How 5th graders see the world

One thing that keeps my passion for teaching alive is the unique way in which children see the world. My 5th graders are often too cool for many things, including school, but when they are engaged and interested in something, classroom life changes, it actually comes alive.  This year’s poetry unit brought out beautiful observations about the world. In conjunction with poetry in language arts, we’ve been studying the United Nations’s 30 human rights. Students at this age begin to develop heightened senses of justice and fairness, and isn’t poetry just the perfect medium to express those feelings?

So for my first non-introductory blog post, I’ve decided to share some of the poetry my students turned in as part of their poetry project. I’ve spent the better part of this afternoon reading 36 poetry projects, so the fact the that I’m willing to spend this much more time retyping these poems for you can only assure you how much I love these pieces. The first bunch are just amazing, when you think about 10 and 11 year olds thinking like this.  The last two are awesome, but using a whole different set of criteria, so please make it to the end!

Baby Steps

One step to a better world

Two steps and your path will unfold

Three steps you’ve done your time

Four steps you’ve used your mind

Five steps you know your rights

Six steps you can find the light


World War 3

A cause of death,

In many cases,

A human’s last breath

Their souls reap

hence the phrase

Look before you leap

A world war 3

Many will perish

And this is why


we must cherish


I Feel

I feel like this

I feel like that

I like nobody understands what I say

I don’t feel loved

I don’t feel safe

I feel really pale in the face

We all feel different hings

We all feel the same thing



Let it lay against your shoulder, and sing you to sleep

Let it find its way into your head and inspire you

Let it leave you stunned, surprised, and shocked

Let it leave an impression on you about how you think about the world

Let it carry you off to new places and adventures



He falls to the cold ground clutching his side,

Patriotic blood flows from his wound

Forever written on a wall

He fought for his country and now he







Pleasure from Pain

He falls so she can rise

She betrays so he can get away

He dies so she can live

She wins because he falls

War. . .



Why does the songbird sing

When the flowers do not

Why does the sun warm the Earth

While the moon shakes the tides

Why do some people starve,

While others have a feast

Why are some left in shame

While others are deemed with gold

Why do some shed tears of sadness

While others toast their victory

Why do some face the jaws of death

While others are full of life

Why do some know what is what

While I do not



A stream of red,

in a valley of grey

a single ray of sunshine

on a cold rainy day

And a symbol of hope

the monks have come to pray


Where’s The Proof?

You say you can walk the walk

But can you talk the talk

You say you are better than me

But I don’t see any trophies

You say you know Beyoncé

But where are the autographed CDS

You say you went to the same concert as me

But you are just a big phony

You say you have a pony

But I have 20

You try to bully me

But you could never beat me

So until then you are still not better than me


I Feel

You dumped and stole my money

but I feel nothing

I’m kicked in the gut with a broken arm

but I feel nothing

You blindfolded me and then hit me

but I feel nothing

You backstabbed me and killed my family

I feel something

Now it’s my turn

and I want you to remember

I am your rain cloud

on a stormy day


Water in Beauty

I’m water

I’m ugly and clear

I’m unflavored and lonely

And I’m worth for sold for no money

I’m water

I should be free

People dump me

But when people drank me

They saw my beauty



Slavery is not an option

for millions of people on Earth

Who cry and wish

they weren’t in this tragic mess

They yell, “Hallelujah”

“Mercy be upon us!”

but the badness still works

as the commander yells, “Get back to work!”



Death is a friend I don’t want to meet

Death is a dream I never had

Death is the ugliest thing I can think of

Death makes me cry

With bitter tears of sadness

Death will haunt me until the end

I’ll just live my life as long as I can

Death spare my life if you can


Bad Love

I got dumped by husband

On my first anniversary

We were swimming

When he said,

“Honey, I don’t love you anymore.”

“There is someone else”


The Girl of your Life

If you like the girl, go talk to her

Talk about nature

Talk about school

Talk about yourself

Talk about the universe

Talk about the eight planets

You ask her about stuff too

As her about herself

Ask her how she is doing

Talk about or ask about anything you would enjoy asking or talking to her about