Magnificent Magnification

For our third poetry class, students were introduced to another figure of speech to add to the others (simile, imagery, personification) we’ve studied so far: metaphor, which, like simile, compares two unalike things in an interesting or unusual way. With that in mind, we read Mary Ruefle’s poem, “Grasshopper,” and began our discussion by finding and analyzing the comparison in the poem—the title insect to “a pillar of motionless time.” After determining what a pillar is, we considered how a grasshopper resembles or otherwise evokes that vertical support structure, then thought about the apparent contradiction of “motionless time”—how can never-ending and continual time be stationary? I also asked the 4th graders about the last line in the poem, ending with a dash, and what that suggests.

Thinking about grasshoppers metaphorically involves magnifying them mentally, seeing them closer up than we would normally be able to, given their skittishness. As Ruefle says, in her poem’s opening couplet, “Have you ever tried / to catch a grasshopper?” After ‘catching’ one in our imaginations, for their writing prompt, students were asked to picture something similar in size and write about it.

Mrs. Rosenzweig, 4th Grade

By Charleigh C.

Have you ever tried to catch a butterfly before?
I have but I never actually caught one before.
I usually get them from their wings and may I say that they are silky.

By Gabrielle H.

Butterflies are here and there.
Butterflies are everywhere.
Butterflies are in Chicago and in
Florida. Butterflies can even be in Russia.
Butterflies are magnificent.

Butterflies can be orange and black.
Butterflies can be white and black.
Butterflies can be any color
of the rainbow.

Butterflies can be nice.
Butterflies can be scared.
Butterflies can be loving and kind.

But most of all butterflies can be DIFFERENT!

A Piece of Bark
By Nirbhay J.

I saw a piece of bark.
Sitting on a tree
It looked so happy there
Why, if it had legs, it would be jumping and dancing!

It realized it could only sit.
It felt like a zit.
It couldn’t do anything.
So I took it home
And gave it legs.

It flew that day
And the piece of bark was happy again

By Ryan L.

Those crawly creatures.
Red ones sting.
The others don’t.
How strange.
Why is it
That the red ants
Sting, and the
Other ones
Do not.
I am left in the dust from the answer with this strange question.
Why do red
Ants sting,
But the other ants
But still,
Ants are the human builders
In the underground world.
I am later thinking of a question.
I write another poem about it.
26 lines about it.
And yet I have not mentioned the question.
It is strange
And why do some poets
Never include
What they love and what they think, yes, I do wonder………….

If You Catch a Firefly
By Logan L.

Have you ever tried to catch a Firefly?
It’s really really hard, but if you do catch one just make sure to put it in a jar.
And in that jar just put holes in it.
It can be your new night light,
But it will die tonight.

By Raymond M.

The thing I see magnified are ants.
They crawl around your entire house
and you never get to do anything. Bite
you when you sleep, but this is a part of

I See a Beetle
By Raahil M.

Beetles, they may look very small
on the outside, but
on the inside they are strong

Take the Rhino Beetle as our example
it can lift 850 times its body weight.
That is great

Now as I stare
at this little creature
one so extraordinary
I can’t help but wonder,
what do the horns do?

A Rabbit to Me
By Siena W.

When I see her she
Flies right past me,
She just seems so excited,

She could jump around
Faster than a 5 year old girl
On Christmas day.

You can barely see her
When she bounces right
Past you,

She bounces higher than
A kangaroo

Although she seems so nice
She is brave when walking past
An alligator, and don’t you ever take
Her pear, it may seem weird but she loves

Mrs. Johnson, 4th Grade

The Beetle’s Head
By Benjamin C.

The beetle’s head is awesome.
Let me begin by saying,
That the beetle’s head is the most
Symmetric head I have ever seen.
It is like a mirror.
Fold the paper in half
and see it on both sides.

The beetle’s head is like a suit of armor
that a knight would wear.
It is shiny black metal
that has been polished.
I feel like banging on it
and making music like a pan drum.

The beetle’s head is like a monarch butterfly.
They both fly, and
They have the same colors.
Orange like a Halloween pumpkin,
Grey like an old nickel,
Black like coal,
And white like snow.

The beetle’s head is like a fuzzy bear.
It has many hairs.
They are all orange,
And they are as prickly
As cactus pears.
Let me end by saying
The beetle’s head is awesome!

Lady Bugs
By Ella H.

Lady bugs are fun to watch. They crawl around so slowly.
Lady bugs are red and black that you better not want to whack.
I wonder where a lady bug lives?
Do they live in trees, grass or twigs?
Watching the lady bug move around I am quiet and feel big.

By Jake K.

Worms are small and not tall.
They are slimy on my fingers
And they can be any color.

The Puppy Who Stole My Sock
By Aubrey P.

Oh oh oh
Puppy on the loose
We better catch him because he is running like a mouse
You can hear his feet galloping through my house.

Mrs. Barnes, 4th Grade

Grasshoppers Are Not Pets!
By Christian H.

A grasshopper can’t be a pet. Most likely because it’s too small. For example one day you’re walking in your room and then… *intense squishing sounds* oh no your grasshopper is gone. Grasshoppers can’t be a pet

How Bugs Can Be
By Kayla J.

I hate bugs I know that’s a strong word
But is is something that needs to be heard.

Abuse such a bug.

Whenever I see
A bug that’s near me
I start to go “little” crazy
And get dazy.

I very much hate bugs
Everyone else shrugs and says hey look a bug
And I say ugggg it’s a bug.

So now you see
How bugs can be
Disgusting and gross
and now we’re close to the end of the poem.

By Kohner N.

The green of its skin
the black of its eyes
The tips of its antenna
The grasshopper

Mice Are Not So Bad
By Pranav P.

Mice are not so bad.
Mice are great.
What is wrong with mice?
Mice just want some cheese.
Mice definitely do not like cats.

If cats caught all the mice in the world there would not be any mice.
If there were no mice then the show Tom and Jerry would not even exist.
That is why I do not like cats.
But I really like mice.
In fact my favorite character in Tom and Jerry is Jerry the mouse.
My least favorite is Tom the evil cat.
Increase my grades in writing if I spelled evil right.

A Blade of Grass
By Corinne T.

It’s small.
It can be short
It can be tall
Or yellow
It’s a blade of grass
It can be dead
It can be alive
It’s a blade of grass

Mr. O’Brien, 4th Grade

By Finley H.

Have you ever tried to pet a bunny? Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t! Bunnies are fast, they ride like the wind but could be slow just like frozen time.

Have you ever tried to hold a bunny? Chances are, no. They can be fierce or brave and claw you, or they can be sweet and kind, maybe let you pet them.

Now run!

But don’t forget they weigh less than a ton!

By Skylar I.

I got a new rug today and I placed it in my room.
Right in the corner it was very snug.
And it reminded my of when I get snug in my blanket

But then I lost a piece of my rug.
I couldn’t find it because it was as small as a bug.
When I thought of a bug I thought if I was a rug where
would I be hiding?

By Arianna J.

I ever seen an ant?
But up close!
Ants are very cool!
Here’s what I see

I see the ant
The ant has humps on her back
The ant has wings
The ant is brown

The ant will try to fly away
But I put her back
I know it’s a girl
Because she has wings
Boy ants don’t have wings

The ant is very cool
I will go get another
But now I will see a boy!

By Andrew W.

Have you tried to hold a spider? It’s impossible for me without running away. But people can say you can fight your fear of spiders but I can’t. It’s looking at aaaa! —



“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.