Shoesmith 4th graders 2024: Let us Introduce Ourselves

The 1st session in my 4th year of being invited to engage Shoesmith 4th graders in poetry was 🔥! It included sweet reunions with staff, teachers, and former students at the front desk, in the hallways, and in Ms. Lehner’s classroom. You should see how some students have grown to be my height and taller. And many seemed to still be excited about poetry, so I love that! Students shared that their class groups have developed poems to perform at school assemblies, and many students were preparing for an upcoming school-wide poetry slam. Look out, world!

I learned that poetry is not the only form of creative writing Shoesmith 4th graders are engaged in, but that they write stories from prompts every week as well. We got off to a great start with “I AM” poems [- templates in the public domain]. We read and discussed an “I Am” poem written by yours truly, and then students wrote their own. Enjoy an inspiring sampling here!

Ms. Lehner
4th Grade – Group 1

Strong and Nice Woman
Jacqueline S.

I am a strong and nice woman
I wonder will I always feel this way
I hear everybody say today will be a nice day
I see people act good and like they should
I want everyone to do what they put their mind to
I am a strong and nice woman

I pretend to be a delicate flower
I feel good when I paint
I touch my love from above
I worry when I’m sad when and lose my self control
I cry when I try to deny I’m a good person in the world
I am a strong and nice woman

I understand if someone is sad or bad
I say there is always a new day
I dream one day we’ll come to gather and love each other
I try to tell people love yourself and others
I hope people always listen to me when I say love is always here
I am a strong and nice woman

Being A Builder
by Andreas

I am good at building legos
I wonder will I ever be a builder
I hear my heart pounding
I see my family partying
I want to be a builder of homes and schools
I am good at building legos

I pretend to not be sad
I feel loved
I touch lego mechs
I worry that my big sister goes to college
I cry when my grandparents fly high in the sky to heaven
I am good at building legos

I understand my sister will leave for college
I say building will help the world
I dream that me and my dad will build every ninjago set
I try my hardest to get good grades
I hope I become a builder
I am good at building legos

Good Day
by Kylie B.

I am in a good mood today
I wonder why do some people get mad every morning
I hear my ancestors speaking to me
I see nature when I walk outside
I want to get to know new people more
I am in a good mood today

I pretend to act like I am not tired at school
I feel tired when I have to get up early
I touch some things like food, clothes, and different stuff
I worry about the world because you never know what’s going on
I cry when I’m frustrated and sometimes when hungry
I am in a good mood today

I understand that some people are different
I say certain stuff at a certain time
I dream each day that the world doesn’t end
I try not to cry when I’m irritated or frustrated
I hope the best for everyone at all times
I am in a good mood today

Ms. Lehner
4th Grade – Group 2

I am light and beautiful
by Ka’layla D.

I am light and beautiful
I wonder what will be my first car
I hear people walking and driving
I see people playing in streets and it gets personal
I want to be in the WNBA
I am light and beautiful

I pretend I can help but I try to anyways
I feel grateful and appreciated when I get stuff
I touch God’s hand and he touches me too
I worry about how many friends I have
I cry when I get treated unfairly
I am light and beautiful

I understand that people need their space
I say croissants are the best
I dream to make a three-pointer
I try again even when I fail
I hope that all people black, mixed, white will all be treated the same
I am light and beautiful

Black and loved
by Kyle S.

I am Black and loved
I wonder do all kids have moms and dads
I hear happiness, people being loved just like me
I see hugging moms and dads being happy and loved
I want the best for everybody, no one should not be loved
I am Black and loved

I pretend I am great but it is okay to not be
I feel love and hope, nobody should not be loved
I touch being loved by my mom and dad
I worry if people are not loved they will cry
I cry when people are not loved, but in my head
I am Black and loved

I understand people are not loved, but they could be
I say I hope people are loved
I dream everybody is loved
I try to help people be loved
I hope nobody is not loved
I am Black and loved

Feeling Cold
by Gaius X.

I am sick
I wonder what my friends are doing
I hear the sound of the t.v. I’m watching
I see my cat at my feet
I want to be better
I am sick

I pretend I’m okay
I feel the sickness spreading
I touch my warm mug full of tea
I worry that I won’t get better
I cry that I’m not getting better
I am sick

I understand that it will pass
I say it’s okay, Gaius
I dream of getting better
I try to stay calm
I hope I will get better
I am sick



“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.