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Student PSSA Poetry

Posted by Scott Heydt on Monday, March 31, 2014

RefinED Friends,

Whether you are student or teacher, these past few weeks have been rather taxing (at least in Pennsylvania). The dreaded four-letter word. PSSA. The Pennsylvania State Standardized Assessment (don't worry Keystone Exam-takers, you are included as well). 

Surprisingly, I look back fondly on this time of year when I was a classroom teacher. Standardized test time also meant our poetry unit. We studied all types of poetry forms, experimented with free verse, and even conducted a poetry slam now and again. Throughout my years, I collected some priceless student work (from fourth and fifth graders). Here are some examples:

Metaphor Poems 

Girls are PSSAs. You don't want to take them anywhere.

Boys are red ants. They look fine at first, but then they creep up inside you and eat your insides so you're dead for all eternity.

A bad book is a hot potato. Easy to put down.

Integrity is a shining mirror. The only thing that matters is what you see.

Did You Ever Notice Poems (excerpts)

Did you ever notice the lunch ladies always pack their own lunch?

Did you ever notice your parents taught you to walk and talk, but now they are telling you to sit down and be quiet?

Did you ever notice that when someone blows their nose, they look at what comes out?

Ode to a Ford Mustang (written by a fifth grade boy)

Oh, your chrome covered rims sparkle as they spin,
Oh, you red shining skin
Your bovine hide seats warm my bottom while I sit in you
I hear you howling when you are sprinting down the road.
Your tires grip the ground like hooks in a fish.
Your lights let me see past dusk.
Your shape is like a young woman's body.
Ford Mustang, you're like my running horse.

Used to But Not Now Poems

(written by fifth grade boy)
I used to be afraid of monsters. Then my sister moved out.

(written by a fifth grade girl)
I used to be afraid of monsters under my bed, bugs, and fireworks.
Now I'm afraid of my brother's underwear, creepy old people, and boys.

My Soul Is Poems

My soul is a rubber duck. I have many faces. If you squeeze me, you'll get a surprise.

My soul is a cocoon. When young, trapped, but when older, free to fly away.

Best of luck to all!


Image credit: Renato Ganoza/flickr

Tags: poetry  fifth grade  fourth grade  pssa  standardized tests  pennsylvania  teacher  student  metaphor  ode  keystone exam