Passport to Poetry

This week at Shoesmith Elementary students explored the theme of travel; the connection people have with the various places they have visited in their lives. Many students have already traveled to unique destinations such as Michigan, Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta. Students discussed the reasons why people travel: the need to escape our boring everyday routines, experience diverse languages and cultures, and make new discoveries about ourselves.

Together students read the poem, “Passing Through Albuquerque,” by John Balaban. In the poem the speaker is on a road trip through Albuquerque, New Mexico. He stumbles upon a party, where he is swept away by the natural beauty of the desert city. Through Balaban’s vivid descriptions students were able to experience the large winds whipping up clouds of dust and cotton wool, locusts stopping in midflight to listen to music, as a girl dances in a white dress. Like the speaker students learned to love and appreciate Albuquerque and its inhabitants. Inspired by Balaban, students wrote their own travel poems, describing significant places and people they encountered not only in reality but also in their imaginations. Enjoy this week’s publications.


                                    Ms. Wesson’s 5th Grade
                                                   Group 1


Passing Through Chicago
Layla A.

At dusk, crisp air hits me hard
in the face. The towers light up
with blinding lights for the holidays.

I hear the street clarinets and
see the street tinmen all silver
reflecting light from the moon.

Buckingham fountain’s water is
so high, it touches the clouds,
then falls down, cooling me.

Hot coco from Phil’s warms
my throat and my thoughts.


Passing Through America
Elliot S.

It’s a beautiful 2019 day. We’re
in JFK Airport, New York. The
Empire State Building, Chrysler
Building and Brooklyn Bridge
is stylish.

We take the Amtrak all the way
to Washington. Its sunny and
beautiful with many monuments.

Another Amtrak to Chicago, to
Saint Louis, to San Francisco.
It’s still a sunny summer.

Now to Los Angeles, king of
beach cities. Two days there,
then back home. It was a great


Passing Through Moneyland
J’Vonae S.

Going through the trillion-dollar
forest; sleeping in blue faced tents.
Running through billion-dollar grass.

Versace cars, with Chanel rims
and a gold finish.

My friends and I shopping at the
exclusive Gucci Store. We walk
down 24K Lane. We eat at 5 star




                                      Ms. Wesson’s 5th Grade
                                                     Group 2


Passing Through Six Flags
Kaidyn F.

At Six Flags in the summer
sweat drips off my forehead.
We’ve been waiting in line
for what feels like an hour
we’re finally there.

The ride starts and I here little
murmurs. We start off slow,
then it gets faster.

Then suddenly zoom! We’re
going really fast. Then we
go up and up. Oh no!

Here it comes, the drop
Ahhh…… The wind is
whipping my face.

It’s been twenty minutes
since I was on this ride
and I feel electrified!


Passing Through Africa
Kenya L.

The big trees and animals.
The amazing food. The
musical villages with
very good dancers.
The sky is always blue.

There’s the savannah
grasslands and the
swamps where the
water is mostly clear.

At the end of the day,
Africa was the best
place to be.


Passing Through Basketball World
Jakar T.

I can imagine that Lebron James
is giving me his All-Star jersey.
I can imagine Kobe Bryant losing
to me in 1v1 to 21 points.

I can imagine Steph Curry changing
Lebron James hair lining, that will
actually be fun.

I can imagine Michael Jordan
dunking on me, but the trick is
I can block his overpowered dunk.



                                           Ms. Henry’s 6th Grade
                                                         Group 1


Passing Through Sky Zone
Miley C.B.

I pull up to the parking lot.
I see the orange glow of the
sign “Sky Zone.” My favorite

The sound of kids laughing
and running hit my ears.
The smell of old feet mixes
with the smell of nachos.

As I climb on the trampoline
I feel no care in the world.
When I do my back flips it
feels as if I’m jumping on

I feel like Simone Biles
jumping in the air.
I jump so good and hard
that I deserve that pizza
and slushie at the end
of the day.


Passing Through Vegas
Brooke S.

Day or night its hot. Palm trees
are smiling at the desert moon,
clouds, and the sun. Flashing
lights glowing on buildings
built for fun. Casino here
casino there. If you go zip
lining you can see everything.

So many things to do. Wax
museums, swimming at pools,
eating at restaurants who only
serve pancakes bigger than
your face. Seasoned caramelized
pineapples to put in an ice cold

Performers in huge places where
people love to entertain. I went to
a Michael Jackson concert. He gave
me his sweaty glove. I only went
to Vegas once and now I think
I’m in love.


Passing Through Neverland
Gaida P.

In the daytime, when your feet hit the sand.
Pixie dust has brought you to this place.
Being flown by Peter Pan, while a smile
creeps across your face.

We promise that you’ll never be lonely.
When we’re bored, we play in the woods.
This place will make you homey. But watch
out for Captain Hook.

Tinker Bell won’t ever give you pixie dust.
She smells like pancakes and what we love.
Any girl with Peter she doesn’t trust.
You may even find yourself  a dove.

But we are the lost kids in the real world.
We can stay forever in Neverland. Unlimited
supplies of chocolate swirls. Stay with us and
Peter Pan.



                                              Ms. Henry’s 6th Grade
                                                            Group 2


Passing Through Memory Lane
Tsehai D.

Do you remember Barbie Dolls?
Every girls dream is to have one
with long hair, big pretty eyes,
and unrealistic bodies.

Do you remember Toy Trucks?
Everyone played with one. Big
wheels, crazy colors, and cool

Do you remember Easy Bake Ovens?
I’m glad they were edible. Purple
pink, white, and easy to maintain.

Do you remember Toys R Us?
Where all the toys were.
Everyone was happy.


Passing Through Millennium Park
Christiana F.

Every time I go, I see the fountains
that have different faces, spitting out

It’s a very big park that has a wobblily
bridge and a huge slide, that all the kids
love to go on.

There’s very shiny and silver mirror
that is shaped like a bean.

The Big Town that has ice cream trucks,
hot dog stands and a lot of snacks.
the goods.

But one thing I won’t forget is


Passing Through Candyville
Tamia G.

The candy is sweet and chocolatey.

The candy tower has gummy clothing
stores, chocolate shoe stores, and last
but not least Oreo made restaurants.

The bus is filled with gummy seats
and sweet tart looking people. The
bus driver is looking like a chocolate
bunny, with hair like red twizzlers



“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.