Robyn Hood Black - children's author, poet, artist


Click links below to follow our Progressive Poem for Nat'l Poetry Month!

April

1 Heidi at my juicy little universe

2 Tabatha at The Opposite of Indifference

3 Doraine at Dori Reads

4 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty

5 Diane at Random Noodling

6 Kat at Kat's Whiskers

7 Irene at Live Your Poem

8 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading

9 Linda at TeacherDance

10 Penny at a penny and her jots

11 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page

12 Janet F. at Live Your Poem

13 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche

14 Jan at Bookseedstudio

15 Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales

16 Joy at Poetry for Kids Joy

17 Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect

18 Buffy at Buffy's Blog

19 Pat at Writer on a Horse

20 BJ at Blue Window

21 Donna at Mainely Write

22 Jone at Jone Ruch MacCulloch

23 Ruth at There is no such thing as a godforsaken town

24 Amy at The Poem Farm

25 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge

26 Renee at No Water River

27 Matt at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme

28 Michelle at Michelle Kogan

29 Charles at Poetry Time

30 Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids








Hannah enjoying poetry workshop


(Scroll down this column for tags, archives and blogroll....)

Archives

Tags


Enjoy these Great
Children's Lit Blogs and Websites:


Hanging with fellow Georgia writers (from top, l-r) Tracy Walker, Heather Kolich, Donna Bowman, (bottom, middle) Janice Hardy and Paula Puckett
photo by Steve Kolich

Susan Rosson Spain, Robyn Hood Black, Elizabeth Dulemba, and Myra Meade at the Hall Book Exchange in Gainesville, Ga.
photo by Mel Hornsby

Southern Breeze Kudos Kites 09 - Donna, Robyn, Heather, Sarah, and Peggy

Robyn with Kathleen Duey, author extraordinaire http://www.kathleenduey.com

Robyn with Alaska Nature Writer Debbie Miller http://www.debbiemilleralaska.com

photo by Robyn Hood Black
Paul B. Janeczko http://www.paulbjaneczko.com

Copyright 2005-2016 ©Robyn Hood Black. All rights reserved. Please ask permission before using any text or images on this website, except for reproducible
"4 Kids 2 Do" and "Press Kit" pages.

Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday: Full Hearts, Empty Nests, and Emily Dickinson

June 13, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, authors, school visits, students, teachers, ponderings, birds

Willow Tree figure, "Happiness," with student cards...


On Wednesday I grabbed a quick catch-up coffee with a dear friend. Years ago, she taught both of my kids when they were in fourth grade, and I was her room mother each time! Now the youngest, Seth, has just graduated (though not before visiting her classroom to talk about song writing with her students), and I’ve been continuing the tradition of visiting her class to talk about writing each spring. A couple of years ago, my oldest (Morgan, my rising college senior/ed major) tagged along. It’s been a great arrangement; I “experiment” with different writing activities with the students, and they get a little outside spice with their language arts.

Sharon has given me the most thoughtful, perfect gifts over the years as a thank-you. When the creative writing theme involved butterflies (catching ideas!), the class gave me a butterfly coffee cup, matching journal, and bookmarks. Once they gave me a heavy duty pen holder for my desk, decorated with pens on the outside. The most precious gifts are notes and cards from the students, which I think every author cherishes.

This week, along with a bow-tied stack of cards, Sharon gave me the lovely Willow Tree figure in the picture above. This one is called “Happiness” – and Sharon said it made her think of me. Well, that just fills me with joy, and much appreciation.

Willow Tree creator Susan Lordi says of this figurine, “I hope this piece is very open to viewer interpretation. For me, it is the pure joy that comes from creating — in all of its forms. A side note … I love bluebirds.”

I told Sharon the birds were appropriate, as the last thing I’d done before sunset the night before was fish a newly-fledged robin out of our pool. I scooped it up and set it on the ground, where, after sitting there not knowing what to do for a time while its parents fretted, it eventually hopped toward Mom, who escorted it up the hillside and out of my sight.

This baby was the last one to leave this year’s nest in the camellia bush. A big baby bird, I’d already mentioned to it that it was about time. That mama and papa robin had worked tirelessly harvesting gobs of worms to take to the nest day in and day out.

