Instructions On…

Last week’s session came with a sweet surprise from the poetry club. They greeted me with a warm “Happy Birthday!” and we spent some time celebrating before moving into poem time for the day. Together, we read Ada Limón’s “Instructions on Not Giving Up” and looked at how the poet uses various types of imagery in a short poem. We highlighted how many of our senses were activated while we read, then chatted a bit about good instructions we give. Students then started drafts of their instruction poems; here’s one of them below:


Instructions on Math Class

by Sky S. 

Like Cinderella when the clock strikes twelve

Math class has me screaming at the shelf

I’d rather be where the grass is greener

To be elsewhere that cleanses my mind like dry cleaners

Glasses come off my face for the board I don’t want to see.

My mind is a treasure and math does not have the key

My mind is melted onto the summer pavement

Everytime I enter the class its considered enslavement

Like Cinderella when the clock strikes 10:15

I desperately need it rid of me, need a vaccine.

Anywhere but math, four corners, two books on the shelves.



“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.