Poetry video

I so enjoyed watching this 16 minute TED talk video of Billy Collins reading five of his poems that were put to animation!! I think you will enjoy it, too.



A Poem Inspired by Reading with My Daughters!

I am helping the 6th grade students at my school understand what a ballad is – a songlike, narrative, poem that has rhyme, rhythm, and a refrain. In the process, I wrote this poem, inspired by Bridgit and Anne!! It is a little bit like a ballad and I love that it has recorded for me the best part of being a mom, getting to read-aloud so many stories filled with so many great characters to my two favorite readers.

My daughters, at 4 and 1
Licked their cone of ice cream
Listening to me read The Tweedle Beedle Battle
And the adventures of Spot, Sally, Sam with Helen and Steve
While taking turns to open the flaps.
The clock chimed eight and
I said good night,
sleep tight,
and turned out the light.
Once they turn 6 and 3
They spooned their jello
As I read everything by Donald Crews
We rode the train, plane, boat, bike, and carousel.
Then listened to the troubles of Arthur and DW.
The clock chimed eight and
I said good night,
sleep tight,
and turned out the light.
Soon both could read at 8 and 5
Yet, they still listened, munching on popcorn
As I read of Elmer on Wild Island
And we met Samantha, Molly, and Josephina
Living in another time.
The clock chimed eight and
I said good night,
sleep tight,
and turned out the light.
By the ages of 10 and 7
We met Ms. Jewels, Louis
and the 28 students in that tall, tall school.
Also Anastasia and her funny brother, Sam.
The clock chimed eight and
I said good night,
sleep tight,
and turned out the light.
Time flew by, and suddenly they were 12 and 9.
They made the cookies we all munched on
As I read-aloud the adventures of their newest friends:
Harry, Ron, and Herminone.
The clock chimed eight and
I said good night,
sleep tight,
and turned out the light.
Now, they are 23 and 20.
 The clock chimes 2:00am.
I’ve been asleep for hours
Closing my eyes after finishing a chapter of my newest read.
Bridgit tweets the latest Obama for America news of the day.
Anne posts a video to her facebook wall and grabs a play to read.
Then lights out….
Good night, great readers, sleep tight.
By Mrs. Donnelly, April 2012      

April is National Poetry Month!

This weekend’s KidsPost published the winners of their kid’s poetry writing contest. And I agree, THEY ARE WINNERS! These poems are great mentor text poems to share with your writers. Click the link and then be sure to read my favorites.

The first poem listed is part poem, part recipe, How to Write A Poem – very clever! Gravity gave me lots to think about. I guess it is a good thing we have it! I loved the point of view that is expressed in Button. Pained is sad but touching. And I was constantly changing the visual picture in my mind as I read Runaway Dog! And all these poems were written by kids!! So inspiring!!


The Washington Post also had an article written by critic, Michael Dirda, about WHY we need to read poetry. I agree with him when he says we need to read poems…

“Not because they’re good for you — which they are — but because they will make you feel good. Poetry also will make you smile, or weep, or remember. You don’t need to analyze symbols or spend hours explicating every line. Just pick up a book of poems”. To read his whole article with suggested poems to read, click on the link:

I plan to feel good this month by taking time to read poetry! I hope you do, too!!

ES Teachers NEED to Do MORE to Push the Thinking of the Darryl’s in our Classrooms!


Click on this Washington Post link. It will take you to an article from Sunday’s Outlook page written by a Georgetown University freshman who honestly says that he is in college but not prepared to do the expected critical thinking that college is demanding. He wishes his elementary school teachers would have pushed him to think more. He wished they would have expected more of him.

I emailed Darryl yesterday and thanked him for his honest story and told him that as an elementary school teacher, I will think of him and daily push myself to push my students to think deeper and higher. I hope you will do the same. The “Darryl’s” at our school deserve this!