Category Archives: Poetry

Making a Class Book, The Waterfall

We are making a classbook to go with the story “The Waterfall.”

We decided to write poems as we find out more about what poems are like, these were “word images.”

It was so interesting the way each student “interpreted” the waterfall.


Rainbow rock pretty


Will be fun to go to


I would like to go to this waterfall

And see a rainbow.



Beautiful wet liquid roaring dream

It is beautiful cliff, dream, then blue danger

You tumultuous aqua dreaming crash.



I rush to the water,

It is beauty, blue rainbow.

You dream the noise roaring.



Wet beautiful slippery high cliffs

It is a big waterfall, one that is pretty

You would like it, so much.



Liquid magnificent rainbow singing rocky

It will be full, to swim here wild

You will be happy again.



The beautiful rainbow is color

It is a huge powerful wet river’s face

You see a waterfall emerge alive.



Giant, loud, powerful, beautiful

It is huge, massive, wet

You will see it’s true beauty.



Wet , noisy, fast, cliff, aqua

It is beautiful in the woods today

You are going home again.

Bryan C.


The blue wet water rushing

The rainbow dream on an indigo cliff

Fast water danger aquamarine.




Beautiful wet noisy fast roaring

It is so wet and powerful rushing,

You can get wet so fast.



Beautiful deep noisy relaxing fasterfall

It is very fast and relaxing peaceful

You can see your reflection



The rocks are so wet

It is a huge place with rocks

You can get so wet so fast.



Big relaxing liquid of water it is

A magnificent adventure that is a

Beautiful, falling water over the rocks.



The water is dreamy to me

It’s scary if you go down it.

You can take showers in it

Beautiful, wet , roaring, noisy.



Blue water fast rocky wet

It is washing the fast cliff

You rush to the rainbow

Younan (Joe)

Wet, liquid, rushing, big, mist

It is a huge waterfall, a lot of water,

You can have fun outside.



Wet, beautiful, rainbow , colorful

There rises a cliff full of danger,

You mist in the noisy water.



Wet beautiful slippery high

It is a big waterfall, all that is pretty

You will like it so much.



Beautiful wet liquid rainbow dream

It is dream beautiful wet mist

You dream the noisy beauty



Beautiful blue white water

It is a huge blue waterfall

You can hear the noisy.




Filed under 3rd Grade, Art, Kid Voices, Poetry, Uncategorized

From My Son…at four…we learn what a child sees

“Martin Luther King, Junior” by my son at 4, in Answer to “What Can Kids Understand”

When my son was very young he fell in love with watching two videos, The Snowman and Our Friend Martin. Both were daily repertoire pieces for him. I thought the Martin Luther King Jr. video was wayyyyyy over his head.

Luca, my son, spoke very, very late. At four. So I called him over one day and asked him to “talk” to me about Martin, his friend writing it down as I heard it. This is one of my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. poems in the world.
So subtle.

For years, years in our family the phrase “love it by all” means something very special. When said, we just laugh and feel closer. I’m sorry, I know it is my son, but the poem, is our classic. The video is one where with young kids you need to explain flashbacks and be ready to explain and talk as you go. A bit much for 1st, but with that adult support, it is good. In fact a nice work in elementary to help understand hard concepts. First the video,

Our Friend Martin (1998)

Our Friend, Martin

Now the poem by Luca Puglisi….(at 4)

Martin Memories
by Luca Vernon Puglisi

When he was young we called him RAINBOW.

He lived in the world a junior.

Don’t let, no bottles, no wood
No everything that’s bad for love.

I saw him on TV talking to these mans.

He was at a boycott meeting where grandma went last week.

His family, his daughter, his man

This man got in jail. Not.

The kids, the dad, and the mother was playing piano.

I don’t want to be in jail.
I miss my mom and cry
Then everybody calls me a crybaby.

The boys had dark, the ladies have dark.
I have light.
He said love it by all.

I’m gonna hate her back, he said.
Me too, I’m gonna hate her black.
The man said her skin is darker than ours,
I don’t know what. Not right.

It was bad to have punching and hitting.

I’m not going to be in jail for that.

Martin Luther King is not a fighting guy.

(written circa 1998 at age 4)

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Filed under 1st grade, America, Class Daily News, Kid Voices, Martin Luther King Jr., Poetry

SnowscapesCritics Are Seeing SnowDaisies

Children in my room paint all the time. In January we will do a bit more with our technique. Because they painted so little from Kinder, in the first part of our year it’s fun to “go for it.” This project was interesting because the paper was very large, navy and the assignment “snow scene.” It was about 76 degrees the day we started. With a great deal of talk, and literature this part of the weather unit is rather interesting to me.

I asked each child to talk about their work. Then another child spoke to a picture they “liked.” It worked out somehow that children heard each other speak about their work and the work of others. I’m putting my notes of all of this here minus some of the difficulty in the communication as I did assist them. Also……it feels right.

Tell me about your painting :

“See the cute little orange coat and the feet. I like how I made the snow flakes. “

I was aware this “look” spread from an idea early in the “process” when one little girl a precocious “sharer” invented the red centered snow flake.
Some things “look good” in paint to children. This was then the standard of that day’s painting. I call these “snow daisies.” Not really snow or daisy a pictorial invention. …not real. But certainly real in this pictorial reality.

