Poetry Friday: Skunks and Alleys

It’s Poetry Friday! Thank you, Heidi, @ My Juicy Little Universe for hosting.


The second week of school has come to an end, and for the past two Thursdays, poetry has had the spotlight.

The first week of this work was shaky. Students didn’t see as much as I had hoped. Perhaps I wasn’t doing it right. Then, later during the next week, I heard murmurs of “that’s figurative language” during read aloud. The sound of beautiful words echoed in picture books.

This week, I wanted the perfect poem. One that had many entry points.

Thursday morning students held their copies of  Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem Valentine for Ernest Mann. As I read it aloud, the connection between this poem and our read aloud hit me. I finished and asked, “What do you notice?”

This part is funny the part about ordering tacos.

That’s kinda figurative tacos and poems!

I love the words shiny and spirit.

There’s a story inside this poem. It says, “once”.

It’s about poems and beauty.

The man is serious so he means this. Weird.

He has a different point of view, it’s his perspective.

This line is the one I like: “Nothing was ugly
just because the world said so.”
I had to share my thinking. “Guys, you know this poem reminds me of The Last Stop on Market Street.”
They looked blank at first but then someone said it.”The skunk is the alley!”
Then, ohhh yeahhh echoed around the room.
Ohhh, yeah!




13 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Skunks and Alleys

  1. Love that you helped them make the connection, and I do love this poem, Julieanne. I’ve collected poems about poems for a while & this is certainly a wonder! Sounds like you & your class are having some good talk about poetry!

  2. I love this peak into learning and love for words. You rock! These youngsters have such a gift in a teacher that allows and leads them into thinking this way.
    I love your words: “Perhaps I wasn’t doing it right”
    Isn’t that the seed for all of us? That spark of wonder that catches stick-to-itiveness?
    Delightful post. Thank you for a moment in your classroom that makes me happy with the world.

  3. This one’s on my plans for next week! What a coincidence! Wish your students and my students could talk about it together. Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

  4. Fun times with poetry! My kids blew my mind this week as we started THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY as our first read aloud. I heard “onomatopoeia, stanza, rhyme, metaphor, simile.” WOW!

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