Poetry Day 4- Reading Poems As a Poet


Today we took a closer look at reading poems as poets- as people who are planning to make poems ourselves. I wanted to help kids focus their inquiry on some specific qualities of poems, so I walked them through this chart of questions.


I demonstrated and thought aloud to show how this sounds when I ask these questions and think about possible answers. (I demonstrated with a poem called 1212, by Emily Dickinson, and had them practice together with a poem called The Dream, by Nikki Grimes. Both of these appear in Wonderful Words: Poems About Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening, selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Karen Barbour.)

The Dream

Oh! to a poet

like a laser,

pierce darkness

with one word!


Some of the responses they had to The Dream:

  • Why is it called “The Dream”? There’s no dream?
  • Maybe that is her dream.
  • I envisioned a laser point in a dark sky.
  • I saw the laser as a sharp pen writing on blank paper.
  • The word, “darkness,” sounds like it doesn’t end. It has a sound that goes on, and I think it shows how the darkness goes on. If she said, “dark,” the /k/ sound makes it end, but the /s/ sound keeps going.

Kids went off with books and notebooks to explore and try out ideas.




Sammy is workshopping this poemdraft about making Swedish cookies. It can be hard for young poets to use rhyme purposefully, and I think she’s on to something!

I can’t wait to see what happens next week!

Have a great weekend.

2 thoughts on “Poetry Day 4- Reading Poems As a Poet

  1. Steph! Your classroom and the work you and your kids are doing has been just what we all needed this week! The perfect dose of what should be going on this week in the midst of other things…thank you! And Amy’s work and voice in the work was another added bonus! I would love to stop by and meet these inquirying poets sometime soon! -Ginny

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