Obviously we have empty nests on our minds these days. My husband said he even got misty watching some baby robins outside at work the other day. They were learning to fly. So, let’s have a bird poem today, in which Miss Emily so beautifully renders the image of flight:

A Bird Came Down the Walk

by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

A Bird came down the Walk—
He did not know I saw—
He bit an Angleworm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,

And then he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass—
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass—

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all around—
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought—
He stirred his Velvet Head

Like one in danger, Cautious,
I offered him a Crumb
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home—

Than Oars divide the Ocean,
Too silver for a seam—
Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon
Leap, plashless as they swim.


Click here for more information about Emily Dickinson and links to many of her poems.

Now, flap your wings and glide on over to Reflections on the Teche , where the thoughtful and talented Margaret has the Poetry Friday Roundup!

Also, if you want to see some gorgeous oil paintings, I featured works by my fellow-brand-new-empty-nester-to-be friend and amazing artist Ann Goble on my artsyletters blog this week.

Poetry Friday: Student Work and Lively Limericks!

May 2, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, students, school visits, student work

Insert: Sharing a wonderful school visit at Fair Street with Media Specialist Extraordinaire Amy Hamilton. Artwork: Here is a terrific creation from David in Dr. Lacey's kindergarten class. He made this right after my presentation. I'd run from this wolf, too - wouldn't you?

I LOVE student work.

The art, stories, plays, and poetry of children often stop us in our tracks, don’t they?

If I’m in front of a few dozen or hundred kids at a school visit and I solicit some creative contribution from them, there’s a moment of sheer delight when some young mind tosses out an idea or association that I wouldn’t have thought of in a million years. It’s an honor to explore the creative process together.

As we wrap up another school year, I’m thinking of author visits from this year as well as two school visits I still have coming up. Also, my middle school Language Arts teacher friend left me a message yesterday asking if I could judge some work for the county’s creative writing contest (again!). A young student from a school visit years ago has gotten back in touch asking for some guidance regarding his writing. It’s a privilege to be welcomed into a young person’s creative pursuits. And while I hope I can provide a little guidance here and there, the most important thing I can offer is encouragement. On a good day, maybe a dash of inspiration.

Speaking of inspiration, today’s Poetry Friday host and talented poet Elizabeth Steinglass got me to playing with limericks afresh this spring, with her posts about them. (Here's a terrific one from just last week.)

Right before spring break, I visited one of my favorite groups of people around: the students and faculty/staff at Fair Street School, An International Baccalaureate World School, here in north Georgia. We talked all about writing and rang in National Poetry Month. Limerick-fueled, I decided to adapt a creative writing exercise with them especially for Poetry Month.

I started out in my usual way, in the last few minutes of each presentation, asking the students to come up with a humorous character. This character is always a combination of two very different animals, which they name and classify, and which I draw on a large easel pad. Instead of going on to make a group story about this character as is my custom, we made a limerick about it!

The fun we had speaks for itself. You’ll see in these poems that I provided a basic structure for them to jump from. (We discussed the limerick form and clapped out the rhythm before diving in.) Here are the poems from the presentations, combinations of K-5 classes. Since I don’t have the goofy portraits to show (I leave these at the school with the writing), I’ll mention the animal combo before each one.


*************

(Kangaroo/Wolf)

There once was a kangawolf named Ferret
who said, "I think I would like a parrot!
Because it is spring
I must tie a string
and I'm eating a juicy carrot!"

*************

(Horse/Frog)

There once was a horsefrog named Kevin,
who said, "I wish I was eleven!
Because it is spring
I must sing with a ring,
And act my own age, which is seven!

*************

(Cheetah/Snake)

There once was a cheesnake named Mimi,
who said, “I want a boyfriend named Jimmy.
Because it is spring,
I must buy a ring,
And cruise in my new Lamborghini!”

*************

(Bird/Dog)

There once was a birddog named Tuchi,
who said, "I think you're a moochie.
Because it is spring, I must find the king,
and give him a great, big smoochie!"

*************


Aren’t those terrific?

Several of our creative, multi-tasking Poetry Friday bloggers who are teachers feature student creations now and again. Here are a few recent favorites of mine; please feel free to leave more links in the comments!

Mary Lee brought us a wrap-up of her “Common Inspiration – Uncommon Creations” project at a A Year of Reading, with all kinds of enchanting results, including some original sculptures and poetry from some of her students.

At Hubbard’s Headlines, Betsy shared colorful, dusty student masterpieces from her Chalk-A-Bration! 2013 project.

Jone shared lots of student poetry in April at Check it Out
– So, go check it out!

Last but not least, you know there’s always something exciting going on at My Juicy Little Universe, when Heidi shares the adventures of her Mighty Minnows. Enjoy the wonderful kindergarten poetry she posted this week!

