“Even 4th Graders Have the Blues”

As distance learning has continued, I met with Shoesmith 4th graders via computer audio and video once again – this time to talk about the blues; and the lament as a poetic form that expresses loss or grief. Some students wondered: do you have to feel sad in order to write a blues poem? We had fun using a “blues name generator” to find out what our blues performer names might be.

After talking about the blues as a musical form created by African Americans, we looked at the lyrics to “Everyday I Have the Blues” by Pinetop and Milton Sparks. We noticed patterns in rhyme and repetition. I ventured to sing some of the words we were viewing on screen so students could hear what a blues song might sound like, and after a few lines, I noticed another voice singing along with me. It was Anthony in Room 207, and he was gutsy enough to sing the remaining lines of the song by himself, with his own blues flavor. We enjoyed it so much, it taught us that listening to the blues can actually put a smile on your face!

Ms. Lehner
4th Grade – Room 207

Amir B.

I’m having the blues because I have do some work
But don’t worry worry worry worry
Because I would have today
Today today today today
So don’t worry worry worry worry


Sanaa F.

My brother left to fly away
I’m so so so sad
Whoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo weee honey
I’m so so soo s-s-s–s sad…..
I’m glad now dun dun dun
I have the blues
Shivering with tunes

4th Grade – Room 208

Strong blues
Curly Bones Liver Brown (Kyleigh F.)

My uncle passed away and gave me the blues
My dad scolded us for not cleaning up the room
Sadly not badly, that gave me the blues too
I have very strong blues, I have very strong blues

My mom went to work; I was sad and missed her badly
So we cleaned up for her birthday, it made me a little happy
Not to bring you down with me, but my happy tree was sappy
I have very strong blues, I have very strong blues


Blues are everywhere
Jamari H.

Blues are everywhere there is sadness.
No one cares when I’m sad, mad or angry.
Life is hard, it’s full of Blues all around.
No one cares if I’m struggling.
Bullies bully 24/7
No one cares – they just sit by,
being bystanders and laughing.
It’s very hard for us small people out there
Blues may be sad but there is always a good part: like family,
your family takes care of you and makes sure you have everything you need.


When I get the blues yeah yeah
Mr. Eugene Blue (Eugene D.)

When your favorite item breaks –  my xbox, ooh I had the blues
When covid started, ooh I had the blues
When my step great grandma passed away, ooh I had the blues
When my wii broke, ooh I had the blues
When my 3ds broke, ooh I had the blues

When my 9th birthday came, ooh I had the happy blues
When my tv broke, ooh I had the blues
When my mom turned 39, ooh I had the sad blues ’cause she’s getting older now
When I moved to a new house, ooh I had the happy blues





“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.