The critic said:

“Snow like that looks really cold to me.”

The painter had this to share about the painting experience:

“I put birds, a hat , and a big tree.”

And a critic had this to add:

“The tree looks very scary in a good way.”

The child artist said this:

“It took a long time to get the scarf and pie in my painting to the right way. I like it best. Mostly.”

His best friend said:

“Nothing is so good as my friend’s big painting with the scarf and pipe and smoking.”

One should not do this but before I asked about this painting i complemented the circles around the snow falling.I kind of thought it gave them “depth.”

So my artist said:

“My mom taught me to make snow flakes.”

One of his admirers said:

“I showed him all about the snow outlines.”

Which pretty much summarizes adult influence.

And now meet the painting from which several were “derived.”

This is the original artist, a very confident painter but not really so much a “talker.”

She said this:

“I made it pretty. All my paintings are pretty. I like the orange coat. see the coal in the teeth and the snow is falling in a very pretty way. I know that my tree has the nice roots we learned about too. It is cold out so I put the pretty scarf.”

Her five or six admirers all said:

“This is my favorite one.”

Isn’t this one terrific I can say now. Look at that tree all lined up with little rows of balls and that paint over Santa Suit on the snow balls. Too funny like Linus getting the Great Pumpkin tale all balled up. Frosty Santa. Love it.

The artist beamed saying:

“I love to paint my ideas.”

The observing critic said:

“I love the way you made your tree. I like the Santa clothes too.”

This child went “first.” Tends to be a bit impatient but then he is six. He kind of got going in white. I’m not sure but I think the brown is a tree that kind of got lost in the blizzard.

He said of his work:

“It is snowing.”

His admirer said:

“I love the way he paints.”

For a month or so they have been close buddies.

This painter shared these thoughts:

“You told me to paint the snow so I did.”

I have to love the literalness of this.

His critical commentary included this:

“His mouth looks like a duck and the tree is so fat. I love that part. It’s so funny.”

I call this a derivative work that at least for me takes us into new places. Here we see the creative up and down scalloped snow floor. I admire that even NOW at 48. But the tree is a piece of work. The artist said:

“This snowman has to be very careful to not go in to the house and get melted by the fire.”

Good advise.

Her commentator critic:

“Snowmen are cold. You painted so cold.”

I don’t know what that is to the side of the three snowpeople. I tried to ask but it wasn’t forthcoming.

“Look at my three snowmen. They are my friends. See”

And a friend said quickly:

“I like the three snowmen.”

This one I silently dubbed “Why snowmen can’t ski, or Snowman in a Cast”

The artist said:

“This is my snowman.”

A critic said;

“I like to look at it.”

Tell me this does not bring to mind “I Wish I Had Duck Feet”

Do you know that book?

This happy and unique painter said:

“I have a big magic hat.”

A critic said:

“The hat is the best part and the feet too.”

I had to go put out green paint for this little one. I was avoiding it because I’d get green trees. See.

He said of his work:

“I tried very hard to do this goodly. Do you like it teacher? My favorite part is the scarf.”

This was very nice of another student:

“He made the scarf look so good. I like the snow, all of it.”

This is quite interesting, variety of things put together. Elements. But that black night up there is cool.

This is what the child shared:

” In the night the snowman came to life.”

This is the critical response:

“It is so night.”

So here is Elephanturez:

He said this calling me over:

“This is you Puglisi (center) , this is you Puglisi, see you? This is Wolfson. See Wolfson teacher? See JC teacher he is my brother, see JC teacher? See see Puglisi? You like it teacher? See it teacher? This is you Puglisi.

I, the painted, said this as commentary:

“I love it.”

This is a lovely painting. The artist said:

“I tried so hard to make it carefully and i was fun to paint. But my arm is so tired.”

The critical comment was:

“The bottom is so big. It is such a big snowball to paint.”

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Filed under Art, Class Daily News, Funny things, Joy, Kid Voices, Poetry, Project

Maori Dancers Sharing the Dances of New Zealand, Tahiti, Hawaii, and Samoa Brought To Us By “Performances To Grow On” in Ventura, CA

On Friday afternoon, Hathaway School had a delightful assembly.

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Performances to Grow on a non-profit run by Brian Bemel continues to arrange fantastic assemblies for schools and concerts in our county. On a shoestring they bring storytellers, music, arts that transform our understandings. Every year I see John McCutheon and lots more through his work. Brian Bemel is too awesome.

Here was who we saw….


Kahurangi, Dance& Music from the Pacific Islands
October. 29-November. 3

Audience interaction and a touch of humor highlight this enthralling introduction to an ancient South Pacific culture. The Kahurangi Maori Dance Theatre of New Zealand brings to life the heritage of the Maori people through its vivid performance featuring tribal music, dance, and hand-crafted, traditional costumes.

So…first they performed dances of Islands the Maori visited or came from I think…just figuring this out today as I read…..



