Thursday, October 29, 2020

Poetry Friday -- Space is a Word

Back on September 3, Laura Purdie Salas shared a poem written using a wordplay form that was the challenge Nikki Grimes offered up at Today's Little Ditty back in 2015. She featured this form in her October newsletter, "Salas Snippets."

I forwarded Laura's newsletter to my school email and luckily it surfaced right when I needed it.

We had finished our big Life Science unit, and covered our Space Science standards. Rather than giving a traditional test, I wanted my students to interact with the information in a creative way. "___ is a Word" poems were perfect! 

After studying Laura's examples, we noticed that this kind of poem always has a description of the chosen word in the first line, and it tells more about the word or the shape of the word in the poem.

Here's the poem we wrote together:


And here are a few of the poems my 5th graders wrote (click on the images to enlarge them):

Moon is a Word by J.



Pluto is a Word by A.



Planet is a Word by Z.



Orbit is a Word by S.



Pluto is a Word by A.


Linda B. has this week's Poetry Friday Roundup at TeacherDance.


24 comments:

  1. Space is, indeed, a starry word! Thank you for sharing these brilliant creations!

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  2. I think it's the best test of all, Mary Lee, & each deserves an A+. What I love best are those first 'definitions', the ones you explained that begin this form. Each one shows beautifully creative thinking (& learning)! What a beautiful way to end a unit of study.

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  3. "Moon is a pretty word/The two O's in the middle." This is such a creative lesson for your children and their responses were creative. I agree with Linda that this is a great end-of-unit lesson. I enjoyed your Space is a wonder-filled word mostly because I love the idea of anything being wonder-filled.

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  4. These are wonderful Mary Lee! I especially like the two that wrote on our neglected Pluto. So much heart and presence of mind in all here, and wonderful graphics too. What fortunate students to have you as their teacher, thanks for sharing them all!

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  5. Fabulous is the word for these creations, Mary Lee! I, too, was inspired by Laura's 'Salas Snippets Newsletter' and wrote a word poem about my favorite color/fruit:
    http://www.weewordsforweeones.com/2020/10/orange-you-glad-its-poetry-friday-round.html
    S.'s Orbit word poem has me 'spinny' with admiration! :)

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  6. Oh my heart. Those 2 oo's in the middle of moon, the loneliness of Pluto, all of these are just ... words, but so much more, too.

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  7. Wow, these are so wonderful! Thank you for sharing them with us.

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  8. Great creativity and just wonderful, thanks to you Mrs.Hahn

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  9. Starry eyed with wonder over these fab poems. Love this assignment and reading what your students came up with. I really feel sorry for Pluto . . .

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  10. Thank you for referencing Nikki Grimes description of word play and sharing Laura's poem and those of your kids, which were so fun and made me consider Pluto and a trip away from Earth for a few minutes.

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  11. Children are so creative. Love all the poems. Go Hahn team!

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  12. What a fun and clever take your kids had on this assignment. I always love when you share their work. (And how excellent of a teacher are YOU, substituting this engagement for a test? Go, you!)

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  13. What a lovely constellation of poems you all created! This is such an engaging and creative assignment.

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  14. I'm so impressed with how your students synthesized their unit. You can see such value in this kind of creative exercise. They all get an A+.

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  15. These are fabulous! Thank you for sharing!

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  16. Closer examination of words is the stuff of logophiles Mary Lee. Such attention to wondrous words can lead to unexpected outcomes and greater understanding. You have explored something quite meaningful with this poetry project.

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  17. Wow--your students are wonder-filled writers! Love that they showed their knowledge in such a creative way.

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  18. Bravo to you, Mary Lee, for coming up with this creative assessment! And to your students for meeting your challenge with such enthusiasm. Well done!

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  19. Wowee wow wow! I love these poems and the learning shown in the writing and sharing of them. What fortunate fifth graders to skip the test and show what they know. Bravo!

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  20. How much do I adore these! I'm so glad you shared them, Mary Lee. And these remind me that it's making kids CARE about things that will make them want to TAKE CARE of them. I feel like this close examination of a topic and word leads to more emotional writing. That emotional engagement beats out a list of facts any day. Hooray, poets!

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  21. Happy Blue Moon Weekend, Mary Lee! Thanks for all the sharing. These poems are fanTAStic! I particularly am smitten with "orbit is a spinny word" and "the L in Pluto is for getting left out." Congrats to all these young poet-scientists.

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  22. What a great, creative way to end the lesson, and what an amazing job done by all. These are fabulous!

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  23. Gah! I'm so glad I finally made it to this post, Mary Lee. Bravo!!! SO wonderful to read these poems that showcase a wonderful balance of facts, emotion, and wonder.

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  24. Just lovely! I think I made an author visit to your school a few years ago and your students read from my book, Seeds, Bees, Butterflies, and More: Poems for Two Voices. It was clear then that you had engendered in your classroom a love of words.

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