Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Book Poems

In the fall of last year, I tried to devote one post a week to writing that a group of 8th graders at Goshen Middle School send to me.  Lisa, the teacher I am working on this project with, has sent me three packages of different kinds of their writing and each package is better then the first. The students started with letters about books they were reading, and then moved on to a project called "snapshots."  They are striking paragraphs jammed packed with detail that bring the reader into the story immediately.  I loved those. 

The most recent batch of work that Lisa sent me is something called "book poems."  These are poems that the students wrote describing their experience reading a specific book.  These are so good I'm having trouble picking one to spotlight.  So today I'm going to spotlight three.  These poems highlight the books Olivia, No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, and The Cat in the Hat.  The poems grabbed my attention because I think they're well written, but also, because these are books that my girls and I read together all the time.  If anyone has any doubt whether stories stick to young children, these poems are proof that even after years of not reading them, we are attached to the characters we meet in these books.

The first one is by Olivia.

Olivia's books
My name swims
around and around
in my head
when I read
those books.

She can't decide
what to wear.
I can never decide
what to wear.

Her room is a mess
my room is a mess.

She has annoying siblings
I have an annoying sibling.

Long ago
I used to think,
"Am I reading about myself?"

The second poem is by Teryn.
Thing 1 and Thing 2
Always romping around,
makers of mischief
these two.

Knocking over
shouting outloud

I am Thing 1 and you are
Thing 2.

The third poem put tears in my eyes.  It is written by Mikaela.
Monkeys Jumpin' on the Bed
You are the caring mother who says,
"No more monkeys jumpin' on the bed!"
We are the monkeys who just won't listen.
One by one
we make mistakes and fall off the bed.

You tell us to stop, but we just say,
"No, No, No!"

When the last one of us falls,
we finally stop.
You got your wish.
There are no more monkeys jumpin' on the bed.

We might not of known it then,
but we know it now.
When you said, "No more monkeys jumpin' on the bed"
you said it because you didn't want your
little monkeys fallin' off
the bed and hittin' their head.


  1. I love all those poems too and would not have been able to choose either! Wonderful poetry!

  2. Oh I love them!!! Thank you so much for sharing:)