Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday SOL We are from - A Poem to Celebrate Our Year

Tuesday Slice of Life with Two Writing Teachers

[The children's last day was last Friday, however, I have a full week of professional development this week, as we try to capture everything we have learned during this second year of our new school...and make new plans for year three. Then, summer comes! Yes! I can taste it already!!] 

I always like to create a poem with the children to commemorate the school year, one that highlights their memories from our time together. 

When the children shared their favorite memories aloud, I grouped their responses into categories of like items and I added a few thoughts of my own. [I continue to think of more fun things that we forgot to include - for example, how did everyone forget the Phillips Art projects?] Next, I decided to borrow from a poem experience I learned about last summer in professional development and insert the phrase "We are from..." throughout the poem, as an anchor, to remind us that we did these things together. 

I love that the children's memories are - by and large - things we did over and over - truly, these were integral to our year, what it means to be "a preschool Big Cat."

I think this poem is pretty sweet! We have had a delightful year!

    We are from . . .
The Kissing Hand,
Sensory table,
Blocks and ramps,
Making gak,
How does your story begin?

   We are from . . .
Dancing to “Freeze Dance,
“Airplane Song,”
“We are the Dinosaurs,”
“Animal Action,”
“Ram Sam Sam.”

We are from . . .
The Three Little Pigs,
Counting trucks,
Question of the day,
Gems in the kindness jar,
Making hero capes.   

                    We are from . . .                                         
Walking the block,
Running the baseball field,
Meridian Hill Park,
Singing “Little Red Wagon,”
“Acorn Song”

We are from ...
Paper airplanes,
Baby dolls and dress up,
“The Beaver Song”
Building forts,

We are from ...
The sharing box,
Chef Goop,
Cooking omelets,
“The Moose Song,”
The food truck.

We are from ...
“The Goodbye Song”


About that professional development poem writing -
During last summer's professional development, my colleagues and I wrote "I am from" poems, where we listed a few simple, immediate answers to broad questions called out in rapid succession by our trainer -
What was your neighborhood like? 
What were your favorite foods?
What foods did you hate?
Who was there?
What did you wear?
Who did you love?
What scared you?
What were your favorite activities?
What did you/your family honor?
What did you desire?
What did people say to you?

We were only given a moment or two to write responses to each question. Then, we read our lists aloud to one another, inserting the phrase "I am from..." before each answer. This simple, instantaneous poem was surprisingly tender and meaningful.  Here's mine:

I am from
crabapple trees

I am from 
ice cream
chocolate chip cookies

I am from
hot dogs

I am from 

I am from 
boys' shirts
tennis shoes

I am from
my brother Ralph
my friend Mike

I am from 
Mom being sick

I am from
playing house

I am from
what Dad says goes

I am from
a room of my own
a sister

I am from
you are a pretty girl
behave yourself
blessed are the peacemakers
peacemakers are women


  1. I love the way you included your own and your students' poems together...so different and yet so connected. What a great form!

  2. Thanks for including your poem along with the class poem Maureen. I've enjoyed hearing about these young students all year long, remembering some of those posts you shared too. I always wrote an end of the year poem too, and this year since I helped finish with a class, we did it again. A special remembrance!

  3. I remember doing this poem when I was in a Courage to Teach workshop. I am thinking it would be a great activity to start the school year with teachers - providing prompts that would help us uncover what we value about teaching and young children. Thanks.

  4. I love your poems--you capture preschool and childhood so well.