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Samoa (we have a community of Samoans at Hathaway)

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This from New Zealand, what they did with these sticks …remarkable.

Tell me about the dancing I said to me class and this is what they said…in groups, with a little “help.”

Dance moves us through the space and time differently.

We shake and glide into another’s world.

You have to get up and join them.

Even if you can’t really do the moves.

In your mind you are one.

You should have seen how fast this dance was….

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The second group wanted to talk about the fast paced “mosquito” dance from Samoa.

Mosquitos are everywhere biting my skin.

And I slap and stomp, jump and slap.

Boom, tap, tap, slap, slap, slap.

The dance is alive, moving, flying,

Slapping away at the bugs we can’t see.

It’s an idea, a way of talking

To me.

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1st graders in dance assemblies often find they are inside of the performance.



My little ones got so involved they tried to jump on stage. We get FRONT ROW Seats…but we seem to think it might mean on the front of the stage…

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Group three said…

They came from far away to dance

The dances of their people.

So we can understand the ways

Of lands we cannot see and know

So easy, so hard

To understand another

With dance we see the tiny glimmer

Of the glory of their people.

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Teachers Lament

My peers are quietly letting me know

That my children need to be told to go

Back to seats as soon as possible, like “good” panthers must.

So others will not jump on stage, “It’s ruining our trust.

It’s kind of hard to pull them back.

The dancing speaks to a different sound track.

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Group 4 said..

Come to the islands

Where we have dancing women and men

They move with joy

And do it again

Until the world they’ve seen and shown

A way to talk

Where you are never alone

And in your moves

You say the thing

that every person

Can say again.

It’s happy

Or sad

But it’s not going to hurt.

It tells you why

Our feet can work

To stop us all

Long enough to say

Instead of war

Let’s go dance today.

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Group 5 with a good bit of help…

Flowing Through Time

Talk to the sky

Speak to the sun

Hold up the clouds

From where the rain runs

Lift arms to the place

We call the heavens

And call to your past

In the movement today

Energy is pushed

Towards our tomorrow

Where you are

Is always in the dance of now.

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Group 6

Warrior dances with slashing moves

Got them ready to defend to move

Now its danced to remember the past

When times were rough

And men were thrust

Into defending the village

And their homes

With sharp sticks and moans

And a weapon of whalebones.

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Filed under Art, Class Daily News, Dance, Joy, Kid Voices, Poetry


Ever notice pine cones and “see” pineapples….it happened to me watching my students draw the pine cones that “Chelsea” brought to our class.

Boy the “penname” really drew a beautiful drawing. After we drew the children wrote poems.

I did “help.” I wrote it down. And suggested some ideas.

My pineangles are tricones.

And turn in a spicircle, roundal.

An icefur cone is on the creamtree.

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Time + effort + design = good observational drawings

Pine cones

We walked down by the park.

And found an evergreen tree.

It was shaped like an umbrella upside down,

And it sent a pine cone down to me.

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Drawing the increasing spiral of a pine cone was a very hard challenge each student met in their own way. Interpretation.

Seed inside hidden treat

Gives the squirrels something to eat.

Hard and stiff to keep them away

They are tricky and find a way!

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Did you know there are triangles in pine cones?

Triangles have three sides.

And they are small to super size.

A trees can be a little one.

Or reach sky high towards the sun.

Pine cones start very small.

And grow into a giant ball.

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Held in a hand, a six year old looks into the form.

Of shapes and lines composing a kind of symbolic logic.

They push past wonder into a pattern and design.

Choosing a way to draw their representation.

Asking for the reward in this immediacy

Stilling this minute to frame the discovery.

…well this was all Mrs. Puglisi

I see it in my mind.

I know it with my feelings.

I have to get it on my paper.

With my body wrapped around it.

I can’t do it.

I’m the only one.

That cannot see the pine cone right.

I look at it

And start to draw.

But it is hard.

And I am done.

I cannot draw these very hard shapes.

A tear is starting down his face.

Come here my little trying one.

I bet you can notice.

You are the only one.

To find you freeze

When it is hard

A very bright woman told me once.

It takes a brain to know the truth

A long hard road

Is only seen

By those wise enough to look away from the sun.

So let’s try this one together

I’ll draw a line

You do the next

Until it’s done

We are a team

You and I

Now Elephanturez

Dry those eyes.

You see lines, shapes and cones.

I see color and subtle tones.

I like to mix and layer it on.

And try to capture

The “real” pine zone.

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I saw dashes and lines

Lines and dashes

Dash, line, dash line.

I saw it.

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If you…..

Take a pine cone and cover it with peanut butter

And roll it in birdseeds

You can make a winter dinner

For the birds who need food.

Get a string and hang it up.

Watch the birdies enjoy the treat.

When I saw myself inside

This shape

It seemed to open

Up to me.

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I signed like an artist

And looked with my time

Finding the essence

Of art with my mind.

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Brown diamonds

Push in


Move it over

Thicker lines

Got it get it.

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If you can’t get it right STAND UP.

If you need to move around.

Drawing is your body

Telling a new rhyme.

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Filed under Art, Class Daily News, Kid Voices, Observation, Poetry, Science