Learning from our mistakes @ Peterson 6th Grade

Peterson students are going virtual! Despite the COVID 19 shelter-at-home order, students are still learning and writing poetry using Google Classroom. For our first virtual lesson we experimented with haikus. Haiku is a short Japanese three-line poem written in a 5/7/5 syllable count.

Students read the poem “Haiku for How to Screw Up Middle School,” by Liz Garton Scanlon.  Usually haikus are written about nature, but Scanlon decides to use haikus to describe the mistakes she made as a pre-teen. Pass notes in science/learn more than you wanted to/on cause and effect.  Despite embarrassing and sometimes bleak moments in Scanlon’s poem, she offers a ray of hope. Will this ever end? / Middle school is not forever/ You can do this thing. Scanlon advices readers that despite the turbulent times she experienced throughout middle school, she survived and so can they. By making mistakes we can learn and grow as individuals.

Inspired by Scanlon, students wrote their own haikus, describing the mistakes they’ve made in the past and how they overcame them. Enjoy these published poems.


Ms. Bell’s 6th Grade
Group 1


Haiku for How to Screw Up
Emily B.

Why choose negative.
Why can’t you choose positive.
I can’t, it all hurts.

Each mistake will count.
All imperfections follow.
It seeps inside.

Everything falls down
It all hurts, it aches, it burns.
Nothing can be hid.

It won’t matter.
I have lots of positives.
There should be no glum.

No reasons to cry.
Rain should not seep in your skin.
Flowers soon to bloom.


Haiku for How to Screw Up Turning in Homework
Dax K.

Playing games, watching tv.
Should have done my work.

I then check the date.
Oh no. The essay is due
And I didn’t start.

I turn it in late.
I hope my mom doesn’t see.
And of course she does.

More homework for me.
At least I turn in early.
And get a good grade.


Haiku for How to Screw Up Your Shoes
Azuecena R.

Step in the mud.
Brand new white shoes are ruined now.
Untied show laces.

Fall right on your face.
Walk to school in the rain.
Have moist feet and shoes.

Its times for recess.
Have 5 kids step on your shoes.
Afterschool has come.

Trip on something sharp.
Great, you have ripped your new shoes.
Mission accomplished.


Ms. Bell’s 6th Grade
Group 2


Haiku for How to Screw Up Your Mental Health
Sura A.

Don’t want to worry.
Had to worry everyday.
About the future.

Never stop crying.
Thinking about the future.
I want tears of joy.

I will never stop.
Is it normal to worry?
Do I care so much?

Found a solution.
These are just theories I make.
No need to worry.


Haiku for How to Screw Up Baking Cookies
Destiny A.

I bake the cookies.
I smell smoke, they are burning.
The smoke alarm goes off.

Ran to the kitchen.
I take them out of the oven.
I throw them away.

I start a new batch.
Make sure to set the timer.
Listen for the beep.

The cookies are done.
This time they come out perfect.
Enjoy with some milk.


Haiku for How to Screw Up a Relationship With Your Grandma
Kassie C.

I’m sorry grandma.
You are gone forever now.
I regret it all.

The tears are coming.
Didn’t get to say goodbye.
Everyone else did.

You took care of me.
You loved me when I could not.
You comforted me.

I can’t fix it now.
I wish I could take it back.
I miss you so much.


 Ms. Bell’s 6th Grade
Group 3   


Haiku for How to Screw Up a Computer
Youssef H.

Install a virus.
Get a blue screen you don’t want.
That you can’t exist.

What did I install,
that caused this horrid mess?
I felt so guilty.

Sadness swept through me.
I called my dad for comfort.
He fixed the virus.

Use your computer
Safely and carefully.
And that’s all you need.


Imperfectly Perfect
Erin J.

Want to be perfect.
It’s exhausting, frustrating

Take it, reach for the stars.
No hesitating.

Take it and savor,
the medicine of the soul.

Imperfect is ok.
I’m imperfect but it is
Imperfectly me.


How to Screw Up Your Teeth
Ayesha K.

The candy is good.
Milky Way’s and M&M’s
are filling my mouth.

Candy is awesome.
Nerds, skittles, with smarties.
Get crushed in my mouth.

But one dark evening.
My tooth was in constant pain.
I had wondered why.

The dentist had said,
“She has a bad cavity.”
We have to fill it.

I had much regret.
For the times when LifeSavers,
had drowned in my mouth.

The dentist had filled,
the tooth with the cavity.
I learned my lesson.



“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.