Dance, Dance, Dance!

Badgerdog Instructor Virginia Reeves writes: When Austin International Poetry Festival writer Gail Langstroth joined us in our writing workshop, she literally made language stand up and dance. Students were on their feet, using their entire bodies to form letters and sounds, images and elements. There wasn’t one fourth-grader in the room who didn’t participate or didn’t enjoy it. The alliterative poems that came out of the writing portion were wonderfully unique.


I will never finish the
race in time for the
grand finale.



The slimy, spiky sand slithered.



Tigers eat the meat they catch.



Lizards are licking lovely lilies.



The cat came to get his car
to celebrate
’cause it was his birthday.



The smooth notes of smooth jazz
music slithered away then more
came along ’til the smooth jazz



The snail slides down the slide. The slide
is slippery with a lot of slime.



The letter L likes the letters.
The letter L leaves a library to the letters.
The letter S leaves the letter L alone.
The letter L feels lonely. The letter L
tells the letters that she is lonely, but the letter S
says that he went to get lettuce for letter L and the letters.



Flaming fire flames fly far.



Fire flares finding firebird,
faster and faster fire flares.
Firebirds fire fireballs at flying fish.



My black dog made a burrow
and then ate bacon for
breakfast in the burrow.



The terrible taste is tickly on my tongue.



I slide down.
The people slide down the monkey slide.


Nature Reprised

This week, we feature three young poets from Sanchez Elementary School, each with a unique way of seeing the natural world. In these three poems, horsetails become fireworks, the sun is a tomato ready to be sliced, and a flower is just a trumpet in disguise. Congratulations to Kris, Areli, and Dominic! Their power with the pen has us pining for spring already.

Field Horsetail

They look like fireworks going up
in the air. They do not look
like horsetails. They also look like stitches
and they sound like a horse running
through a meadow.

Kris, fourth grade, Sanchez Elementary School


The sun looks like
a shiny tomato falling on
a cutting board. The sky
is turning black as the sun
falls. The red sun and blue
sky mix together to make a beautiful
purple that looks like the sunset
and a shooting star.

Areli, fourth grade, Sanchez Elementary School

Rock Trumpet

If you take off the flower,
and if you get the stem and
put holes in it, you can
play it like a flute.

Dominic, fourth grade, Sanchez Elementary School