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Third grade poetry that inspires

This article was first published in the blog dirt & noise on March 22, 2011. Miss White recently reposted it on Facebook. Ilina Ewen’s blog often spotlights great teaching and learning experiences.

There’s a rattan trunk at the foot of our bed that is crammed full of memories. I opened it up after many, many years to take a peek inside. I found lots of goodies I’m savoring and saving for a future post. One of the things I spread out before me was a folder from a college poetry writing class. Mac Daddy was shocked, never having known I wrote poetry beyond the rhyming treacly middle school boy crazy flowery lines that spoke to unrequited love and hopes of true love. I read my poems to myself at first, feeling ever so apprehensive about letting Pandora Ilina out of her circa 1990 box. I read a couple lines to Mac Daddy, who snickered and grinned in a you-better-stick-to-blogging-and-getting-your-book-written way.


As I read my poems I thought about a third grade class at Bird and Deal’s school. Together, they crafted lines of verse to read in the school talent show. They read in groups, duets, solo, and as a whole. Every word their own. I was moved hearing these kids demonstrate wisdom in small ways. Their words had a certain poignancy and poetry about them. While they wrote the lines to be read aloud in a performance, I think they resonate just as sharply when read as a poem. With permission from their fantastic teacher, Miss White, I’ve posted their words below.

We are Miss W’s Class.

We are a good team.

We are all different.

We are all friends.

We are a little bit strange.

We have great imaginations.

We go to school.

We like to play a lot.

We like to read books.

We have problems with friends.

We like music.

And we are super cool.

Sometimes I wish I had long hair.

Sometimes I wish I could perform spells.

That I could see Santa Claus.

That we could play together more.

Sometimes I wish that I will get a scholarship in math when I grow up.

Sometimes I wish that I could fly.

That I knew cursive.

That I didn’t have to go to school.

Sometimes I wish that everyone liked everyone.

Sometimes I wish that we were in charge.

That frustration never existed.

That people wouldn’t die.

I don’t like when my brother gets angry with me.

I don’t like Carolina.

Cleaning my room.

Stinky feet.

Anything that’s chocolate.


Or when my sister throws a tantrum.

I don’t get sick very often.

I don’t know how to spell my middle name.

I don’t want to live by myself.

I don’t have any complaints.

I wonder how the clouds are made.

How books were invented.

How the world began.

How far away the moon is EXACTLY.

I wonder about what I will do when I grow up.

I wonder if I could breathe in space.

If you can have 1,000 friends.

If I could read 50 books in a day.

I wonder who is out there that needs a friend.

I wish my parents knew how much I hate homework.

And that I want to travel around the world.

And how much I want a dog!

I wish they knew all the rules to soccer.I wish my parents knew I sneak things a lot.

And that I don’t like to sing at church.

I wish my parents knew all the math I have to do.

I wish my parents knew what the future looks like.

And how much I like third grade.

I wish my parents knew how cool they are.

I will always be there for my friends.

I will work my best.

I will be good in soccer.

And ride my bike every day.

And have fun!

I will eat more healthy food and less junk!

I will paint lots of pictures in my life.

Pay attention more.

And try my best at everything.

I will invent something some day.

Be a fashion designer someday.

Be a teacher someday.

Try to help people as much as possible.

I will always love Christmas.

I will be a very good person in life.

I will go to college.

I am nine.

I am eight.

I am a girl.

I am a boy.

I am a person.

Created by Miss W’s 3rd Grade Class, 2011

So tell me, do you see a glimmer of your third grade self in there? I do. I even see a snapshot of my 42 year old self.

Ilina Ewen

Ilina Ewen is the author of the blog, dirt & noise. She is a mom, marketer, writer, shoe fiend, cook, reader, traveler, thinker, and doer. She believe in good manners, home cooked food, and spending money on experiences, not things.