(Friday a.m. update) - Just saw Laura Shovan's wonderful post today featuring third graders writing poetry about math. Really! The poems are wonderful. She'll be posting more as her residency continues.

(Sat.) Margaret has some wonderful Mother's Day poetry from students over at Reflections on the Teche.

For more great poetry from writers of all ages, head back over to see what Liz has rounded up for us this week!

(Oh - and for more about how Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's Drawing into Poems project has continued to inspire me to think about drawing, writing, and blind contours - :0) - check out my column this month at Janice Hardy's The Other Side of the Story.

It's National Poetry Month!

April 1, 2013

Tags: Poetry Month, poetry, school visits, Highlights, workshops

I kicked off National Poetry Month with a school visit to Fair Street International Baccalaureate School on Friday. Thanks to lovely media specialist Amy Hamilton, right, for hosting me again!

Happy Poetry Month!

The Academy of American Poets designates each April as a month-long celebration of poetry. Check out the many links and resources there.

SO many great things going on in the KidLit world for Poetry Month as well. A great place to start your treasure hunt is over at Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup blog, where our wonderful Jama has compiled links to many month-long online celebrations.

I had the good fortune to usher in Poetry Month at Fair Street School (an International Baccalaureate World School) here in north Georgia on Friday. With groups from kindergarten through fifth grade, media specialist Amy Hamilton and I led students and teachers on a romp through different types of poetry. We even wrote group limericks in each presentation, and they turned out great! (I'll share a couple soon.) Thanks to Elizabeth Steinglass for filling my head with limericks lately. (Liz and I met at a Highlights Founders Workshop in poetry last year.)

Don't forget to travel along with the 2013 Progressive Poem! The wonderful Irene Latham is coordinating this special treat again, with a new line added by a children's poet every day. My line was toward th beginning last year; this year it will be toward the end! Can't wait to see what emerges. Click here for the schedule; also coming to a sidebar near you when I get it together.

How will you celebrate POETRY this month? I look forward to seeing you "on the links" - not for golf, but for poetry!
Fore......

Poetry Friday: Marchuary? and some E. E. Cummings

March 28, 2013

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, ponderings, Poetry Month, school visits


Happy Spring!

Here’s what it said on my local page from The Weather Channel yesterday:

It's "Marchuary" in the Southeast!
Some Southeast cities have had a colder March than January.


I know we have no room to talk, what with all the blizzards you folks up north and to the west of us have endured this winter. But I must say I was thrilled to see the mercury creep up to 60 Thursday afternoon, without the cutting winds we’ve been swirling in!

Also yesterday, a dear friend sent an email with a nod to the famous spring poem by E. E. Cummings. I thought we should read it to keep luring in spring. Once a year at least we ought to ponder the word “mud-luscious,” don’t you think?

[in Just-]

by E. E. Cummings
(1894–1962)

in Just-
spring       when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
spring



Please click here to read the poem in its entirety.

I am thrilled to be visiting a local elementary school today – sharing poetry across K through 5! I know we’ll have a great time kicking off National Poetry Month.

Speaking of which, be SURE to check out Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup blog today and for the next several weeks, as she’s kindly compiled lots of great links for special Poetry Month celebrations throughout the Kidlitosphere.

Irene Latham is hosting the second annual Progressive Poem – Woo Hoo! Can’t wait to participate again. Click here for the dates to see who’s adding a line when.

Don’t forget to vote today in the FINAL FOUR round of March Madness Poetry! What a great offering of poems this year’s tournament has birthed. (And huge thanks to organizer Ed DeCaria.)

For more great poetry today, visit A Reading Year - Mary Lee always has a spring in her step.

AND, come right back here next week, where I have the privilege of rounding up the first Poetry Friday in April!

Poetry Friday: Dragony Delights

February 3, 2012

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, dragons, book tracks, school visits

SIR MIKE, Scholastic, illustrations © David Murphy;

dragon print ©Robyn Hood Black
SIR MIKE, my rhyming Rookie Reader from Scholastic (2005) features a boy preparing to fight what he’s sure is a dragon in his back yard, rustling in the bushes.
It begins:

I am Sir Mike.
I am a knight.

If I see a dragon,
I might have to fight.


(By the way, a friend called to tell me there’s a new Nickelodeon show launching TODAY called MIKE THE KNIGHT, and she’s sure I should have gotten some royalties or something. The characters even favor each other! I only wish….)

