Walter Dean Myers Poems
This year's fourth graders began composing poems inspired by Walter Dean Myers' poem entitled Summer. They crafted these on October 10, 2006. Myers' poem appears below:
I like hot days, hot days
Sweat is what you got days
Bugs buzzin from cousin to cousin
Running and ripping
Catch the one you love days
Old men sleeping
Lazy days, daisies lay
Beaming and dreaming
Of hot days, hot days,
Sweat is what you got days.
- Walter Dean Myers
From Brown Angels: An Album of Pictures and Verse
Here are some of our fourth graders pieces!
Putting on the costume is what you got.
Dancing from morning to night,
Night to morning.
Dancing on toes and feet,
Feet and toes.
Jumping, twirling, sitting, smiling,
Turning on music,
Music turning on,
Listing to the beat,
Get ready for the show,
Putting on make-up.
My teacher makes up dances.
From morning to night,
Going to classes.
A template that was used to help model how to construct the poem appears below:
Pick a season, time of day, sport, activity, place, person (like mom!), vacation, time period and brainstorm first!
Come up with adjectives (describing words like colors and senses) , nouns that go with it, verbs that go with it, onomatopoeia, feelings, and more.
Morning – sunrise, snoring, alarm clocks whining, breakfast (at Nifty Fiftys), birds, soozing, groggy, excited, eager, dreams, waking, pillow, tired
Winter: cold, snowy, holidays, lonely, warmth inside, expectation, white, cloudy, whoosh, happy, football, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, sledding, building snow forts.
Then build a poem like Walter Dean Myers’ poem called Summer.
I ___________ ____________________, _________________
___________________ is what you got ___________________.
__________________ and _______________________.
____________________ and _________________________.
Of, or to, with _________________, ______________________
Let your students know that certain lines should have adjectives or present tense verbs. Have them use the poem Summer to help guide them through composing their own. But give them lots of latitude to experiment and choose the way they want to compose and craft. Look at our fourth graders' different slants on how to craft. Pretty cool stuff!
By Eric Cruz
I love soccer, love soccer
Soccer is what you do all day.
Shots from goal to goal
Running and slide tackling
Score at the end of the match
Goalies saving shots
Passing shooting, shooting passing
Losing and winning
I love soccer, love soccer
Soccer is what I do all day
by Alex Stolz
I like the sun, the shiny bright thing in the sky
The sunshine is what you got each and everyday
Shining from the dark alleys to where you stand on that very spot
Keeping hydrated from the sun’s rays even when it’s hiding through the wet puffy clouds
Tanning in the summer and tiring to find it in the winter
The sun - a wonderful thing
Running and jumping outside, it’s a drag to be held to be inside
So far away it looks like a little multi-colored ball
So bright, too bright
Shining and glaring
At the big beautiful sun
Sunshine each and every day