Kindergarten Poets

I had the pleasure of being in a Kindergarten class earlier this week during Writing Workshop time. Whenever I am in a room with Kindergartners when they are writing, I feel as if I’m witnessing something truly extraordinary. They work so hard to make it all happen. They are joyful and full of ideas and eager to write, but nothing is easy…yet.  Forming letters, holding a pencil, sounding out words- it is hard work. Their persistence and enthusiasm takes my breath away, every time.

As I walked in, the teacher was just beginning a mini lesson on List Poems.  She shared Margaret Wise Brown’s “I Like Bugs” with the children.

by Margaret Wise Brown 
I like bugs. 
Black bugs, green bugs, bad bugs, mean bugs, 
Any kind of bug. 
A bug in a rug, 
A bug in the grass, 
A bug on the side-walk, 
A bug in a glass— 
I like bugs. 
Round bugs, shiny bugs, fat bugs, 
Buggy bugs, big bugs, lady bugs, 
I like bugs. 
The children loved it, of course. Their ears enjoyed the rhythm and they formed pictures in their minds from the words. You could see it happening. And then, they began to talk about the poem as writers. They noticed that the line “I like bugs,” was repeated. They noticed that there were describing words before the word “bugs.” They noticed that some of the lines were different and began with the word “a.” Their teacher gave this style of poem a name and told them that it was a list poem. And then she  told them they could write their own list poems, and you would have thought she was telling them they were going on the most exciting play date ever. These Kindergarten writers could hardly wait to get started. They thought about their topics and shared ideas with  partners. They turned and talked to friends about describing words they could use in their poems.
And then they began to write.
This is Molly’s poem. Isn’t it brilliant?
Molly wrote about quiet time. Look at what this writer did. She experimented with switching up the rhythm when she composed the line ‘Outside time too.” She chose rich and powerful and precise verbs. She added ing to to the end of them! When Molly finished writing, we took a picture of her poem, and I asked her if I could share it with the world. Molly was delighted with her poem. I was amazed. We celebrated her work by reading and rereading “I Like Quiet Time” several times.

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