Second-graders have been learning about poetry during National Poetry Month this April, including a virtual visit from poet Karen Christensen.

Christensen (a.k.a. Deborah’s grandmother) is the city of Aurora’s poet laureate, the author of several collections of poetry and creative non-fiction, and the founder of the poetry group A-Town Poetics. Her poetry has been used for a number of public presentations, including National Poetry Month exhibits in collaboration with the Illinois State Poetry Society.

Christensen told students about her role as poet laureate and read some of her favorite poetry. They discussed how poetry doesn’t always have to rhyme or use typical punctuation and grammar and how it’s a way to make pictures in your head.

Students also shared the poetry they have been writing throughout National Poetry Month, selections of which are affixed to the class Poet Tree on the second floor of Barker Hall.

“It was so much fun because we’ve been learning to read and to write poetry all month,” Mrs. Halvorsen said.

PHOTO SLIDESHOW (swipe left)

Christensen also shared two new poems:

I Remember Second Grade

I remember second grade
As first, I was a bit afraid
Reading was hard, and so was math
I wondered what might be my path

My teacher wore bright colored clothes
We sat at desks in many rows
My spot was always in the front
Because, you see, I was a runt

I was always the shortest girl
My hair was straight, it would not curl
I was fast when I could run
I loved to play out in the sun

I hope that you like second grade
That you are learning every day
That you have friends and lots of fun
And now my poem is quite done!

Home School in the Time of Corona

Reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic
back in the day, we took our notebooks
from inside our desks
we drew our names on Pink Pearl erasers

“My Weekly Reader” taught us new words:
gantry, telescope, NASA, moon shots
Alaska, Hawaii became new states
we wondered if Catholics would ever be Prez

Dick, Jane and Sally played with Spot
we sat in a circle, drank our milk
lined up for recess
fought in the cloakroom

Now kids know how to use the apps
they hack into Zoom when the links don’t work
they wear their headphones to keep their grandparents
from voicing complaints: the music’s too loud

Hurrah for teachers who have mastered this all
have hung on for dear life, who haven’t quit
who have managed to livestream and keep control
over 16 kids who just want to chat and customize screens