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Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Note: Tomorrow is a spelling test and a quiz on petry terms.

Yesterday we began a poetry unit with a review of terms and the analysis of of two poems from the literature book. The first three stanzas of Jean Little's "Growing Pains" was distributed and read. Students were to write the fourth stanza and a paragraph explaining why they chose to end the poem in the manner they did. The poem, with it's final stanza (which was discussed today) is below:

Growing Pains by Jean Little

Mother got mad at me tonight and bawled me out.
She said I was lazy and self-centered.
She said my room was a pigsty.
She said she was sick and tired of forever nagging
but I gave her no choice.
She went on and on until I began to cry.
I hate crying in front of people. It was horrible.

I got away, though, and went to bed and it was over.
I knew things would be okay in the morning;
Stiff with being sorry, too polite, but okay.
I was glad to be by myself.

Then she came to my room and apologized.
She explained, too.
Things had gone wrong all day at the store.
She hadn't had a letter from my sister and she was worried.
Dad had also done something to hurt her.
She even told me about that.
Then she cried.
I kept saying, "It's all right. Don't worry."
And wishing she'd stop.

I'm just a kid.
I can forgive her getting mad at me. That's easy.
But her sadness . . .
I don't know what to do with her sadness.
I yell at her often, "You don't understand me!"
But I don't want to have to understand her.
That's expecting too much.

Today another poem was read and responses were written in journals.

A Hole in the House by Mr. Lambert

There is a little hole in the house;
Here on the bed,
There on the chair.

There is a little hole in the house;
On the floor’s windowlight;
Before the winter fire.

There is a little hole in the house;
On the stair,
Soft foot thumping.

There is a little hole in the house;
Warm and rumbling,
Near my ear.

There is a little hole in the house;
Where the dogs worry,
And the children sigh.

Responses to yesterday's assignment, "Growing Pains", were read and the final stanza was examined.

Directions for the poetry project were distributed:

1) 5 original pieces of poetry, typed and illustrated.
2)A favorite poem, written either by you or someone else. Typed, with an explanation as to why this is your favorite poem and identifying the poetic devices used.
3) Due date: April 30. This leaves enough room so as to avoid conflict with the book project (due April 22). BUT START CONSIDERING YOUR PEOMS NOW!

Students my use poetry forms introduced in class:

Sense Poem:
LIKE – describe an image or feeling
I SEE…………
I HEAR……….


Loneliness seems golden yellow
Like the hazy colors fall days bring
I see the leaves of red
I hear the birds announce themselves
I smell burning leaves that signal the end
I touch no one, for I stand alone
I taste the salt of my tears

Bio Poem:

A bio poem allows the writer to focus on the characteristics of a person or animal, anything or anyone. It requires the writer to put themselves in the subject’s shoes.

Line 1: First Name
Line 2: Four Descriptive Traits
Line 3: Sibling Of…….
Line 4: Lover Of……
Line 5: Who Fears….
Line 6: Who Needs…..
Line 7: Who Gives…..
Line 8: Who Would Like To See
Line 9: Resident Of….
Line 10: Last Name


Tall, tasty, feathery, vicious
Sibling of Clucky Chicken and Big Bird
Lover of vegetarians and ham eaters
Fears Mr.Butterball and Pilgrims
Needs to run around
Gives nourishment and leftovers
Would like to see birds unite and revolt
Resident of Old McDonald’s farm

*Students may use other forms, but ONLY ONE OF EACH, or write free verse. other forms may be hiaku:

1) Haiku contain three lines. The first line contains five syllables, the second has seven, and the last has five.

2) Choose a general topic. Haiku usually focus around imagery, namely nature. Haiku do not tell stories and almost never involve people's actions. Haiku simply convey an abstract concept -- usually an emotion or reflective thought.

3) Choose a season. Since virtually all haiku focus on nature, the season is important for coming up with the imagery. With so few words in the poem, simple phrases like "cherry blossoms" or "falling leaves" can create lush scenes, while reflecting the tone of the verse.


As the wind does blow
Across the trees, I see the
Buds blooming in May

Falling to the ground,
I watch a leaf settle down
In a bed of brown

Branches stretching out
To grab the sunsets colours
Night is approaching.
-Lisa H., age 11

Extra credit: A song with appropriate lyrics can be brought in and played in class. You will need the lyrics typed, the cd, an explanation of the poetic devices used and why you liked the song. (I must preview the song before presenting it to class.)