Things to Do if You are a House Cat

Remind your human, constantly, that you are Top Cat

Claim furniture by diligently scratching with your claws. Bonus if threads appear.

Puke on carpet at the most inopportune time.

Be discerning about your vittles.

Demands pets on your schedule. Bat away unwelcome hands.

Look cute.

Inspire adoration.

Sleep where and when you like.

Vigilate your humans bathroom habits. For instance, stand sentinel as they take a shower or perch by the sink while they brush their teeth/wash their face, and of course demand that the tap remains dripping so you can lap fresh water at your convenience.

Love your person, and if they are a good human, they will worship you in return.

This Slice is inspired by Margaret’s writing prompt at Reflections on the Teche.


Open Tab Poetry

This Slice is inspired by Not the Whole Story’s Slice. Similar to book spine poetry, this format requires you to look at your open tabs on your browser for inspiration . . .

Two Writing Teachers website is part of

my daily activities

where I am guided by audio


Be Beautiful

I visit:

Two Writing Teachers to seek writing inspiration: formats, topics, and words

Daily Activities to check yoga and fitness schedule at a community center I frequent.

Be Beautiful to learn the lyrics to this song for choir

Guided Audio to lead me in Mindfulness practice

Poetry Wrap Up

When was the last time you truly felt satisfied with a unit that you taught? For me, it was the poetry unit that I just finished teaching in my friend’s classroom. Student feedback reminded me of the why I teach – sparking student love of learning and belief in themselves. Students shared with me how much they enjoyed writing poetry and were surprised as they never saw themselves as poets.

Students published their poems and bound them into a booklet including the following self reflection:

Poetry Self-Assessment (Grades2/3)

Name:_______________________              Date:_______________________

   Smile Neutral
I enjoyed learning about poetry.   
I enjoyed writing poetry.   
Poetry can be a source of creativity and joy.   
Playing with language in poetry helped me discover how language works.   
In group lessons I shared my ideas.   
I reviewed my writing and edited for word choice.   

Which is your favourite form of poetry and why?


What did you learn about poetry? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

A couple of responses to “What did you learn about poetry?” made my heart melt:

“I learned that it is a beautiful way of speaking about something or someone.”

“I learned that its not just about drawing and writing its about putting your love and care in it and expressing yourself too.”

When was the last time you were reminded of the why you teach? Please share.

Walking Through Words

What is the most creative tourism ad you have ever viewed? Bar none, for me, has to be a video highlighting my province’s lush landscape set to exquisite spoken word poetry.

A powerful poem by Canadian spoken word artist Shane Koyczan about the wild within British Columbia, Canada.

This video was today’s hook for our poetry lesson. The spoken word poetry provided a powerful anchor text for students. My friend had her grade 2s and 3s write their own poems inspired by Walking Through Words in British Columbia.

Here is the process:

1. View video

2. Think-Pair-Share : What do you notice about language, images, mood, subject, word choice? (reverence for nature)

3. How did the poet structure his poem?

4. Model creating a poem based on Shane’s structure.

5. Brainstorm on chart paper a list of topics – items from nature.

6. Select a topic and collaboratively create a class poem using the structure:

Its just a _______

Until it verb. . .

Until it verb . . .

Until it verb . . .

7. Send students to their desks to write their own individual poems. Pause to read aloud completed poems, highlight powerful phrases or effective techniques.

In the future I would like to have a follow up lesson. I’d print out the word’s to Shane’s poem and have small groups of students highlight or circle various elements of the poem. I’d prompt students to answer, “What did Shane do to provide such rich imagery?” I’d then have students write another poem using the same structure seeing if they could further evoke imagery.

This video evoked awe and wonder. I hope it inspires you and your students to write your own poems.

Fib Poem

What’s a Fib? Math plus poetry.​

Greg Pincus, a writer and librarian, created Fib poetry in 2006. He wanted to write something which highlights the importance of word choice and how you can say so much with so little.  He figured if he could write poems like this it would help him be a better writer.​

A Fib is  a six line, 20 syllable poem with a syllable count by line of 1/1/2/3/5/8 – the classic Fibonacci sequence. In short, start with 0 and 1, add them together to get your next number, then keep adding the last two numbers together for your next one.​

I wanted to write a fun poem that second and third graders would enjoy. I used today’s lunch for inspiration. (We had a professional development day and organized a favourite meal.)