Anyway, last night Kilough Elementary School here in Georgia invited me to come for an Author’s Night with a SIR MIKE and dragon theme. I spoke to students and families about writing, and then we all settled in for a viewing of HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. An awesome evening! Great kids (some in PJs), gracious faculty and volunteers, and fun families.

All of this dragon-speak put me in the mind to share a dragon poem or two.
The first is a short, wonderful poem by X. J. Kennedy,

My Dragon
by X. J. Kennedy
(excerpt)

I have a purple dragon with
A long brass tail that clangs,
And anyone not nice to me
Soon feels his fiery fangs. …


Please read the rest here.

For a longer dragony frolic, enjoy Ogden Nash’s unlikely and cowardly hero, Custard - originally published in 1936.

THE TALE OF CUSTARD THE DRAGON
By Ogden Nash
Copyright Linell Nash Smith and Isabel Nash Eberstadt
(excerpt)

Belinda lived in a little white house,
With a little black kitten and a little gray mouse,
And a little yellow dog and a little red wagon,
And a realio, trulio, little pet dragon.

Now the name of the little black kitten was Ink,
And the little gray mouse, she called her Blink,
And the little yellow dog was sharp as Mustard,
But the dragon was a coward, and she called him Custard.

Custard the dragon had big sharp teeth,
And spikes on top of him and scales underneath,
Mouth like a fireplace, chimney for a nose,
And realio, trulio, daggers on his toes.

Belinda was as brave as a barrel full of bears,
And Ink and Blink chased lions down the stairs,
Mustard was as brave as a tiger in a rage,
But Custard cried for a nice safe cage. …


You can read the rest of this first adventure here or in one of the book editions.


For more adventures in poetry, check out the Poetry Friday Roundup hosted today by Karissa at
The Iris Chronicles.

Smiles all around for the New Year

January 11, 2012

Tags: school visits, authors, illustrators, SCBWI, Highlights, writing life

Paula B. Puckett and her alpaca photo essay in the Feb. 2012 Highlights! (In our critique group, we celebrate publications with "the crown of success" - a pic with a tiara and cape, of course!)
This week has been one with lots of smiles in the writing realm.

On Monday, I presented writing workshops to three groups of fifth graders and one group of fourth graders at Dyer Elementary School in Dacula, Georgia. The kids were enthusiastic and creative. (So were the teachers! I love it when the teachers have fun with the writing activities, too.)

Special thanks to Media Specialist Paula Flageolle and also to Teresa Ellis for taking care of every possible detail. (Not just bottled water, folks, but little bite-sized donut holes – perfect to pop in your mouth between sessions!)

Last night, at a critique group meeting, we got to Snoopy-dance with my extra-special writing/art buddy and friend Paula B. Puckett. Her nonfiction feature, “Cutting Cowboy’s Hair” is smack-dab in the middle of the February issue of Highlights .

Way to go, Paula! She is not only the author of the piece, but she provided photo illustrations as well.

Cowboy, by the way, is one of Paula’s very own alpacas. He thinks he runs the farm. Click here for my post last spring about Paula and her 'pacas.

You know, Paula and I have traveled to so many SCBWI conferences together I figure we’ve shared more hotel rooms than my hubby and I have. It’s so great to also share successes with folks who have persisted a long time to make their dreams come true.

What an enriching way to start off a new year – celebrating creative endeavors from kids and adults alike. I love this job.

Primrose Poets

June 24, 2011

Tags: poetry, Poetry Friday, school visits, haiku

Salem, Massachusetts
This week I had the pleasure of visiting with preschoolers through fifth-graders at The Primrose School of Suwanee West (Ga.). I'd been there two years ago, and it was fun seeing how the kids have grown.

Part of our time was spent exploring poetry. To get things rolling, we looked at a picture together (the harbor at Salem, Mass.) and the students came up with a group poem about it.

Here is the list poem written by K-1st graders:

The Harbor

Sailboats
Water
Picket Fence
Sidewalk
Grass
Speedboats
Tree
Sky


Here is a haiku inspired by the same picture, composed by 2nd through 5th graders:

my dad
fishing - listening
to waves crash


I really like that haiku! Here is another, written by Elizabeth when I took that same group outside to observe a bit of the natural world around the playground:

bright sun
soft leaves
Mother Nature's busy


I never tire of the fresh perspectives kids bring to poetry. For more fresh poetry, check out the Poetry Friday Roundup at Carol's Corner.

