Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Puck and Snug Share "Where I'm From" Poems #SOL2015, Day 10

Week 2 of the Slice of Life Story Challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers continues. Thanks for stopping by. This is Day 10/31.

Seniors started a poetry unit today in English, and since I did not write an introduction to myself last week, I figured the best way to get to know me is to get to know my dogs, Puck and Snug. The boys decided to try their hand at writing "Where I'm From" poems, using George Ella Lyon's poem as a mentor text, as this is what students in English did today. I named both Puck and Snug after two of the mechanicals in William Shakespeare's comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Puck's "Where I'm From" Poem

I'm from "I was here first" 
from white Westie and from I don't know.
I'm from balls I like to catch and hide under the couch
(plastic, squeaky, soft, round 
oblong orbs I like to catch and chase)
I am from the pound, from abandonment,
the bane and fear of changed minds.
I'm from sloppy kisses and hugs.

I'm from trips to see Dr. Alpert,
     from into my "garbage gut" 
     to dumps in the yard
     from bariums and X-Rays to see what I ate.
I'm from vet bills paid with love
from a tumor on my leg and 
from the "Cone of Shame."
I'm from popping pills for my allergies
     from sneezing and wheezing
I'm from standing by the cookie jar
     waiting on dad to give me a treat.

I'm from waking up at 4:00 a.m. when dad snores
     and barking for my bone.
I'm from playing at the Ellis Elementary playground
     where dad throws me the ball and mom chases me.
I'm from mom and dad looking for my ball and 
     from playing catch from morning to bedtime, 
     when I sleep on my own queen-sized bed.
I'm from stealing naps on mom's pillow.
I am from mom choosing me from a picture in the paper.
I am one of the boys, dad's little hoodlum,
I'm from a whole lot of love and filling the empty nest.

Puck with my granddaughter, Kayla
Puck in the "Cone of Shame" always smiles.

 Snug's "Where I'm From" Poem

I'm from old dog spirit
From a cage at the Idaho Falls animal shelter
I'm from barking at the air and strutting my little big man stuff
     when Ace roams the neighborhood
     when those cats from next door dig in my yard.
I'm from sitting in the window watching, guarding, waiting.
I'm from German Schnauzer and part poodle,
     from near death and emaciation
     from mom telling dad to bring me home
     when he texted her the picture of my sad face in the cage.

I'm from Alpha dog putting Puck in his place as though we're not neutered.
I'm from early to bed 
     after mom brushes my teeth each night.
I'm from sad looks and letting it all hang out
     so I can scratch my back.
I'm from begging for food at the dinner table with Puck
     where dad taught us to go when it's time to eat. 
I'm from barking at strangers and licking their hands
     when they give me a treat. 

I'm from snuggling up to mom
     from sleeping next to dad's feet
I'm from my buddy Greg, mom's brother.
I'm from marking my territory,
     from sneaking out of the house 
     when no one is looking.
I'm from Ma and Pa's Grooming
     from dad combing my beard
     from getting dressed up in my new scarf each month.
I'm from Bark Box treats but I always give Puck the ball.

I'm form a dog's purpose is to love and be loved,
     from taking companionship and from giving it.
I'm from mom not wanting Puck to be lonely.
I'm from sad on the outside and content on the inside. 
I'm form being one of the boys.
I'm from a place on the side of the road 
     to a home filled with good food, fresh water, warm baths, and love.
I'm from I'm glad there are no cats living here, even though mom wants one.

Snug guarding the stairs.
Snug scratching his back.
*This "Where I'm From" copy change poetry lesson is originally part of a unit I created for the NEA Better Lesson Master Teacher Project. The complete lesson and the entire unit can be found on the betterlesson.com website. Puck and Snug wrote their poems specifically for the SOL15 Story Challenge.


  1. What a great post. I love the poems. I especially like that those to dogs found their wonderful forever home. They look truly loved.

  2. Love this...I usually do Where I Am From poems every year. Now I have some new mentor texts...I know students will relate to these! I will look for your lesson for new ideas, too. I keep trying to improve my lesson for presenting the poem and guiding students in writing their own.

  3. This is a fabulous mentor text to use when we want our kids to play with perspective. may I share it with my sixth graders?

    1. Yes, of course, Tara. I just read the poems to my 3rd period class, and one of the boys commented: "Those dogs are good writers." Ha! :-) I overheard two girls talking about sharing their "Where I'm From" poems w/ their parents last night. One said, "I loved reminiscing about my childhood." Good times!

  4. This is a fabulous mentor text to use when we want our kids to play with perspective. may I share it with my sixth graders?

  5. I love "I am from" poems and this one is delightful! So fun that you introduced us to your dogs - and really cool how much more we learn about you through this. That last photo is one happy dog!!!

  6. You have given me a new twist to try using Georgia Ellen Lyons poetry. Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. That's it! I'm going to have to write "I am from" poems for my dogs, Fezzik and Buttercup. The names fit them perfectly, and this will be a hoot! Thank you for the idea, and I love your poems!

  8. So adorable those two dogs! I love writing these poems with students--we usually start our year with them but something got in the way this year... maybe a perfect way to reconnect after spring break. If we do, I'm with Michelle, I'm going to have write one for my dog, Daisy. Sweet, Glenda!