Poetry Post #1 – Arithmetic, Chocolate & Coffee

Posted by Jenn on March 14, 2013  •  No Comments

Here is the first installment with 3 poems.  I asked the kids to write a catalog poem, which is a free verse poem where you choose a topic and write a poem that is list-like. The example we read in class was “Arithmetic” by Carl Sandburg.  I have included that first, so you can have an example.

“Arithmetic” by Carl Sandburg

Arithmetic is where numbers fly like pigeons in and out of your

Arithmetic tells you how many you lose or win if you know how
many you had before you lost or won.

Arithmetic is seven eleven all good children go to heaven — or five
six bundle of sticks.

Arithmetic is numbers you squeeze from your head to your hand
to your pencil to your paper till you get the answer.

Arithmetic is where the answer is right and everything is nice and
you can look out of the window and see the blue sky — or the
answer is wrong and you have to start all over and try again
and see how it comes out this time.

If you take a number and double it and double it again and then
double it a few more times, the number gets bigger and bigger
and goes higher and higher and only arithmetic can tell you
what the number is when you decide to quit doubling.

Arithmetic is where you have to multiply — and you carry the
multiplication table in your head and hope you won’t lose it.

If you have two animal crackers, one good and one bad, and you
eat one and a striped zebra with streaks all over him eats the
other, how many animal crackers will you have if somebody
offers you five six seven and you say No no no and you say
Nay nay nay and you say Nix nix nix?

If you ask your mother for one fried egg for breakfast and she
gives you two fried eggs and you eat both of them, who is
better in arithmetic, you or your mother?


Now we come to some poems by my students. (No edits of spelling, punctuation, etc. by the teacher. Pictures added by me.)

The first is by one of my 6th grade boys.


Chocolate is a kind of candy that melts in your mouth.

Chocolate tells you the tiring process of turning
bitter cocoa beans to sweet soft chocolate.

Chocolate is like the person I love and care about, sweet
and loving. Chocolate is a big part of the candy market.

Chocolate is in a lot of stuff. Hot chocolate,
Chocolate Ice cream, chocolate cake.

Chocolate makes kids hyper, active and crazy.

Chocolate is produced by hard work,
People pick it hand by hand.

Chocolate is like a drug that you
can’t stop eating it.

Chocolate comes into beautiful shapes.

Chocolate is art. There are shoes, and
almost everything you can imagine.

Chocolate is life. It gives people work and
profit from it.

Chocolate is love, lets people express their
feelings to their loved ones.

Chocolate is my viatamin. One of the reasons
why I’m alive.

This second one is by one of my 7th grade girls.


Coffee is something you drink and feel happy about.

Coffee is a drink that is warm that is hot that is very very cold.

Coffee has a taste, a very good taste,

it also has flavors, very good flavors.

Coffee makes you feel happy and sappy,

it also makes you hyper and high.

Don’t drink coffee in the evening –

you won’t be able to sleep;

you’ll toss and you’ll turn all through the night.

Drink coffee; drink cups of it; drink gallons and gallons of it –

it’s so good, you’ll want even more;

you might end up on the toilet, of course!

I tell you, by the way,

coffee might become your very best friend;

but watch out – don’t you ever take mine away!

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