Saturday, April 17, 2010

State Test Simile Poem

My students are
as confident as racehorses
in the starting gate.

Our teacher is
as nervous as a donut
in the teacher's lounge.

My students are
as sharp as a box of
#2 pencils.

Our teacher is
as hardworking as a house painter
with a one-inch brush.

On Wednesday afternoon,
we'll all be
as relieved as a gymnast
who sticks the landing.

by Mary Lee Hahn, copyright 2010


Muddy As A Duck Puddle and Other American Similes
by Laurie Lawlor
illustrated by Ethan Long
Holiday House, 2010
review copy provided by the publisher

This book has it all -- it's an ABC book of 26 uniquely American similes, and there's an explanation for each one in the back of the book, including the part of the country from which it hails!

Here are a few from the book that can be used to describe an elementary school before the state tests: Our testing coordinators are "Busy as a stump-tailed cow in fly-time" trying to find spaces and translators and cds for all of the ELLs in our building -- students who speak Twi, Farsi, Arabic, Spanish, Korean, Bengali, and Russian. Our teachers are as "Jittery as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs." We really, really need to meet AYP this year. No matter the outcome of the tests, we all believe that our students are just as "Fine as frog hair." These state tests are but ONE isolated measure of our students' growth this year, and no matter what the tests say, we know to the core of our collective being that our students have grown in their learning, understanding and knowledge this year. (Plus, we're not finished teaching after this week, so the learning will continue!!)


  1. Fabulous poem! I will share it with my fellow teachers as we prepare for our tests in May.

  2. Simile, Simile, Simile!!!! I am so nervous for the figures of speech. My students are so confused over these. UGgggggg!!!! They anxiety is killing me. The bonus question on the spelling is test was "What day do we take the Reading OAA?" and they didn't even know that!!! (Well, a lot of them, anyway.)

  3. Nervous as a donut? Made me smile like a half-eaten round of cheddar cheese.


  4. Hee! The doughnut simile is perfect! And I applaud your housepainting skills :D . . .

  5. Mary Lee,

    Way to go! I love it.

  6. ohhhhh!!! I love love love the poem! Fabulous! Brilliant. And thanks for that cool book review. Cant wait. :-)

  7. I look forward to sharing this poem with teachers in NY this month too - the comparisons to a donut and painter are so fresh. Good luck this week...your students are very lucky!


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