My husband and I spent last week visiting our families in the NY Metropolitan Area. When we returned to our home in Central Pennsylvania, we were greeted by bursts of yellow on our street. The forsythia bushes had bloomed while we were gone. In the past five days, I’ve noticed April springing into action with daffodils sprouting from the ground. Our lawn is green again, reawakening from it’s wintertime slumber. The shrubs and trees I deemed as “dead” in our backyard are not only coming back to life; they’re blooming! Little blossoms have begun to appear like cotton balls decorating the branches.
On Tuesday afternoon, I was perusing through the links left by the people who had written Slice of Life Stories. I resonated with Caroline’s post because she challenged her readers to look at the seasonal changes through young poets’ eyes. She wrote:
I enjoy teaching poetry to young students because I am always amazed at how children naturally look at objects with the eyes of a poet. There are trees with beautiful pink blossoms which every year children call the “cotton candy” or “bubblegum” trees. Sunlight coming in through windows is called “blankets of sun” or “showers of sun”. We always write the new names for objects under a picture and display them in our classroom. Nature walks take a whole new meaning with the eyes of a poet.
Have you noticed bubblegum trees, rock candy trees, or little suns growing around you? If you haven’t stopped to look at things like a young poet, have a go, take a child with you, and be inspired by their responses.
Try to get outside with your writer’s notebook in hand in the next few days. Take note of the changes and record the true words that describe the things you observe. Then, after you’ve observed, and recorded what you’ve seen, heard, smelled, and felt, weave your words into a poem. Finally, once you’ve tinkered with it (Not too much… you don’t want to lose the essence of the young poet’s eyes you’re using when you record your observations!), share it with your students. Allow your poem about the change of seasons to be a mentor poem for them as they seek to capture this magnificent time of year.
Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.