The Title of This Poem Is…

This week was the first Skinner West residency of the year! It was terrific to see both familiar and new faces, and the students were energized and ready to tackle our first day of poetry.

I talked a bit about myself and the program, asked who knew anything about or had written poetry previously, distributed folders and a short vocabulary list. Rather than reading a poem to discuss, we focused on two terms from the list—stanza and line—that are essential components of talking about poetry. Students next prepared their papers for writing, and I brought out a box filled with interesting headlines clipped from the newspaper. Students blindly chose headlines from the box, and taped them to their writing sheets. I then explained that titles of poems come about two ways: after the poem is written, but sometimes beforehand, and if the latter is the case the title acts as a catalyst for the poem’s composition.

So our first poems of the year, below, were inspired by images, associations, thoughts, and maybe even guesses regarding the meaning of the headlines. Pretty amazing stuff! Check it out.

Ms. Thiel, 2nd Grade

Body Language
Ibrahim B.

I feel like
being speechless.

Using my body,
you know what that means,

it means


Wild Things
Aurelie G.

Feet walking on
the forest
Growling in the Distance.
Wild Things, Wild
Things, they are nature.

Easier Streets
Amari M.

Easier streets everything is easier to
do if you have a problem it will be getting
really easier easier streets is the best.

Where She Came From
Ondra P.

The wild wind
going through the
air a baby is
born she is
aware that her
parents are there
where she is
the wind
is whistling oooo
the trees shook
shsh now you know
where she
is from.

The Cows Are Safe in Her Hands
Natalia R.

Cows are Big
Brown or Black
they have Babies
Just like that.

Modern Waterfront Living
Sirun Z.

You live inside a warm house in front of a waterfront.
It was really warm.
You drink hot cocoa when it’s cold.
Seeing the waterfront.
Feeling good.
Inside warm.
On the sofa reading books.
Spending times juggling with bills.

Ms. Ward, 2nd Grade

The Silent Partner
Kyndall C.

I have a silent partner
she is very silent she is
my friend second by
second she does not talk
to me we and the class
are playing the silent game
it is fun to me and my
partner you and your partner
have to work together to
not talk it is fun

Covered With Whiskers
Brendan D.

There was a little boy who
loved cats he would bathe
them he would feed them but one
day he woke up and his face
was covered in whiskers. He was
turning into a cat.

Land of Vineyards
Tahlia L.

On a land of vineyards the
land is very bumpy and hard. The
land is dirt.
The vineyards are green and
smooth. The land has a lot a lot of

She Had Other Plans
Jasmine M.

She had other plans.
I thought she said she
come with me.

Instead she went to a party,
without me.

She’s my best friend.

We are going to a movie.

Instead she went to a party,
without me.

I think I’m going to stay

She said that she was
going to a party right
at the minute.

I think I’m just gonna
stay home.

Every Second Counts
Lorenzo P.

I have to get
finished with my
work. I need to get on the

This and That
Reva S.

Pink and purple this and that.
They’re cute colors pink and purple this and that.

Dolphin and tiger this and that.
They’re beautiful animals this and that.
Headband hair tie this and that.

They’re both pretty things headband hair tie this and that.

Wake Me When It’s Over
Annette W.

I laid down and said,
“Wake me when it’s over.”
Then I closed my eyes.
Oh well.
Off she went to the parade.
Then when she left I jumped
up and started to dance.
Meanwhile, she hopped
into the car
soon she got bored
she went inside and saw
me dancing. “You! I wanted
to wake you!”

Emptying the Closet
Sadie W.

When I empty the closet
it never makes sense
so I just throw it all
over the place

Ms. O’Connor, 2nd Grade

The Temperamental Flower
Zakaria B.

One day there
a moody flower.
She would yell her petals
off and
be bad for 1 week.
She would scream while
fighting until her leaves
fell off. And
she would say blah blah

Square Feet
Karynn C.

One day there was a boy and he
had square feet he could not walk
so when he tried to walk he
would fall they treated him like
a baby and one day he walked
he said oh why oh why do my
feet do not want to walk. And when he
finally walked someone said what
is that smell and someone said it is
his feet.

Get Better
Kayla K.

I was not good to my mother I was
not good to my brother then my dad came
and said get better then that night I
thought about it then I had no doubt about
it. So that very night I changed. Then I
started to be polite!

The Crossover
Alexis M.

