Breathe in the Woodsy Inspiration, Exhale Imaginative Poetry


A Walk in the Woods

A path lined with logs,
some flowers on the ground,
big leafy trees of wisdom.
They have been there for so long.

Deeper in
a sweet outdoorsy smell.
The sun barely reaching through the trees.

Here’s my stop.
A small vernal pool
with scattered branches
that have fallen from the trees above.
the wind howls.
I feel a breeze
so nice.

It’s autumn.
I hear kids out at recess.
So far, but yet so close.

                                                                                   Emma H.


The Woods

The woods, the water, the beauty
breathe the fresh air
play in the pond
see your reflection like you’re in a
different dimension

The green, the brown, the colors
the frogs in the dark
play with the toads

The laser-like branches and sticks
that cut open skin
a jungle gym of fallen trees
a trampoline of branches
a fort of many sticks

Rain splatters in the pond and on the leaves
the forest animals scamper
birds chirp
leaves chatter and do the wave

                            Cody K.

Peace of the Forest

Giant green overhead
a tall yellow wall protecting me.

The sweet song of the birds
all around me.

The damp squiggly moss
like little worms.

Water shaking
like a mini earthquake
passed through.

But now my classmates are here,
and the peace is ruined.

                                   Tyler B.

My Tree

My tree, oh so big and tall.
All the branches stick out
like big octopus tentacles.

The tree has bark
like wrinkly skin
on my grandpa’s arm.

Like a big green sponge
it is covered in moss.

At the top, all the leaves
make a big green canopy
hovering over the forest.

You can’t go wrong.
This tree is the best.

I love my tree,
and my tree loves me.

                                        Maddy B.


The cold damp air moves around you
like the swamp in the night of a monster story.
You might see shadows lurking around you.

The ground has turned to mud
through the pouring rain of last night.

The fog goes up high. 
You can’t see more than a few yards.
You can hear things moving though.
It’s slightly spooky,
but if you came in,
you should have been ready for a fright.

I hope you have enjoyed the time.
I wonder if you will come back again?
Please do.
Next time, come prepared for a scare,
maybe, if you can.

                                Alex K.


The mushrooms in the woods
seem like little tiny bug houses.

The stems seem like they could be
the little insides of the house.
The tops like little umbrellas
to save the house from flooding.

There would be ants and ladybugs
and little little bugs living in the houses.

There would be bees
to provide the food for the bugs.
There would be beetles and horseflies
and mosquitoes as little bug guards.

Tiny mushrooms for tiny bugs it seems.
Large mushrooms would be for large bugs.

Too bad it’s not true.

All the bugs live in other non-amazing houses.
The bugs are mad they don’t live in mushrouses.
That’s why the bugs bug us.

                                           Nick B.

Author Visits via Skype

We’ve been very fortunate this year.  In October we had a Skype visit with author Derek Kent who prefers to be known as Derek the ghost.  I read both of his books aloud to the class.  The first was Scary School, and the second was Scary School – Monsters on the March.  We loved them both because of the way they left us laughing out loud.  Every time I picked it up the class cheered because they knew there would be something funny in the pages ahead. The characters were imaginative and unexpected and added drama to every chapter.

Last week we had a Skype visit with author Rob Buyea.  I read both of his books aloud as well.  The first was Because of Mr. Terupt, and the second was Mr. Terupt Falls Again.  We loved these books because we made such a strong connection to the characters and their lives.  The first book is about a class of 5th graders and their very cool teacher.  The second is the same group of students, now in 6th grade, having looped with the same teacher.  These books also made us laugh out loud, but there was more.  They made us cry too.  The situations among the students was familiar, yet unpredictable.  We waiting breathlessly to see what would happen next.

Two days ago, I asked my students to brainstorm a list of things that they had learned about writing by reading these books and talking to these two authors.  Here are some of the things the students wrote down.

Derek Kent

-Always put yourself in your story – meaning, have one of your characters be part you.
-Always have a big thing happen – something that the characters will have to deal with.
-Get ideas from your own life.  Think back to some funny events or situations in your own life.
-Have your character learn some life lessons during the course of your story.
-Include some well known people as characters and change their name and characteristics just enough to allow your reader to recognize and draw a connection.
-Add things that no one is expecting.
-Add humor to lighten the mood.
-Have your main character go against the crowd now and then.
Rob Buyea

-If you base a book on your everyday life, ideas will come to you more easily.
-Always carry a writer’s notebook.  You never know when an idea will pop into your head.
-Writing ideas seem to strike at the weirdest moments.  (The idea for Because of Mr. Terupt came to Rob Buyea while he was in his mother’s garden!)
-Take your own memories and change them to fit your story and/or your characters.
-Make the reader wonder what will happen next.
-Jot down ideas.  You may not use them for years, but it gives you a collection to draw from.
-If you don’t like the situation/character/story, your reader won’t either.  Sometimes you want your reader to dislike a character, but make sure you think about whether you want your reader to change their opinion by the story’s end.
-Base your characters and events on real life people and events in your life.


I’m very pleased to see that the combination of reading the books and actually talking to/asking questions of these authors has left the students with great advice and tips to apply in their own writing.

Skype Visit With Derek the Ghost!

Today we thoroughly enjoyed our skype visit with Derek Kent, the author of Scary School and Scary School Monsters on the March.  He made us feel very relaxed, and we were able to ask lots of questions.  We found out that he has always loved to make kids laugh, and he has always loved to write.  He remembers that when he was in elementary school and creative writing time was over, everyone else closed their notebook, but he didn’t want to.  He also remembers that he enjoyed reading the dictionary!  He liked learning new words and then using them on his friends (who had no idea what they meant!)

Derek still loves making kids laugh.  It is his goal that his readers laugh out loud when reading his books.  We eagerly let him know that he indeed made us laugh out loud many times.  We weren’t surprised to learn that he was a big Roald Dahl fan.  He’s read all of Roald Dahl’s books!  He’s also a fan of Louis Sachar.  In fact the Sideways School books really gave Derek ideas to think about.

In creating characters, he was inspired by teachers, people he has known, characters in other books and movies, and himself!  Dr. Dragonbreath is based on a teacher in Derek’s past who always wore a tie and unfortunately had a case of dragon breath!  Charles Nukid is a character that Derek relates to.  As a student in school, Derek was also kind of skinny.  Steven Kingsley is based on the author Stephen King.  The character, like the author, likes writing and baseball.

Derek is the only author in his family, but he did mention that his mother is a very talented artist.  If you google her name you can see some of her art.  Her name is Melanie Taylor Kent.

When asked if he is planning a fourth book in the series, Derek said he actually had a plan for each of six books, but only had an offer from his publisher for the first three books.  We’re planning on writing persuasive letters to his publisher to let them know how much we’re enjoying the Scary School series and how much we would love to read more!  We may also write persuasive letters to Nickelodeon to support the idea of his books being made into a series for TV.

We have become big time fans of Derek Kent.  We hope he writes many more books!