A Pack of Poets

June 16, 2011

Tags: poetry, SCBWI, Southern Breeze, authors, Poetry Friday, school visits, Chestatee Wildlife Preserve, wolves, workshops

SCBWI Southern Breeze Poetry Retreat with Rebecca Kai Dotlich
Twenty poets gathered in the north Georgia mountains last weekend for an SCBWI Southern Breeze poetry I coordinated with special guest,
Rebecca Kai Dotlich. That thunderstorm mentioned at the end of last week’s post from Rebecca’s poem visited us more than once at the Center for New Beginnings
in Dahlonega, Georgia. We enjoyed sessions with Rebecca, who said her favorite poems offer a *surprise*, wonderful food and fellowship, individual critiques, and sparks of new poems begging to be written.

For more information and pictures, visit my POETRY page and also attendee Jean Matthew Hall’s blog. Doraine Bennett blogged as well at Dori Reads.

This week I also had the privilege of speaking to some upper elementary and middle school writers at Lakeview Academy’s Writers Camp! What a talented group of creative young people.

But wait – there’s more. It was also Zoofari Camp this week at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve, and I popped in over there, too. I love talking about writing and also wolf education, so it was a great experience. I even brought Rio down from his pen to say hello to the campers (from a safe distance!). See pictures on my WOLVES and STUDENT GALLERY pages.

Back to the retreat – Rebecca was a terrific good sport out in the woodsy, rustic environment – particularly considering we learned “woodsy” and “rustic” are not really her thing! I have to say I loved running half-wild through the woods as a kid, and I guess I’ve never outgrown it.

Thinking about that, I dug out this poem written soon after I started volunteering with wolves three years ago. (I know – it’s a little strange! But it still applies.)


"Breath of Fresh Hair"


Sometimes the wolf smell lingers
on my skin or in my hair –

I like catching a whiff on my sleeve
in the grocery store.

I hate to wash it off in the shower.

It’s not a scent for civilized company.

It’s the smell of secrets,

of murky mist –

heady and heavy,

wild and holy.


©Robyn Hood Black
All rights reserved.

Please visit the Poetry Friday Roundup at
Check it Out!

Haiku Hike Cont. ...

May 20, 2011

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, school visits, haiku

Today we're finishing up our poetry project in two fourth grade classes. I'm visiting one last time to hand out booklets featuring a haiku poem, and in most cases an illustration, by each student poet. (Haiga!) Many added titles.

I hope this collection will be enjoyed long after these students have outgrown their fourth-grade shoes.
Perhaps reading these later will spark a memory of what it felt like to be ten years old. I posted a batch of these week before last (click here), and below are the rest. [These are the original works of students and not to be copied - thank you!] I enjoyed "anthologizing" them for the books. Thanks again to teachers Mrs. Briggs and Mrs. Roberts, and to each young poet!

Wind Blows

wind blows
purple flowers play
in the wind
(by Mary Keys)

Chirping Wind

birds chirping
in the sound
of the wind
(by KJ)

Birds

birds chirping around
flight paths between trees for birds
diving and swooping

(
by Rocco)

Birds' Song

high chirp low chirp
the birds sing a song
it makes me want to sing along

(by Hannah)


chirp chirp
really really cool breeze
bugs land on me
(by Bryce)

ladybugs flying
flowers blowing in the wind
caterpillars crawling
(by Jettie)

Beautiful Butterflies

butterflies flying
ladybugs climbing flowers
spotted ladybug

(
by Claire)

I see the drops on grass
the tall grass sways in the wind
I hear the bird's song
(by Natalie)

Tree

skinny tree
tallest tree I have ever seen
pretty tree
(by Sophia)

Flowers

flowers blooming
sunlight shines down on them
nature so wonderful
(by Sadie)

the bugs fly
in the big blue sky
the trees sway
(by Brauch)

Pesky Squirrels

I hear them again
jumping, running, rattling
they munch on acorns
(by Sophie)

tall grass
tall trees swaying
leaves falling
(by Clayton)

Thorns

painful thorns
always hurt
never touch them
(by Cem)

Ants

ants are scary
I say ouch when they bite me
ants are mean
(by Paxton)

lady bugs all around
the caterpillars are crawling up
the stump the river is rushing
(by Sadie)

river running by
bugs flying around
soft crunchy grass
(by Katharine)

brown and green grass
old leaves fall
creeeks flow loudly
(by Kuepper)

Creek

the creek
is rustling over the rocks
it is very cool
(by Matthew)

Water

split splat
shhh, shhh, shhh
whoosh, tickle
(by Banks)

River of Stream

river flowing
rocks smoothly flowing down
stream gone
(by Harrison)

swampy water
looks like mud
puddles that you see
(by Linda)

old river
the turtle eats the
grass as it swallows
(by Hunter)

Lizards

lizards are reptiles
camouflaging their bodies
jumping between trees
(by Dakari)

crickets singing
fireflies flying I'm
camping
(by Larsen)


the moon is very nice
the moon is white and peaceful
I really like the moon
(by Reese)

Make sure to catch the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Drift Record!

