Mrs. Jervis's seventh-grade students wrote a poem about autumn at the end of their poetry unit. As a class, they first brainstormed some basic words that came to mind when they thought about the fall season. After collecting over twenty-five basic words like leaves, tree, red, yellow, Halloween, etc. on the board, the poetry assignment was to NOT use those words. Mrs. Jervis suggested they use figurative language and more specific vocabulary to describe the season. As part of the poetry unit, the students already learned about similes, metaphors, personification, and alliteration. The assignment required at least one of those literary elements in a poem of at least ten couplets (rhyme and couplets were also discussed in the unit). This poem is by Annika Davis:
Bright, Like a Star
My mother rushes out, clearly in a hurry,
I slip on my jacket, silky but furry.
As I step into the sun, the winds howl a tune,
Like a choir or children, this brisk afternoon.
The door slams behind me, I get the chills,
As I hop over branches, I begin down the hill.
The decaying forest is a coloring box,
The pocket-sized squirrel climbs over the rocks,
And stares at me, like a reflection in the pond,
Then scurries away, in the woodland and beyond.
I continue to scroll until I spot
The immense Silver Maple, which I forget I cannot.
I rise up its arms so fast they seem moving.
As I reach the very tip, I shout, "Huzzah!", proving,
That summer has ended, so sorrowfully said,
And fall came quickly, but it is already dead.
That doesn't mean I can't stop achieving.
Or be told I should stop believing.
Because what we deserve, both near and far,
is living life proud and bright, like a star.