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Poetry break
Poetry break
Thursday, May 1, 2008


Roots go down into
the earth from a tree with bark
sunlight streaming through the leaves
Poetry breaks caught on quickly.
Second graders began dropping in on classrooms unannounced.
They would declare "Poetry break" and read a few verses.
They would leave as suddenly as they had appeared.
Soon other age groups took up the cause.
Classes would turn the tables on the visitors with a poem of their own.
They began preparing their own signs
They began writing their own poems
and took to the halls to find their own audiences.

Roses are red
violets are blue
grasses are green
and purple for you

Coins are gold
the sun is yellow
and an orange is orange
no matter what

Night is black
is the color of
the ocean and
ghosts are white too

Kindergarten's yellow group participated in a tea ceremony.
It was led by their art teacher.
The equipment included ceramics she'd brought from Japan
and sandals and kimonos painted by the students.
One day there was a cotton candy monster
that moved into my closet
Mr. Cotton
that night crept
out of the closet and
snatched me and he was about to
eat me when I
realized he was cotton candy so I
ate Mr. Cotton.
Each second grade classroom has set up a play area as part of their Spanish language study.
This classroom built a restaurant.
Students decided what needed to be included.
There was a stove
menus and a reservation book and
a restaurant has to have framed headshots of celebrities on the wall, right?
I used to be a princess
but now I'm an angel
I used to be lightning
but now I'm thunder
I used to be in first grade
but now I'm in second
I used to like teletubbies
but now I like Hannah Montana
I used to be light
but now I'm dark
Why the poetry break?
It is performance art that
feels familiar to anyone who has every trick or treated.
It expects art to be fun
and uses poetry as a playful prank.
joins "reading, writing and arithmetic"
as the fourth R of
elementary school.

At the beach

I like to be
in the water
at the beach

Preschool asked:
"Who is taller than this tower?"
As they experimented, the answers became more complex than just "yes" and "no"
Some people were "half a tower".
Some were "One block taller than a tower" or
"Two blocks shorter."
Notes were taken, and the group is compiling a book with their results.

Beast Party

Sphinx and Doxy went to a party.
At the party, Imp called Ghoul a smarty.
Augrey and Basilisk did a waltz,
Gnome blamed Lethifold for all his faults.
The party was fun, especially with Dragon,
who unusually wasn't bragging.
The party ended with troll's speech,
and a trip to creature beach.

Yellow group teleconferenced hugs with
a classmate who had stayed home sick.


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