Writing with Ms. Mirabel

May 13, 2011

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, school visits, authors

Recent poetic adventures with fourth graders inspired me to read Patricia MacLachlan’s Word After Word After Word (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, 2010), about a visiting author’s time in Miss Cash’s fourth grade classroom. The characters find their way through personal problems by writing, especially poetry.

I was hooked with this early prose depiction of the visiting author:

Ms. Mirabel had long, troubled hair and a chest that pushed out in front of her like a grocery cart.

As narrator Lucy begins to examine her feelings about her mother’s cancer, she writes,



Sadness is
Steam rising,
Tears falling.
A breath you take in
But can’t let out
As hard as you try.


You’ll have to read the book to see how Lucy’s writing develops, along with that of the other students: Henry, Evie, Russell, and May. This deceptively simple story from a Newbery medalist and beloved author would be a welcome addition to any poetry lover’s bookshelf.

I included some fourth grade haiku in last week’s Poetry Friday post but was unable to access the Roundup. Feel free to take a peek, and be sure to check out this week’s hot-to-handle Roundup at Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup!

Haiku hike

May 6, 2011

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, school visits, haiku

My daughter Morgan, left, was a student in Mrs. Briggs's class in fourth grade and is now an education major. She helped bring poetry to class one day. On the right, fabulous teachers Lori Roberts and Sharon Briggs.
The past few weeks, I've had a delightful time popping in and out of the fourth grade classes at Lakeview Academy to explore poetry - particularly, haiku.

Because traditional haiku capture a moment in nature, early on we took a walk outdoors. We spent some quality time in a grassy field with woods all around and a stream on one side. The students wrote down sensory impressions and poem ideas in their journals, then worked the next couple of weeks in class to polish up their writing and choose their favorite original poem.

I am compiling these into a booklet so each young poet will have a whole collection. Many are accompanied by artwork as well ("haiga"), and a few added titles. I wish I could share all of them here, but I'm happy to post a few from each class. [These are the original works of students and not to be copied - thank you!] Many thanks to extraordinary teachers Mrs. Briggs and Mrs. Roberts, and of course to their talented students! Enjoy -

Storm

shady springs
storm clouds foreshadow
the rumbling sky
(by Jack)

Creek

crunching grass
water hitting against the rocks
rough creek
(by Claire)

tall grass
green and brown leaves fall
the grass bends
(by Briley)

Morning

sticks snapping
purple flowers
morning air
(by Lanie)

Birds' Songs

birds chirping in the sky
a robin jumps from tree to tree
the lovely songs of birds
(by Arantxa))

cheeping, rustling
around go the birds, Ah!
choo cheep swish
(by Roland)

the ground
the brisk breeze
bugs crawling around me
(by Sophia)

Butterflies

butterflies
flying swiftly
like angels
(by Reece)

Bird Wars

birds fighting over trees
time and time again birds fall
but they still fight for trees
(by Palmer)

Spring

tall grass below
birds whistling in the trees
a fresh smell of spring
(by Rachel)

Leaves

the round of rustling leaves
leaves swirling round and round
squirrels playing
(by Abbe)

The Outside

birds singing a song
little three-leaf clovers
mist is all around
(by Mary Katherine)

Nature

calm water to
clouds, blurry fog
to moist grass
(by Reed)

Flowers Falling

flowers on the ground, blossomed
flowers falling down from trees
the wind carries them off
(by Esther)

Birds

birds merrily chirping,
pecking around for seeds,
flying over the trees
(by Anne Marie)

cold wind
a leaf blows through
the sound of whistles
(by Mckenna)

Catch the rest of the fourth grade haiku in my May 20 post -
click here
.

For more great poetry, visit the Poetry Friday Roundup at Family Bookshelf - http://family-bookshelf.org/ [I didn't link directly because there seems to be a problem - my Internet Explorer shuts down each time I try, and I read that this was occurring for someone else, too. Perhaps it will be up and running soon!]