I’ve always had
a love for mazes I asked
my cousin if she felt the
same but all she said was no
she said she swears that
the mazes just gaze right
back at her. I tried a maze
but it just crossed over when
I was done I was as dizzy
as fizzy wait a minute I don’t like
fizzy I mean seriously who likes
fizzy I know I don’t but I do like

White Stripes
Triniti W.

White Stripes
White oh white
why not black
why not lilac
It could reek of pink
or have the weirdest shade
of blue
White Stripes
White oh white
Come to me color
color oh color
you are beautiful
but white outshines all
White White
nothing but
White here white there
white everywhere

Treasure Seekers
Rachel X.

Egyptians are seeking
For a secret chest
They prepare for a mission
In a pyramid

Secretly tiptoeing
Throughout the night
In the dry sand
Holding a light

As night fades
they slept through the day
Searching inside
Deep in the pyramid
A glowing light
appears out of sight

They hurry in
grab the chest
hurry out
run out and about

Ms. Rupp, 2nd Grade

Not for Kids
Quinn D.

It’s not for kids,
It’s not for kids,
School, is not for kids.
It’s not for kids,
It’s not for kids,
Work is not for kids.
Nothing’s for kids,
except parties and
Nothing’s for kids,
except candy and

Sunny, With Chickens
Audrey H.

The sun, sun, sunny sun,
shines down on the
farm. Chickens run and
go cluck, cluck, cluck.
The farmer calms them
down. The sun starts
to fall. Chickens eat
their corn.

A Restless Spirit
Erik I.

I will never sit
I will never stop
I won’t sleep
I am restless spirit
I am not like you
I need no rest
never will stop am wild
crazy, fast, not simple
not scared
will never stop…

Sophisticated Luxury
Sirenna J.

I’m in a
named American Inn.
It has pretty but
sophisticated luxury.
I had a
TV, and
everything you
It was so beautiful
I felt like buying it!
It has so many
sophisticated luxury
I could faint!

A New Look
Bailey M.

I went down the street
I saw some feet
then I wanted to eat a treat
but the feet looked hungry so I gave a treat
to the owner of the feet
and myself was pleased
so the owner of the feet and I ate
and too many feet
a treat
so the owners of the
feet and I split another treat

No End in Sight
Sophia S.

I look down the
road I see nothing
yes nothing
the world is
new to me
I want to
go home
I miss mom
is gone
hope is
I feel
I gone
and alone

Letting It All Go
Eason T.

First, I grabbed some flower pots,
all marked with totally polka-dots.
Then I dashed on the floor
and opened the wooden door.

Lacks Teeth
Levi T.

once there was a
boy had
no teeth then
he got one
tooth then he tried
to eat a strawberries
then he
got a sour face
then he tried
some yogurt after

Gleaming With Gold
Erika W.

I can see its glowing
I like how it looks
The sun hurts my eyes
I need sun glasses
Look at all the gold
It is beautiful
I want it now
I can be rich
Gold is amazing

Ms. Schwartz, 2nd Grade

From a Swipe to a Dip
Logan F.

I have my paint brush. I
dip it into the
paint. It is very
wet and cold. It gives
chill for me. I
swipe it on
paper. I say
swipe to a dip
I say to myself
“hey that could
my new catchphrase.”

Impossible to Follow
Shreesh K.

When I’m in line I look backward
instead of forward. That is so
unbelievable. I better watch out for
the teacher if she stops or starts
to walk.

Take Two
Calvin M.

two glasses that are big
two pens that are small
two buildings that are gigantic
two planets combining together
two pairs of shoes that have dirt
inside of them

Best Served Cold
Zia R.

The wind is cold in the out
side doors
in the evening night
in the evening sky.
In the sky, sky, sky,
wind in the sky.
And the out doors.

A Refreshing Breeze
Emily S.

The mist and wind
nice hot air.
The waves
in the middle of hot
and cold.

Two Giants
Leyla S.

giants are Big
I mean Big giants
are cool I mean cool
giants are fun

giants are nice
I mean
some are
giants are good
I mean some are

How to Hold a Stranger’s Baby
Raagvi S.

He or she
bit my hair!

Be Sent to Britain
Ryan Z.

Britain is a country.
I want to send somebody else
to Britain.
I don’t want to go to
Britain. I don’t know Britain.
I don’t know about
Britain. Britain is stupid.



“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.