Yummy Lunch





Loaded with toppings!

Gobble gobble munch munch – whiz gone.

Lune Poetry

A Lune poem is a short poem with just three lines.​ There are two variations: one that counts syllables, and one that counts words. The name Lune, French for moon, is inspired by a crescent moon – the shape that the form of the poem imitates.

Jack Collom, an American poet, created the form that counts words..​

Each line can stand alone as a complete thought, or the lines can run into each other (known as enjambment).

Line 1: 3 words​

Line 2: 5 words​

Line 3: 3 words​

I created two poems to share with grade 2/3 students. I started the lesson by displaying the poems on the projector and asking students what they notice. They first started counting syllables. I had them compare syllable count on both poems and they realized that they aren’t the same. Students said that the poems reminded them of Haiku. I pointed out that word choice is key. You see phrases, not sentences. You paint a picture with words. I asked them to draft several poems and challenged them to write one without naming the subject. They had a lot of fun with this form of poetry.

Here are my exemplars:

   Mirrors, windows, doors​

Gateway to worlds beyond us​

   Books are transformative


Fluffy white fur​

Purrs contentedly – her gentle nature​

  Steals my heart​

          ©Heidi Clark, 2022


“Cherita (pronounced CHAIR-rita) is a linked poetry form. It consists of a one-line stanza, followed by a two-line stanza, and then finishing with a three-line stanza. Cherita is the Malay word for ‘story’ or ‘tale.’
The Cherita aims to convey a story. It was created by Ai Li (A UK poet and artist) on June 22, 1997 in memory of her grandparents, who were renowned storytellers. A Cherita poem does not require a title, something that adds to its unique qualities. The three separate stanzas are in effect 6 lines: a single line, a couplet, then a tercet. The line lengths are at the poets’ discretion.”

Many thanks to Mo Daley from Ethical ELA for introducing me to this type of poem. Here is my creation:

Weary bones ache, muscles throb

Injuries, accidents and overexertion

deplete ancient feeling body

Slowly sink into bathtub of steaming hot water

generously laced with Epsom salt ~

the elixir of Magic Dust melts tension and pain away. Ahh . . .


Plip, plop, splish, splash

Shrug on raincoat

Batten hatches!

Drippity drop

Umbrella up

Plip, plop, splish, splash

Wind whipping rain

Face drizzled wet

Step, step, dodge, dodge

Puddles, oh no!

Plip, plop, splish, splash

I’m getting wet.

Rubber boots, yes!

Jump in puddles.

Wet all over.

Plip, plop, splish, splash

©Heidi Clark 2022

This poem was inspired by Denise’s post at Ethical ELA. She described how to write a 4×4 poem.

There are four “rules.”

4 syllables in each line
4 lines in each stanza
4 stanzas
Refrain repeated four times in lines 1, 2, 3, 4 of stanzas 1, 2, 3, 4.
Bonus: Try writing a title in four syllables

Other than those four rules, anything goes. There are no rhyming or rhythm restrictions, and you can write on any topic. The 4 x 4 poem is a slight variation of the quatern. It’s also similar to the Tricube Poem.

I have never written a 4×4 and was keen to try. I also wanted to write one that kids would like, specifically second and third graders. I wanted this to be an anchor text for them. I plan to give copies of this poem to small groups and to get them to analyze it. Specifically I want them to understand that:

  • poetry is different than prose
  • no long sentences, but phrases instead
  • the absence of ‘the’ & ‘and’
  • its joyous and fun
  • onomatopoeia
  • assonance
  • alliteration
  • repetition
  • imagery
  • notice amount of syllables
  • understand what is a stanza, and how many of them
  • familiar topic: Vancouver is smack dab in the middle of a temperate rainforest. This poem was inspired by the deluge of water we had in the past few days.

Is there anything else that I should get kids to notice? Any other advice? This would be an introduction to a poetry unit. I want them to be excited.


I was blindsided how happy I was this morning. Have I forgotten what happy is?

What caused this surge of positive emotion, you may ask?

A ‘normal’ activity

I got my body moving

to beats

with people

in community

Granted the activity was designed for seniors


I was participating without pain

something my body is intimately acquainted with


I needed to manage my post concussive brain. It appreciated the modified pace.

Juggling the emotional labour of maintaining my physical body is wearying

Today I had an hour of freedom

in Zumba Gold.



Effervescent joy

illuminating spirit

lightness of being