Words Are Birds @ Shoesmith 5th & 6th Grade

To kick off their virtual poetry residency Shoesmith Elementary’ s 5th and 6th grade students explored the power of words. They were asked the question: How are words essential to creating Poetry? Most students described how words can be used to tell stories and express thoughts, feelings, and deeper meanings. Together we discussed verbs, words that create action and suspense such as running, jumping, and punching. We also looked at adjectives, descriptive words that describe nouns, such as fluffy, rough, bright, and smooth.

Students read the poem “Words Are Birds,” by Francisco X. Alarcón. Alarcón’s entire poem is an extended metaphor, he compares words with birds, which he describes in fantastical ways in each stanza. Some words die caged/they are difficult to translate/and others build nests/ have chicks/ warm them/feed them/ teach them how to fly/and one day the go way in flocks. The poet sees words as living things that can create, nurture, and carry important messages.

Inspired by Francisco X. Alarcón students wrote their own poems describing what words mean to them. Each week I will be publishing three poems from each class. Please enjoy these new poems.


Ms. Yassky’s 5th Grade
Group 1


Words Are Peaches
By Alonna A.  

Words are peaches.
Words are plants.
Words can be anything from small
little ants.

Words are in the air.
Words are fair.

Words are happy.
Words are sad.
Words are anything that makes you glad.
And some make you even go mad.

I am you and you are me.
We are one big family.


Words Are Nature
By Ophelia H.S

Words are like nature
From the happiness
throughout the day
To the setting of the sun,
Which end’s the children’s play.

Words are like nature
They can take you to
Different places,
From the Leaning Tower Of Pisa
To the rolling seas

Words are like nature
They can shelter you
They can bring you joy
Make dark surroundings colorful
They can brighten up your morning

Words are like nature
They help you notice how
Things you thought were horrible
Aren’t all that bad at all
And that you were just looking
at the wrong side of it.


Words Are Balance
By Noah O.

Words are balance.
they center us in the most peaceful state.
Words are the wind,
they flow freely in the sky.
Words are the sun,
they give us light in the dark
Words are nature,
they are strong and powerful.
Words are a mountain,
they are peaceful and proud.
Words are the great bond,
that can connect us all.
Words are swift as the wind,
they are proud as the mountains.
They are as bright as the sun.
They are as powerful as nature.
And they are a great bond.
Words are balance.



Ms. Yassky’s 5th Grade
Group 2


Words Are Elves
By Victoria G.  

Words are elves
Kind and fun.

They love maple syrup.
But mine like cookies

Some words can be coal.
Sad and hurtful.

But all words can be elves!
Treating everyone with kindness!

It will make everyone happy
and feel like they belong!
Let’s say that words are elves!


Words Are Free
By Amina K.  

Words are free
They remind me of the sea.
they come in and out so calmly.

Words make me think of spring.
They can be hot or cold
and have a breeze.

Just as if you were done,
and the conversation
had just begun,
words sometimes
sound different.

People might not understand.
They can even be translated
if you have digital apps or text.
Words are free

You can say them in many
different lands.


Words Are Air
By Lawrence T.  

Words are air.
Air is swift,
Air is peaceful,
a cool breeze,
makes you feel amazing,
gives you butterflies.



Ms. Henry’s 6th Grade
Group 1


Words Are Our Lives
By Jonah C.

Words are our lives
Words either are helpful or hurtful
Words are a world undiscovered

Words are magic, they magically make us
feel good or bad
They make us want to try again and run
around with joy
Or make us want to cry, cover oneself
in blankets and never get found

Words are us; they describe us, they are us
And we are them
Nice, mean, both
It is all about how you decide how
to use them.


Words Are Windows
By Kaidyn F.

Words are windows
Windows into your soul
For some they can be foggy
The messages not so clear
Because you weren’t meant to hear them
Or maybe they’re rainy
Saddening, deeply depressing
For its your inner turmoil
You’re constantly repressing
Maybe the glass has been shattered
One touch and you’ll get cut
But you can’t forget
The radiant, glimmering, sunny windows
That spread like a disease
Due to its joviality
Words are windows
Windows into your soul


Words Are Memories
By Zayla P.

Words are memories
that bring you joy and sadness
they repeat in your head
again and again

Most words are happiness, that you
can never forget
They pop in your head like popcorn,

Some words are sadness
that you make yourself remember

They drain your head and mess up your game

Some words dissolve in the thick of time
Maybe because
of age
You can be too
or too old

They can stay
in your
soul, or they
go with the flow

No matter what
words do
these words are
the sunflower rising



Ms. Henry’s 6th Grade
Group 2


Words Are People
By London R.

Words are people
They can be deep
They can be small
They can be soft

They can be also loud
Or big
Or even tough
Also tall

Words can be like people because
Words can be light
And rough
Or mean

I think words can be nice
Or lean
Or serene
Just like people can be

Words can be cold
Or boring
Or pouty
Just like us

They can probably be warm
Or French
Or Spanish
Or maybe even Swedish

Words can be different
Or unique
And beautiful
Just like all people in the world.


Words Are Weapons
By Maddysen T.

Words are weapons
They really really hurt
Hurtful and bitter
Sharp and hard
Bloody and wet
Words are like a blade to the mouth,
unstoppable and painful.
Words are hurtful,
the things that we blurt.

Words are emotions
Sad and gloomy
Words are reality
Bland and white
The tears that come down my face
Are from your hurtful words.

Words are like lyrics
They just fall out
But sometimes you can control
the things that come out of your mouth
Falling down so slowly, coming out
of your throat so smoothly
that you can never stop.


Words Are Diamonds
By Iyanna W.

Words are diamonds.
They sparkle and light up the room in a second.
They bling like icy chains.
They twinkle like stars in the galaxy skies.

They shine just like the morning sun.
They are so pretty like glitter.
They have so much worth like the earth.
They are delicate like feelings.





“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.