Mic Check, One, Two, One, Two…. is this thing on?

We are getting close to the end of our residency, so for their 9th week of poetry Twain 6th graders explored various ways to prepare for a performance. Some students suggested practicing a poem in front of someone, a friend, a parent, or in a mirror, while other students mentioned taking a deep breath before performing to calm down. Another way to get ready for a poetry performance is rewriting and editing.

Together we read and discussed the poem “Mic Check,” by Zetta Elliott. In her poem Elliott takes readers inside her mind as she is onstage at an Open Mic event about to read her poem. She does a mic check, testing the microphone’s volume, making sure her audience can hear her. Elliott discusses her unique style of poetry and how she gets the inspiration to write. Poems ring in my ears like bells no one else ears/ They grow quietly like moss on stone/ penned in secrecy when I’m alone. Poetry takes time and patience, to get the right words, images, and rhythm down on paper.

For this week’s poem. I had students to pick an old poem they created from our residency, to edit and rewrite. I told them to do a “mic check,” making sure their poems had strong first lines to hook in their audience, including vivid imagery and figurative language, while getting rid of confusing or unnecessary lines. I also told student to read it and share their poems to a classmate for feedback.

So, readers enjoy these poems and make sure do your own poetry mic check.

Mr. Barr’s 6th Grade
Group 1

Potion For Respect
By Felicia B.

The potion of hell.
A potion of respect.
The potion you can’t tell
what will come next.
A potion of respect
is a hard quest.
A potion of respect
is a personality test.

A potion of respect requires
royal blood.
A potion of respect requires
disgusting mud.
A potion of respect needs
leaves from poison ivy.
A potion of respect needs
glitter so very shiny.

Eat each ingredient as if you
stomach is a cauldron.
Don’t even stop to breathe.

Blink once,
Blink twice,
then you open your greedy eyes.
You are being tortured.
Your respected for all the pain
you have to pass.

Respect is not what you have thought.

Dear Grandma
By Melanie C.

Thank you for everything.
Always made me laugh,
And always made me happy.
Even though you’re not here
anymore, I just want to thank you
for being in my life.
You were social to people,
and hardworking.
You would spoil me by buying
the stuff I wanted.
I miss everything about you,
like your smile.
I wished that I could’ve made
more memories with you,
but I couldn’t.
I hope my twin sister is happy
that you’re taking care of her
in heaven.
I wish you were still here,
doing Tik Toks with my sister.
I hope, hope, you’re doing
well up in heaven.

-Melanie C.

How To Fly (Potion)
by Omar D.

A hair of Superman
A fast man’s legs.
An old man’s wig.
An energetic kid

Drink it and fall asleep,
then wake up,
then jump out a window.

Dear Chris
By Lorenzo N.

I know all the stuff that we have been through.
But no matter what, you are my brother
and I would still love you.
Even if you hit me over and over,
even if you call me dumb,
no matter what,
I will still love you.
You are still my brother.
We still get into fights,
but I will always
love you.


When To Pray
By Janette S.

When you’re going to rest.
Close your eyes and pray.
when you feel down
and can’t wish for mothing
but the best.
When you wake up
to reality.

Mr. Barr’s 6th Grade
Group 2

Dear Mr. Barr
By Leah C.

Thank you for being the best teacher.
You are my best friend, forever and ever.
you’ve shown me how to become better
at writing.
Thank you for that.
You played games with me, and I won
every game, (except one).
When I talk to you, you make me laugh.
You are very nice to me (sometimes).
When we ate ice cream together,
it was very fun.
You are the best teacher ever.
You gave me candy,
thank you for the candy.
You are an icon.
You are so so friendly
to everyone.


By Aliany L.

A potion to visit the dead,
but your life doesn’t come to an end.
A light turns on every time there is darkness,
a beam of light is endless,
while the night is clueless.
A door opens every time, a window,
while a truck plows,
there’s always a place we can go,
a poetry flow that perfectly flows,
and a light that glows.

Letter To Him
By Jackie L.

You don’t know me,
not at all,
not even my last name,
but you know my first.

I know you though,
more than you think.
I know your first and last name.
What kind of person you are,
and what days you go to the park.

Because you don’t know me,
there are somethings,
I want you to know.
I consider myself nice,
I play soccer,
I get straight A’s,
there’s more things
about me
that I can’t fit on one paper.

But I hope
with this one letter,
you can hear me out,
hang out with me
and be my friend.

Love always, the girl from 6th.

Dear Adrian
By Salvado M.

I am better at FIFA, and I
am way better than him.
I can show your son how
to shoot a power shot,
but he will show me
how to be smart.
Like, how is it to shoot,
like those shots he
Also, Adridan you
poopy pants, poopy

Potion For Money
By Rosemary N.

To be rich,
you only need a few things.
The first thing you need is
a rich man’s head and a tear
of pure happiness.
For Fear and Luck,
a feather from a peacock
and a drop of poison.
For Grace and Death,
a piece of victory
and a piece of sadness.
For wisdom upon
your path
and for no regret and flaws,
but remember
some things don’t
always go as planned.
So be careful
that you don’t
drink too much.

Mr. Barr’s 6th Grade
Group 3

Potion To Do Good On A Test
By Amelia G.

To do good on a test,
To do good on a test,
Pay attention in class.

After you’re doing all these things,
Drink the potion.

But remember, you can’t drink a
potion to do good on a test.

You have to study
and pay attention in class.

And you have to have energy,
to do good and focus on
the test.

Once When I Was 10 Years Old
By Bellamor H.

Once when I was 10 years old,
I stare into the huge dark blue ocean,
and I think I love the ocean,
and I feel the soft summer breeze,
and I remember how much I love
the ocean.

Once when I was 10 years old,
I stand in the hot stand.
As it burns my feet, I look for
Beautiful seashells I keep,
as the memories replay
and rewind.

Potion For Shooting
By Vincent O.

Put in Steph Curry’s lucky mouthguard.
Add Damian Lillard’s arm sleeve.
then Ray Allen’s Miami Jersey.

Then a drop of Gatorade.
Mix it all around.
Then take a sip.
Now test your shooting.

Then if you want better handles,
add Kyrie’s headband,
another Curry mouthguard,
Benito’s glasses,
and Derrick Rose’s Jersey.

Mix it.
Turn it into a taco,
and eat it.

Dreams of A Sofa
By Melisa R.

A sofa dreams of never being on the streets.
A sofa dreams of being inside a house.
A sofa wants to be covered in a blanket.

A sofa dreams of being clean.
A sofa wishes to hear laughter.
A sofa wants to see what you watch.

A sofa dreams of families playing games together.
A sofa wishes to be decorated with pillows.
A sofa wants to be comfy.



“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.