“The amount of tears it/ holds. The memories of food it held.” : Turning Tables

Younger students read a poem by Langston Hughes called ‘April Rain Song‘ before making their own Springtime poems. For older students, a common household object became the focus of this lesson while studying Joy Harjo’s poem, Perhaps The World Ends Here.  The poet James Merrill once commented ‘We understand history from the family around the table.’

Lesson Note: Harjo’s work is often autobiographical, informed by the natural world, and above all preoccupied with survival and the limitations of language.

“I feel strongly that I have a responsibility to all the sources that I am: to all past and future ancestors, to my home country, to all places that I touch down on and that are myself, to all voices, all women, all of my tribe, all people, all earth, and beyond that to all beginnings and endings. In a strange kind of sense [writing] frees me to believe in myself, to be able to speak, to have a voice, because I have to; it is my survival.” -Joy Harjo.

Ms. Williams, 5th Grade

My Life at the Table
by Katie S.

At this table I design things that’s
creative. At this table I talk
to my mom that’s important. At
this table, I draw in my notebook
that’s thinking. At this table
I joke around that’s funny. At this
table I do work.

Fire Table
by D’Nee S.

At this table
we talk &
Read More like
eat, play around
to get the crow
back here again
fire table.

The Table
by Brooklyn J.

We sing at the table as loud as we want god gave
us voice for a reason.

We gossip, try not to be bored, the table is with god
Just like life.

We try to have fun at the table.

Mr. Peachey, 7th Grade

This Table
by Damaini B.

At this table,
We gossip about unimportant things
We find hilarious.

At this table,
we record videos to create memories.

At this table,
We eat breakfast.

At this table
We talk about school
and grades.

by Faith W.

At this table, we talk and run
until we are done.

At this table, we play on our
Chromebook until our hands
get tired.

At this table, we tell jokes and
giggle until our tummy hurts.

What Happens at the Table
by Diamond C.

At this table, we’re sitting and playing
till we get tired.

At this table, we sing until we leave

At this table, we talk and play music

At this table, we do everything until we

What Happens at the Table
by Mahajay W.

At this table we talk &
run until we are tired.
At this table we play on our
Chromebook while we think we
are in a video game but
we never forget to pray
at this table.

Ms. Turner, 6th Grade

The Table
by Antonio P.

At the table we eat
And we’re also sad.

At the table we play games
and everyone laughs.

At the table we listen to music
and everyone is mad.

My Last Goodbye
by Lianey H.

At this table I peel collard greens
At this table me and my family talk sometimes
giggles sometimes sadness.
At this table I eat with my sister.
Sometimes arguments or laughs and riddles.
At this table homework every week but I don’t do
it maybe next week I will but At this table
here we sit.
At this table for the last as we look at the table wave

Time Flies
by Makyi M.

The sudden sound of kicks shakes the table.

The shake makes the babies wake.

The sudden quake makes the sound shake

The baby’s cries are loud.

During the hour time starts to fly

In the end the mother prays to the sky.

Here At The Table
by Lyric W.

Here at this table
We’re watching TV
Regardless of what we’re
watching make sure to
eat your food.
Here at this table.
We’re finishing our homework.
Anticipated to finish.
Here at this table.
We’re feeling fun, energetic
and lively while playing our
choice of board games.
Here at this table
We’re eating our food.
Optimistic because it’s not

The History of this Table
by Markayla M.

At the table we sit and eat. At the table
we pray. At the table we cry and shout. At
the table we work. At the table we spend
time with family. For guests this table
it may just look like an ordinary table.
But the table holds history. The amount
of tears it holds. The memories of food it
held. The amount of games played. As we
sit another day at this table. We hold a
memory at the table. the table that
holds history.

At My Table
by Layla H.

AT this table, there you and laughter.
but there’s also gloom and arguing.

At this table were find our peace,
When we meet and greet.

So much goes on.
But I have so much fun.

I look around
it’s so chaotic!

But I think to myself.
“I never enjoyed a moment like this,
why not make fun of it!”

So the fun began and at this table,
memorable moments were created.

Ms. Swinehart, 3rd Grade

April Song
by Jamarr J.R.

Let the well give you water.
Let your wishes wash you away.
Let yourself breathe.
Let the trees go side to side.
Let yourself play at parks.
Mom brought him his wish.

Ms. Williams, 5th Grade

The Stuff at the Table
by Chyna P.

The moon shines in the window.
My family and I play a game.
It is loud, funny, and rowdy.
Everyone is having a good time.

Feelings at the Table
by Josiah W.

I eat at the table
I brush my teeth before
I go to the table
I read at the table.

Around Our Table
by Amaud S.

Around our table, our cats steel the food we play music
and play games because we real cool that we talk
about school, we communicate we are great at the table
we love games.



“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.