Thursday, March 22, 2018

Freddie Found a Poem

Happy Poetry Friday

Thank you poet, author Laura Purdie-Salas for hosting this week's round-up at her blog, Writing the World for Kids. She's celebrating the publication of her newest book, Meet My Family which I reviewed with a meet my family story of my own a couple weeks ago.

My Library Partner and I and our assistant, have been having fun with the eighth graders at our school. Found poetry is our game and its word play with no complicated rules to follow. It's been so fun that we've set out a box of old book pages with markers, crayons and colored pencils for our student poets that return to write more. It's a poetry maker-station!

I enjoy student word play so much not only because of the poetry I see teens uncover but for the side of their personalities I get to see when they make friends with language. 

It's fun sincerely complementing students on their imagination and creativity. They love making something meaningful that isn't producing a grade or score. The photo below includes three young people that are a little nearer and dearer to my heart because of our shared experience.

Freddie Found a Poem

He was late—as usual
No-pencil-Freddie, carried on
all through the lesson.
His elbow partner
giggled at all his jokes
burps and farts.

The teacher
passed out pages
ripped out of old books and--

nvited students
to circle a favorite
on their page….any word
that could be an anchor
for the boat of an idea.

Borrowed pencil in hand
Freddie bent over his page
and circled...thoughtful,quiet, still 
an artist at work.

By the time the teacher
guided the class through
circling more words--
other boats to tie-up
to their anchors,
Freddie had found
a flotilla.

(c) Linda Mitchell

Student X March '18


  1. The student poems are terrific, Linda, and your ending is such a fun surprise. How great that you introduced this found poetry exercise. I love doing it, too.

  2. I would love to visit your library. I can hear the soft buzz of their work on found poems.

  3. Wonderful poem! Thanks for sharing this found poetry exercise.

  4. Linda, your poem is awesome! And I love the student poems/artwork you shared. Pinning this to my board of Poetry Writing Exercises. I've seen/done this before, but love your examples and post, too:>)

  5. Yay for Freddie! And for the universe sticking out its tongue. Wonderful! xo

  6. How wonderful for you to see Freddie (and other students) in this different light, and also to witness the act of discovering being its own reward! You rock, Linda. :)

  7. I really want to do more poetry workshops with my students, and I've been thinking of doing found poetry sometime - you've really convinced me to just do it! It looks so fun and inspiring!!

  8. "Freddie Found a Poem" is excellent! I love finding poems. It is a great way for students to experience rich vocabulary and turns of phrases and dive into multiple meanings.

  9. A poetry-maker station is a fantastic idea, and I love the idea of seeking "any word/that could be an anchor/for the boat of an idea."

  10. I love the poetry station. Kids should be encouraged to create.

  11. What a great idea! I have to share this with our librarian, who is currently in the process of culling the collection. I love your poem, Linda, and that Freddie "found a flotilla" of words!

  12. Yea for letting teens express themselves without worrying about a grade! I kinda like that Freddie who found a poem!

  13. Love your "Freddie Found a Poem" Linda and the peace-filled waters that he sailed into with words! Great art-found-poem display too.


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!