Friday, November 7, 2014

Two 4th grade classrooms separated by 50 years!

 "Poetry is a rhythmical piece of writing that leaves
 the reader feeling that life is a little richer than before,
a little more full of wonder, beauty, or just plain delight."
-Aileen Fisher

Stop by Diane's blog at Random Noodling for this week's taste of Poetry Love. 

 We said goodbye to Percy this week and shipped the Poetry Box to its next stop in Utah.  

I'm visiting my brother in Oklahoma, and yesterday he drove me 2 1/2 hours so I could visit my niece Kara's 4th grade classroom.  My stack of books for the classroom visit included the book I was currently reading, my writer's notebook, and a picture book to share with the students.
When I shared some of the poems from my writer's notebook with them, Kara's students clamored to share a poem with me.  I was delighted with their recitation of "Fall" by Aileen Fisher The repeated phrase "the last of October" in Fisher's poem was a perfect segue into the picture book that I brought to share, In November by Cynthia Rylant, a book rich in poetic language.  

My time in Kara's classroom reminded me of my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Lewallen, who taught for 40 years and required us to memorize many poems.  I know that my life was made richer during the year I spent with her.   I wish I could share with her the joy that poetry continues to bring into my life.  She would love Poetry Friday!


  1. My 4th grade teacher was memorable in ways both good and bad. I came through the year relatively unscathed, but when you have a teacher who bullied some students, I'm not sure they all came through okay. On the other hand, he began reading aloud The Old Man and the Sea right before the summer and some, I'm sure, were motivated to finish it on their own. We also hatched chicks, which was unheard of back in the 50s. Kara's class looks inviting, and the fact that they do poetry is big thumbs up in my book!

  2. How wonderful that the students could recite "Fall"! Sounds like a great visit all the way around.

  3. I love that you and your brother made the time to visit your niece's classroom, Ramona. And that you all shared the joy of poetry. My 4th grade teacher sadly isn't so memorable as yours, but I had my mother for 5th & 6th grade (small town school!) & she shared much poetry with us, a fond memory. Love hearing about those students sharing their poem with you, wonderful!

  4. Those formative years are so important. I owe much to those dedicated teachers, especially in 4th, 5th and 6th grade, who laid the foundation within me for a lifetime of learning. Although I would not trade one day of the instruction I enjoyed under the guidance of Miss Louise Wilkes, I would have loved Mrs. Lewallen's inspiration as well. May their influence continue to span generations. LONG LIVE the LOVE OF READING and POETRY!

  5. How wonderful that you and the class both had spontaneous gifts of poetry to share with one another!