To Sing of Spring

April 14, 2011

Tags: Poetry Friday, poetry, nature, school visits

A field of fourth-grade poets
This morning I had the privilege of leading two classes of fourth graders outside on a nature walk/poem safari to collect sensory details that they are writing into poems. Though we are focusing on haiku, today I'm sharing a longer classic celebrating the natural world this time of year.

I read that Gerard Manley Hopkins gave up writing poems for Lent while in college (and then for many years). And I thought giving up chocolate was tough! Happy Spring - and apolgies that my blog swallows indentations.

Spring

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Nothing is so beautiful as spring—
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth's sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden.—Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid's child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

The Poetry Friday round-up is at RANDOM NOODLING.

Second Grade Authors Rock!

March 29, 2011

Tags: school visits, authors, illustrators

THE THREE LITTLE PIGS VISIT WEST VIRGINIA
I just received in the mail something worth celebrating. In November, I had the great privilege to (drive through an early snow! and) visit several schools in and near Charleston, West Virginia. The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra brings arts to the schools with more innovative programs than I could possibly list. Betty King, Vice President of Education/Operations, invited me up as part of an initiative culminating in a "Song of the Wolf" performance for the students.

Students participated in all kinds of Three-Little-Piggy-themed projects. Ms. Adkins's second grade class from Flinn Elementary School wrote and illustrated their own original story, THE THREE LITTLE PIGS VISIT WEST VIRGINIA. I was honored to get to read it when I spent some time in their classroom - what a dedicated teacher and creative students!

(more…)

Here's to 2011!

January 2, 2011

Tags: writing life, speaking, school visits

Happy New Year!

I'm looking forward to a year of hard work, encouraged and noursihed by time with others who love children's books.

Between regular stretches of writing, and waiting on word from editors about a couple of projects, I look forward to meeting young readers and writers in schools as well as "older" readers and writers at professional gatherings.

I'm particularly looking forward to participaing on an Authors Panel at the Georgia Reading Association conference in Atlanta this month. I love meeting teachers and other reading enthusiasts, and it will be a treat to catch up with Georgia children's authors Donny Bailey Seagraves, Elizabeth Dulemba, and Margo Calendaria on the panel. (more…)

Country Roads and the Big, Bad (?) Wolf

November 8, 2010

Tags: school visits, wolves

Betty King, VP for the WV Symphony Education and Operations, brought me to the Charleston area for several days in area schools (Nov. 2010). What great folks!
Gracious thanks to Betty King, the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and so many great folks in the Charleston area for a week of wolfy, writing fun in schools! The Symphony sponsors and ambitious arts in education program, and I got to be part of it this year.

School children from throughout the region will get to experience Grant Cooper's "Song of the Wolf" (a recasting of the Three Little Pigs, with The Wolf as an environmentalist) as part of the Young People's Concert Series later this month. In preparation, arts-in-education goddess Betty King and her staff have been working with local educators, offering ideas for projects limited only by the imagination. (more…)

Celebrating Writing

April 19, 2010

Tags: school visits, poetry

Thanks to Lakeview Academy in Gainesville, Ga., for hosting me to kick off the Lower School's "Writing Celebration" last week. Students of all ages have been learning and polishing their writing skills all year, and this year's celebration theme was "Capturing Ideas" - with the perfect visual of spring butterflies, fluttering all around the writing displays. (more…)

Springmingle and WinterWanders...

March 4, 2010

Tags: SCBWI, Southern Breeze, school visits, editors

Happy March!

Still feels like winter, but the sun is out and most of the snow has melted away. I drove through a mini-blizzard (OK, Georgia-style) to visit with the great kids at Cleveland Road Elementary School in Bogart, Ga., on Tuesday. First time I've been presenting at a school when it closed early! No, the kids weren't excited or anything....

Our SCBWI Southern Breeze Springmingle was a big success, with the highest attendance ever. (more…)

Mingling!

February 25, 2010

Tags: SCBWI, Southern Breeze, school visits

Huge thanks to Cumming Elementary School third graders for being such a lively group of readers and writers last week. The grown-ups were just as enthusiastic! What a wonderful day with you all.

This weekend, I'll be mingling with fellow Southern Breezers at our big SCBWI regional spring conference, Springmingle, in Atlanta! I'm looking forward to being a volunteer in the audience this year. Here's hoping keynote speaker Jane Yolen and our great editors and agent can get through any snow tomorrow.

I look forward to spending a day at Cleveland Road Elementary School next week. We're going to "unleash" our creativity! Awrroooooo....

Love in the Air!

