Sensing Memories @ Shoesmith 5th & 6th Grade

For their second week of poetry Shoesmith 5th and 6th  students explored their memories. They were asked, “Why are memories so important?” Students came up with interesting responses: positive memories can help us remember and cherish happier times, while negative memories can teach us not make the same mistakes again. As we grow we gain more memories and experiences that can help define who we are as individuals.

Together we read Nikki Giovanni’s poem, “My First Memory of Librarians.” In her poem Giovanni uses sensory details, her five senses to describe her childhood memories of visiting a library. A big room with heavy wooden tables that sat on a creaky wood floor / On the right newspapers draped over what looked like a quilt rack/ The welcoming smile of my librarian/All those books—another world—just waiting/ At my fingertips. Through sensory details students felt as if they too, were in the library with Giovanni.

Inspired by Nikki Giovanni, students wrote poems about their own memories of experiencing something for the very first time. Please enjoy these memorable poems.


Ms. Yassky’s 5th Grade
Group 1


My First Memory
by Azaria A.

This is my first memory:
A big park with lots of trees
and grass.
a big bright sun and slides
and I was too little to get on the slides.
I smelled fresh air. I heard birds.
I saw trees and long grass.


My First Memory Of Going On A Rollercoaster
By Ashanti H.

I walked up to the ride, there were two spots left.
I put my seatbelt on, ready to go.

The ride was fast, my heart was pumping.
I smelled fresh air.

The sound of people yelling, crying.
I started to feel like I was going to barf.

The sight of the ride ahead, I felt like it
was going to last forever.

Finally I meet the end. My heart pumping.


My First Time In New York
By Larrion J.

I touched everything my hand went into.
I smelled the freshly baked cookies,
people cooking on the streets.
I heard the train go chuga, chuga, chuga.
I heard cars honking, planes flying
and cars driving. I saw the most
beautiful art. I saw big buildings,
small buildings and more.
New York was a very great place!



Ms. Yassky’s 5th Grade
Group 2


My Memory Of A Break-In
By Eugene D.

I remember my grandma telling my
mom to wake up in horror.
When I woke up, I saw someone try
get in my grandma’s card.

I heard my grandma calling the police in fear.
I saw my aunt making my lunch. I felt the love
when my mom held me that one and only night.

I had so much fear, I could roll up in a ball.


Wisconsin Dales
By Zinanta N.

The pool water was hot.
The pool water tasted like pee
and chlorine.
The food I had tasted was like
pizza and hot dogs.
I heard kids screaming and talking.
I heard pool splashes.


Plane Crazy
By Rocky L.

The take off is very thrilling.
I love to play games on the plane.

I like to chat with family
and smell the delicious food.
I smell pizza, chips, and sandwiches.

I talk to many new people.
I hear the engines on the plane.

The best way to enjoy a plane
is to do it with your family.


Ms. Henry’s 6th Grade
Group 1


My First Memory (Baby Brother First Time)
by Janiyla B.

My brother sleeps
on the way home
in his car seat, peacefully.

Smells like baby lotion
Felling soft and smooth.
Hair silky and wavy.

Eats baby food, calming.
Big sister tries it and it tastes
like dirt.

He laughs when happy,
cries when sad and mad
even angry.

Big sister adores him
Very Much!


By Charles D.

The first face I’ve even seen of my mother.
The first smell and most delightful smell
I’ve even smelled, the cherry blossom.

My first taste of food, which was my favorite
snack of applesauce.

The first sound, me then crying as a baby,
my mother’s sweet and soft voice.

Then last but not least
The last face of my Grandma as she passed away,
and the best face I could ever see of my Grandma’s
last day as she smiled at me.

Which gave me great vibes of life.


The Memories Of South Troop
By Noah O.

I sat in my room,
the light baby pink curtains swayed
as the warm breeze blew.

I read the book that I read over and over again.
I was dusty, hard, and old but it was my favorite.

The aroma of sweet cornbread sat in the air
and made me drool.

I still remember the kids screaming outside
and my dad playing with the cat.

I ran to the kitchen and ate spicy greens 
that were simmering hot.

These are the memories that I had
on South Troop.



Ms. Henry’s 6th Grade
Group 2


My First Boat Ride
by  Michael B.

My first boat ride was a great experience.
The feeling of the boat was as cold as a
freezer on a winter day, cooling everyone.

The taste of my lunch was cheesy,
the flavors blended together in my mouth.

The smell of the water was salty
and cooling and never went away.

The sound of the lake was mellow
and repetitive with a tiny sting
to remind you it was there.

The sight of the landmarks
were amazing and had me
starstruck with ideas and realizations.

The memory keeps me calm
and collected like the lake we
rode on.


My First Memory Reading “The Maze Runner”
By Victoria G.

My first memory of turning James’s
page for the first time.
The soft silky feeling of the cover.
Those three white words having a
3D like texture.

The smell of the wood
on the paper.
The author’s name
in bold read letters.

Hearing the sounds of paper rustling.
My eyes glued to the book while
my classmates talk.

Seeing my hand flip over
the pages.
While seeing the character’s
name pop up on the pages.

But then you see your hand
flip the last page, then its
over just like that.


My First Memory Of Brookfield Zoo
By Fajr M.

This is my first memory.
A big gated place with people walking around.
A line of people waiting to get their food.
Big animals that could walk over me.
I was walking around, a big smile on my face.
Then I saw a lion for the first time.
I heard a big roar and people taking pictures.
I was so happy I wanted to pet it.
It was fluffy and yellow, orange.
I could smell dripping ice cream out of
my brother’s hand.
I tasted the sticky cotton candy on my hand.
I could smell the way the zebras pooped.

It was a very cool day!



“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.