some student responses to the questions:

  • When you “open the window of your mind and climb out,” what happens?
  • When you “listen to the grass, flowers, and trees,” what do you hear?


Ms. Murphy
3rd Grade

needs good details
brainstorm for ideas
listen and read poetry and stories
write your own poems and try to get it published
use your sensational senses
use onomotopeia
use your beautiful brain
use your excellent emotions
use your interesting imagination
use smashing similes

Ms. Lee
3rd Grade

How to write a poem:
maybe write 3 lines and skip a line to begin a new stanza
you do not have to use periods
you can make sense but you can use out-of-the-box thinking
you can rhyme but you don’t have to
think of some ideas!
use your brain
use your gut, your feelings
use any kind of emotion


How does it feel when you die?
by Janelle M.

Does it feel like you are sleeping?
Does it feel like you’re sleeping in a family party
and you hear laughing in the other room?
Does it feel like you’re sick?
Does it feel like you got a cut?
Can you see nature?
Can you see snow?
Can you see rain?
Can you see the clouds?


by Mia R.

You shine like the sun
You’re as sweet as sugar
You’re as pretty as a sunflower


I Wonder
by Elsie T.

I wonder how Santa met Mrs. Claus
I wonder how Santa got his elves
I wonder if Santa has a lot of shops
in the North Pole

I wonder if his hat is special
I wonder how he got his reindeer
I wonder how he makes it to every house


My Winter Wonderland
by Madison M.

In my winter wonderland would have an unlimited
amount of candy. And the grass would be chocolate.

Also there would be a waterfall made out of cakes.
Everybody would live in a gingerbread house.

Everybody would be joyful and kind.


My Teacher
by Isaly R.

She has a beautiful smile
Ms. Lee is sweet like honey
She is as pretty as a rose
She has glasses just like me
She is from Korea that’s cool
She wears her hair behind her ears
like a headband
She smells like bath and body works
She is as nice as God
She has a beautiful face
She has a very nice style.
Now, tell me your teacher.


Emily C.

When I open the window  the 
fresh wind blows my face and hair
and the sun glows my face and
calms me down and refreshes my mind
and when I hear and see the
grass I see people walking their dogs
and being a good pet owner and
I hear the wind blowing the trees
and plants I hear squirrels climbing
up the trees and birds chirping


Ms. Isaacs
3rd Grade

“The Weather Outside”

It was a little bit cold
and it felt like ice cream
the air made me feel like
I could fly

Roman’s breath, hot like the desert
warm like the desert with a coat on
melted the ice cream feeling
I could see my water bottle beginning to melt

Standing outside in the cold
I was like a chocolate ice cream cone
or the ice in a cup of lemonade
or the temperature at the North Pole


Mrs. Lamas
3rd Grade

  • When you “open the window of your mind and climb out,” what happens?
  • When you “listen to the grass, flowers, and trees,” what do you hear?

Mateo S.

My mind will go to the deep dark forest.
I will hear honey drops.


Aylen O.

I dive into my loved ones.
I hear the wind moving and it’s satisfying.


Layla L.

When I climb out I feel free and stepping out of homework.
I hear the ocean and wind.


Mateo V.

I climb out into space.
I hear freedom. I hear ostriches like ot to ot.


Diego V.

Veia una selva llena de dinosaurios.
Escucho los pajaros cantar y alos dinosaurios rugir.


Leo P.

If I open the window from my mind and climb out
I will be so dumb.
I hear waves of leaves.


Luciana V.

I go with several dogs that can speak with me.
I hear wind that sounds like swoosh swash whash


Katherin R.

Siento el frio y veo las flores caer.

Arantza P.

I dive into an underwater rollerskating park with people I love.
I hear beauty, craziness, and freedom.


Joselyn P.

I feel free to run wild.




“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.