“The Puzzle Peace”, Student Published Poem #7

There’s so much to love about this poem: The extended metaphor, symbolism, alliteration, play on words, and most of all, the meaning each of us can personally put together from this piece of poetry as we often get puzzled about the sadder parts of our lives…

The Puzzle Peace

By Loralai Milton

An empty hole.
An unfillable gap –
Like a puzzle with a missing piece.

Emotion takes control.
We feel a longing
To rid ourselves of sadness.

We want the opposite:
A life of no downs,
A life of ups–
Perceived Completion.

But, without the piece of sadness,
Can we be whole?

With the absence of a puzzle piece,
How can we perceive
The feeling of completion?

The peace from all the pieces in place.

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 6.06.44 PM

Loralai Milton is a seventh grade honors student at Sunnyvale Middle School. She is gifted in acting, music, and writing. Loralai’s creativity and drive keep me inspired! –Ms. Angela Henderson

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“Little Troops”, Student Published Poem #6

Poetry captures events, evokes emotions, and draws us into the happiest of times and the saddest of times. Jerric Atienza, in his poem “Little Troops”, captures the event and emotions of  warfare, something that many of us are far removed from currently. When reading his poem, one feels the paralyzing fear of a surprise attack…

 Little Troops

by Jerric Atienza

A dying light,

becomes the night.

With a raid imminent,

on the little troops,

that know nothing.


The bomb drops,

sirens blare,

gunfire cracks,

on most little troops,

that know nothing.


Men shout,

orders thrown out,

units move in,

on some little troops,

that know nothing.


Silence occurs,

smoke invading the air.

One cries,

one little troop,

that still stands.


Jerric Atienza, a 7th Grade Honors student at SMS, is a creative, disciplined student who carefully selects words in his writings. I’m excited to share this poem next year when teaching WWII, The Diary of Anne Frank. Proud of him! -Ms. Angela Henderson



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“Sports”, Student Published Poems #5

When introducing our Poetry Unit, I encouraged my students to write about something they are passionate about. That makes poetry so much easier, more fun, and authentic. Several students wrote about sports, and these two writings featured below are action packed poems throwing us right into the center of the play. Since poetry is technically music, you could say these poems are a hit!


BY: Wyatt Cookston

Every Friday night from August to October
Teams go into battle for four quarters
From the “Set, hut” to the blow of the whistle
Moments flash by…
Starting from the crash of the pads from the line going into the defense
The quarterback drops back in the wet grass,
Flings his arm back and releases the ball
And as it whistles and cuts through the air…
Defense tries to swat and bat it down; no one can touch the pass.
The ball falls safely into the receiver’s hands
Who is in the air at the back corner of the end zone.

Once he is pulled down, he  d   r  a  g  s   his feet in the end zone.

The whistle says the play is over.
Referee raises his arms


Wyatt 2015 football

Wyatt Cookston is an eighth grader at Sunnyvale Middle School. He is a hardworking, respectful young man with drive in school and on the field… as seen in his poem. – Ms. Angela Henderson


By Cameron Kilpatrick

I step in the box, with much hesitation
The crowd is filled with much indignation
I watch the ball fly from his hand
Over the plate, the catcher’s glove it lands.
Is all I hear.
Then, moaning and groaning,
Strikes me with fear.
The pitch is thrown,
Right in the zone.
I swing.
Before I know,
I see the throw.
The game comes to an end.
Our team captures the win.


Cameron Kilpatrick is an eighth grader at Sunnyvale Middle School. His creativity, sense of humor, and skills are exhibited in baseball and other sports as well as in Drama and writing. Excellent, concise rhymed poem! -Ms. Angela Henderson



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“The Three Little Pigs: The TRUE Story”; Student Published Poem #4

Okay, we’ve all heard the story of “The Three Little Pigs” more times than we can count… BUT, this poem captures the tale from the wolf’s point of view in a way that might change how we look at the wolf. Read it (or rap it)!

The Three Little Pigs
By: Mr. Wolf

         I am the wolf from the popular story;

  The Three Little Pigs who got ALL the glory!

      But those little pigs, they’re frauds, they’re foes!