February 12, 2010

Tags: school visits

Happy Valentine's Day weekend... I hope you get to spend it with the ones you love. And I hope you spend it with books you love, too - As this year goes on, I'll attempt to highlight some books and authors I love in my blog.


I also LOVE spending time with young readers and writers at schools, and I look forward to meeting everyone at Cumming Elementary and Cleveland Road Elementary here in Georgia very soon!

Shout Out to the Paideia Pack!

November 17, 2009

Tags: school visits

Hugs and howls to the creative young readers and writers at The Paideia School in Atlanta. I had the privilege of spending time with the elementary school students Friday during presentations and a writing workshop.

We talked about all things wolf - and such great questions! Thanks for your enthusiasm as I got to share one of my greatest passions. (more…)

Teacher Talk Radio interview link

November 4, 2009

Tags: school visits, speaking

In case you missed it and wanted to hear Teacher Jen's interview with me, here's the link:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/teachertalkradio/2009/11/05/Teacher-Talk-Radio-Robyn-Hood-Black

I enjoyed being on her show and recommend her program site and her blog for some great tips for the classroom.

Teacher Talk Radio!

November 2, 2009

Tags: school visits, speaking

I'm thrilled and honored to be participating this Wenesday night, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m. EST on Teacher Talk Radio with Jen Schneider! Jen, a kindergarten teacher who received the "Teacher of the Year" award in 2007, thrives on sharing terrific ideas through
http://teachertalkradio.blogspot.com (more…)

Many thanks, South Hall Middle School!

September 21, 2009

Tags: school visits

I was thrilled to spend Friday with the sixth graders at South Hall Middle School - my second time at South Hall Middle but my first time in their new location! And my first time with these particular sixth-graders, of course. (My husband actually went to South Hall Middle many moons ago!)

Media Specialist Laura Losch has a great blog, and she was kind enough to share some pictures from Friday's visit - see link in list at left. (more…)

School Visits - in the summer?

July 27, 2009

Tags: school visits

I'm looking forward to spending the day with the Primrose Suwanee West students tomorrow! In addition to preschoolers, elementary-age students are there for the summer program. I'm honored to be sharing stories and writing workshops with them. They found me through the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve website, so I met them up at the Preserve for a field trip. Stories happen year-round! :0)

Student Gallery Page

May 15, 2009

Tags: student work, school visits

Happy almost-the-end-of-the School Year!
I'm attempting to show off a few examples of some great student work on a new page on my website: Student Gallery. (See tab above.)
With recent upgrades to my website hosting service, there have been some glitches in uploading pictures the last day or so, but these issues are being resolved. Thanks for patience in the meantime.


On a different note, (more…)

Marvelous Maysville Elementary

May 6, 2009

Tags: school visits

Thanks, too, to all the great folks at Maysville Elementary School for a terrific visit! Media Specialist Sara Mixon went all out to provide the school's first "Cultural Arts Week," and I was honored to participate.


What an imaginative bunch of kids! Thanks for all the hugs and howls. :0)

Thanks, South Hall Middle School!

May 2, 2009

Tags: school visits

Big thanks to all the sixth graders at South Hall Middle School for participating in my visit this past week. What a fun, creative bunch!


Media Specialist Laura Losch kindly blogged about our day:


http://shmsmediacenter.wordpress.com/


She's one of the most "connected" media specialists around, and (more…)

Cedartown, Poem in Your Pocket Day

April 29, 2009

Tags: festivals, poetry, speaking, school visits

Elizabeth Dulemba was right: the Cedar Valley Arts Festival folks put on a lovely show! Weather was a bit warm, but so are the organizers. Well done, ladies, and all those countless volunteer hours are for one purpose: to enhance the cultural and arts experiences of the community's youngsters. Bravo!


Tomorrow I'm delighted to be off to South Hall Middle School to enjoy the day with sixth-graders. Media Specialist Laura Losch goes above and beyond the call of duty to make reading fun for the students. (more…)

Quick Clicks

Media
bio, photos, interview links, etc.
Poems
Explore a poem or two or five....
Haiku
Explore this genre of sparely crafted poetry which offers endless depth. Resources for students, teachers, and writers.
Author visits
In schools or other settings, Robyn shares her passion for writing and encourages creativity. Presentations for all age groups.
Magazines
In addition to writing books, Robyn has sold her writing to major children's magazines.
Books
A rhyming tale of a young boy's knightly adventure with an imagined dragon.
Nonfiction, interactive book on wolves featuring giant pop-up and tons of info!
Portfolio
illustrations