Me a Name I Call My Selfie

This week, we read a poem by the current US Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera called “Dolphinating.” Students immediately noted the strange title, and looking at the poem on the page recognized that something weird was going on! We’ve already seen some poems with indented words, but nothing quite like this. I suggested that it looked as if the poem exploded, or was dropped and parts of it broke off, then asked if the placement of those “loose” words affected the poem at all?

After reading it aloud, the general response was elation followed by laughter—it incorporates a number of unfamiliar names and words, so instead of focusing on vocabulary they didn’t know, I asked the students to identify familiar words and see if they could make any sense out of it. Certain ones, such as dolphin, tsunami, rain, and jellyfish, made them think of water or the ocean, but overall we agreed that the sound of the poem, rather than its sense was most important.

One of the words students recognized was selfie, so for writing they were asked to describe how they felt today, right now, in their own selfie poems.

Ms. Thiel, 2nd Grade

Nasir L.

Everyday I take a picture
of something. Every time I usually
take a picture of someone. Sometimes I
take a picture of something. Mostly
I take a picture of both.

Moses N.

I want to play

I want to play computer

I want to play board

games and I want to play

on the playground

Andres R.

I woke up in the morning
and my hair was a mess
it looked like someone scribbled
it on my head my dad took a selfie
of me and him it was funny.

Michael W.

I was sleeping
wild! And
we have
to wake
but it
wait! But I had to do my
homework! So we had to
do the homework on the
train! Blue Line train!

I felt sleepy. When I sat up
I felt so hyper when
I was on the bus!
And I felt so hyper
even on the bus!

Ms. Ward, 2nd Grade

Alistair G.

I don’t know what to write

I still can’t think of

My brain will explode!

Morgan M.

I am thinking about me
and my mom (tonight)
going on the computer
and going to Scholastic
Books because today
is the last day, and
if we don’t or
if I forget because
I have violin I will
probably lock myself
in the room because
I have never done
it before kinder-
garten first grade now
second grade now. There
will probably be tears
on my homework.

Right Now
Jackson M.

Right now I am
mad. I do not
know why. I
want to go to
gym. Right now
I do not like
2 people. Right
now I do not
like my table.
Right now I
want my mom.
Right now I
am in poetry.
now I am going
to reading. Right
now I am

Lucie R.

I don’t
know how to
time travel.
want to see today 2
days from now


I’m bored I can’t

do anything,

Ashlyne W.

I feel happy and when I look back
at this I will feel happy, sad, funny, mad
I don’t know but I love
selfies and when I grow up I will take
them everyday.

Ms. O’Connor, 2nd Grade

Alexis M.

Words crowd
my mind. They
crowd it so
much that
some spills
out and
crowds the
mouth. Why
is it impossible
for the human
beings just be
silent it seems
and so it will
not be possible
to stop words from

I Wish
Nika M.

right now I feel
like I want to

right now I wish earth
was candyland

right now I wish I
was famous

right now I want
to pass one of my
hardest piano pieces.

Feelings of Now
Madison N.

A brewing storm of madness
and confusion for the world
is still as mysterious as it was
when the first people touched
Earth. Upset from fights, life, and
friendship but where does it end
lies the one question in my

Josiah R.

I feel like I want to write
a poem but my teacher said
I have to write about my
feelings wait I just did write
about my feelings how I can
write a poem wait this is
poetry oh…….yay

Ms. Rupp, 2nd Grade

Emiliano B.

#1. I am hungry! Wait…

#2. I am happy, wait!

#3. I think someone is looking…

My Weird Selfie
Courtney B.

I feel like running
I feel like taking selfies
I’m traveling playing with my
thing an iPad!!!!
I say sello mean Hello
I hold the Earth in my
Path. Why I’m here.
I’m here.

Erik I.

I see when picture
of my self
I see lots of things
parts of
my imagination
shows me
monsters and other
things scary or
funny or weird just crazy

that’s what I see in my

Keenan V.

I want to go home to
go home. Eating dinner playing
electronics and then go to ohhh
and wait ’til the next daaaa-

Ms. Schwartz, 2nd Grade

Jeremy C.

I’m getting my
knee pads today
they’re a size extra small
then on Thursday
I’m going to
practice in them
then on Friday I
have a basketball

Morgan H.

I like selfies because
you get to take a selfie
with your friends
and remember them. What I
mean remember them means like
when you’re old like 15
you can go on your phone
and remember your selfie
with your friend.

Ava J.

On a moon lit night
that one night I took a
selfie with an iPad
EEE beep OK but
first lemme take a
selfie bbmmnnMmm
beeeep OK OK
OK I’ll say bye!

I Can’t Think of Anything to Write
Jacob L.

I can’t think.
I wish I had something
to make a better poem.
I don’t know.
What to do?
This is just a bad
I wish I can have a better
My poem is empty.
This is horrible.
I wish this was a
better poem.

Preston L.

I was at the beach I took

a selfie. I went to the

park and I took a selfie.
I went to the pool I went

in the water first then
I took a selfie.



“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.