 This is how the story really goes:

One day I was in my house alone,

 When a sudden ring came from my phone.

    I picked it up and heard a voice filled with worry,

  And it said, “Mr. Wolf, I am in quite a hurry.

        My brothers and I are moving in May,

 And we need our houses to be blown away.

 I quickly replied, “Of course I will kind Pig.”

      Then I grabbed my vest and was there in a jig.

I began at the house made of long, thin straw,

   And I huffed and I puffed, till I made the house fall.

I moved on to the next house, that was made of twigs,

    When at the doorstep stood the three little pigs.

    One pig said, “Ha! We tricked you, hairy beast!”

And they picked up their phones and called the police.

Now I sit here alone in this dusty cell,

   But I will get revenge, and soon I will bail!

Written by Grace Knight

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Grace Knight is a seventh grader at Sunnyvale Middle School. Her clever twist in her poem, “The Three Little Pigs: The TRUE Story” is just a flavor of her creative, spunky spirit! Cynthia, Grace’s mom, is pictured with her. 

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“Anxiety”, Student Published Poem #3

Poetry carries universal themes and messages, and “Anxiety” is one with which we can all relate. At some point in life, we find ourselves in a situation that brings on that feeling of panic, and Tara Davis captures this emotion as though we were in that moment now:


by Tara Davis

i bite the inside of my gum
i grit my teeth
i pop my knuckles
and my lungs
they feel like fire.

i can’t breathe

i don’t wanna make eye contact
not with you.
not with anyone.
i chew my gum
and hope you don’t hear the little voices
in my head telling me to slow down
but i can’t.

everything’s in fast motion,

expecting me to use all those
seconds in a minute
to try and get out my words but
all i can say is “ um.. uh.. um..”

say something.


Tara Davis is a 7th grade student at Sunnyvale Middle School. As an ELA Honors student, she brings unique insights into our class, and I enjoy seeing her efforts pay off with strong final products like this poem. – Ms. Angela Henderson


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“My Passion”, Student Published Poem #2

Poetry is one of my favorite genres to explore with my students because the rules of grammar are tweaked for the purpose of the message, and imagery shines through the language. For example, the use of lower case “i” puts our focus on her passion rather than her. Alex’s use of the simile, “i’m like a tree”… provides a concrete image to abstract ideas. Beautiful!

My Passion

i SING like no one’s watching
i FEEL the music through my voice
it’s SOMETHING MORE than just notes being hit
it’s a NEW WORLD being created:

when i SING
i let out ANGER and STRESS
i bring in HAPPINESS and JOY.

i’m like a TREE
having LIFE in my hands
and ROOTS beneath my feet.

a SONG for every emotion
like CLEARING my mind

but i’m doing something i LOVE
and OWNING it.

Alexandria Renee Crawford

Headshots 1 & 2

Alex is an eighth grader at Sunnyvale Middle School. She is a gifted young actress and musician. I appreciate the creativity she brings to our Honors ELA class. – Ms. Angela Henderson

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“My Mask”, Student Published Poem #1

National Poetry Month

In honor of National Poetry Month, I’ve selected student poems for publication to share with you. One of my favorite strengths of my 8th Grade Honors ELA class is their ability to dig deep, make personal connections from literature, and be introspective.

McKinley Ream’s poem, “My Mask”, is an exemplary piece of introspective poetry:

                           My Mask
                 By McKinley Ream

I wear a mask over my face on a day to day basis,
It covers all of the sorrow and distress I’m feeling on the inside of me.
My mask is happy and joyful, making me look as happy as can be;
But with doing this people only know me by the mask I wear,
Not by what I´m feeling on the inside of me.
And while this is the goal,
I´m afraid that by wearing this mask;
It´s going to get stuck to me,
And I will have lost my true identity.
But if I take off my mask then everyone will know the truth,
And all of those days I spent wearing the mask will have had no meaning,
Because everyone will know how I truly feel on the inside;
And all of the flaws I hold on the inside of me.


“The Mask”, Artwork by McKinley Ream



McKinley Ream is an eighth grader at Sunnyvale Middle School. She is gifted in acting and has a distinct voice in her writing. She’s a delight to have in my Honors ELA class. -Ms. Angela Henderson





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