I wrote this poem modeled after Elaine’s fabulous mask poems. Visit Elaine at Wild Rose Reader and you too will be amazed by the offerings at her blog. This technique appealed to my fourth grade writers who were extremely talented poets. We pretended to be animals, colors, school supplies and more. It is a fun challenge to write in another voice, be it an animal or nonliving object.
This summer I am working with an incoming fourth grade girl. We have been reading about sea giants, pausing often to say WOW that is amazing or I wonder about… So of course we grabbed the laptop and signed on the National Geographic for Kids site to learn more about ocean life. Like any publication by National Geographic, you will find breath taking photography and mind boggling video clips that complement the written research. Since our time together is limited, I wanted to go through the writing process on my own first. (I am currently reading What You Know by Heart by Katie Wood Ray. This book along with the support of my blogging friends is giving me the nudge to “experience” writing. ) As I wrote the poem below I thought about the tendency to spit the gathered facts back out in pretty much the same way they were taken from the text – difficult to teach young writers this skill. I think that an “aha” moment for me was incorporating facts into a more creative venture. I was concentrating on word choice, imagery, alliteration, and other techniques that we often notice in fiction writing. Here is my slightly revised version of “The Giant Squid.”
I’m the biggest invertebrate,
massive and maneuverey.
I’m the giant squid
enormous, yet elusive.
No one knows for sure
where I may turn up,
But scientists are certain
I have lurked in all the world’s oceans.
With beach ball size eyes
that never close,
I am a deep sea hunter who is second to none.
My eight arms and two whip-like tentacles
serve up seafood platters of fish, shrimp, and
maybe even an occasional squid or small whale.
Yet mysterious and sometimes even shy.
By Theresa Annello
Be sure to visit Live Love Explore for this week's Poetry Round-up. Thank you Irene for hosting this week.