Sounding Board

“Are listening and hearing the same thing?” asked Shoesmith 4th grader La’Wonn.

For my 2nd sessions with Shoesmith 4th graders, we took the time to close our eyes, quiet our mouths, and listen to the many sounds that we make and are in the midst of each day but may not ever identify. We heard breathing, and hands rubbing together, and bodies shifting in chairs; as well as voices from outdoors or in other classrooms.  We touched on onomotopoeia, and had to clap it out to make sure it really had six syllables. Students brainstormed loads of sounds before writing their Sound Poems. A few examples included: Waking up to the sound of a grandmother’s raspy voice; hearing Mom on a prayer line; pens tapping and clicking; whistling; the crunch of kinetic sand; and a basketball swishing the net. Because there were so many creative poems, I had to publish more than the usual 3-4. Enjoy!

Ms. Lehner
4th Grade – Group 1

School Sounds
by Katherine J.

I hear teachers through the vents
And I also hear the air flowing through the school room
It sounds like waves that are gently moving
And it sounds like sound waves when it’s quiet.
And then I hear chairs moving from children
I hear tables squeaking
I hear children talking to friends
I hear teachers saying “Quiet class”
It sounds like angry dogs barking.


The sounds I hear at school
by Alyssa M.

I hear myself reading in my head
And I also hear people drinking water
I also hear people typing sometimes
I hear the teacher talking
And then I hear people talking while they work together
After that I hear pencils moving
Then I start writing, and hear that
It sounds so smooth.

When it’s lunch, I hear kids smacking
it’s really annoying.


Tomide O.

I hear the sound of poppets
It sounds like rainbow music
And it sounds like fingers mashing
And then I hear lots of things.


A Poem
by Kaya A.

I hear pencils falling on the ground
And I also hear it making a sound.
It sounds like a wood tapping sound
And it sounds like click click
And then I hear a classmate saying stuff out loud
I hear them say “how do I sound out…” pretty loud
I hear another classmate whine
I hear them say stuff and cry
It sounds like “how do I do this? how do I pass 
this test?!”


Life of a Teacher
by Bayleigh T.

I hear pencils falling to the ground
And I also hear papers crunching up into a ball
It sounds like crunchy sand
And it sounds like shoes clicking and clapping
And then I hear the teacher yelling.

I hear some get paid a lot
I hear some don’t get paid enough
Some get paid in the middle
It sound like no teacher wants to quit, though.


A coffee like heaven
by Aayan A.

I hear coffee
I hear the coffee brewing until it’s done
It’s like you dream in a cloud world
And it sounds like water dripping after you turn it off.
And then I hear a pop when the coffee is done
I hear the machine sounding like it’s going to explode
I hear my Mom slurping the coffee in the car to stay awake
I hear my brother wanting a sip
It sounds like a drink from heaven when you drink it.


I hear a sound
by Miles T.

I hear the lead in pencils writing words
And I also hear the sound of a couple of them coming out
It sounds like music in an office or work building
And it sound like a school of fish floating around
And then I hear kids laughing in joy
I hear teachers teaching
I hear shoes sliding across the floor
I hear outside a dog barking
It sounds like horses neighing in the day


4th Grade – Group 2

What I hear at home
by Nevaeh S.

When I get home I hear happiness
When I get home I hear
people talking like birds are chirping
When I get in the shower I hear
rain sounds
When I go to bed I hear
family saying “Good night.”


What I hear outside
by Jason H.

I hear me bouncing my basketball
and the tree branches clacking together
and leaves sliding on the ground
and me running and jumping.


At home I hear
by Briann R.

At home I hear
my Mom clattering pots and pans
my app begging for attention
texts messages blooping
my Mom making noise.


At home I hear
by Kiyan M.

At home I hear
the washing machine
I hear my tv
I hear glass clinking
I hear the floor creaking






“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.