Friday, April 27, 2012

My Out-and-About School Visit Follow-Up

First, don’t forget!
TeachingAuthors is celebrating its THIRD Blogiversary by offering readers the chance to win one of three $30 gift certificates from Biblio!

And second,
as promised,
I present pictures and poetry from my Wednesday, April 25 visit to Gombert Elementary School in Aurora, IL.

Thanks to the focused efforts of the K-5’s Library Media Center Director Gayl Dasher Smith, the participation of engaged, prepared and oh, so smart 3rd, 4th and 5th graders and the support and curriculum-connected contributions of the teachers and administrators, I had One Swell Day – the kind of day that forced me to re-consider, while training home on the 4:33 pm Metra, my long-ago decision to leave classroom teaching.

Literacy reigns at Gombert.

I loved the Library display of Author Birthdays and the school’s Birthday Book Club.

 The fourth grade political posters, promoting favorite book characters for President, were beyond clever, not to mention a breath of fresh air.

An added plus? 
I worked with each of the three fourth grade classes, helping them create their Illinois ABC books.
Even though I’d written a book or two about Illinois, Gombert’s Young Writers and learned researchers of the Prairie State gave me a whole new way of looking at the Land of Lincoln.

Since it is Poetry Friday, and of course, National Poetry Month, I’m honored to share  three ABC’s of Illinois poetic entries (for letters D, G and O), written respectively by Gombert Elementary School fourth graders Charlie, Priya and Riley.

Enjoy! Enjoy!

Esther Hershenhorn

          White-Tailed Deer (by Charlie)
In 1980, Illinois children chose the

        White-tailed deer as

            Our state animal

           Red, brown or gray

       With a white bushy tail
       A familiar sight on the

               Illinois prairie.

            The Great Chicago Fire  (by Priya)

                (October 8, 1871)
            Fire, hot, blazing, red
Spreading like a cheetah in search of prey.

Burning down houses with a big commotion.
                  Trees rumbled…

                  Houses shook…

    In the end, everything was soot!

                             (by Riley)
                O’Hare, Edward

          I fought in World War II
              A war as dangerous as

     The depths of a deadly cavern.

Smoke spread, guns fired, thousands died.

             I piloted Navy planes
   As bombs turned the world to ash.

Humbly, I accepted the Congressional
                 Medal of Honor.

   I’ll always think of those who died.
             Thank you, Chicago!

   Forevermore I will be remembered
       As planes soar into the air.

         O’Hare International Airport


Tara said...

Fire, hot, blazing, red
Spreading like a cheetah in search of prey.
Just love that line...what a treat to work with young poets!

Carmela Martino said...

I agree with Tara. Thanks for sharing some of the students' poems, Esther. Glad your day was so "swell"!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Right this very minute I am in the O'Hare airport, heading home from IRA...and I learned from Riley who O'Hare is in a magnificent poem.

Pretty cool!