Linda Kulp Trout

Thursday, June 10, 2010

POETRY FRIDAY: What I Learned from...

Children often think that learning only goes on in the classroom. I do an end of year writing activity that gets my students thinking about what they've learned outside the classroom.

I start by reading an excerpt from Robert Fulghums's All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Then we brainstorm the experiences and activities they've participated in during the year that helped them learn some important life lessons. Their wisdom at such a young age always blows me away. I thought I'd share a few of their poems with you today.

What I Learned from Lacrosse

Patience is everything,
Rushing doesn’t work.
Pay attention to the rules.
Play fair.

Working as a team
is better than alone.
Be kind to others
even if they aren’t
your friends.

And remember
practice makes perfect.
Never give up,
no matter how
hard your goal is!


What I Learned from Fishing

Violence is never rewarded,
so don’t hurt anyone or anything.
A little bit of friendly competition
can make life even more enjoyable.
The best in you comes out when
you’re having fun.
When the fish don’t bite,
there’s always tomorrow.

Untangle your own line.
When you lose a fish,
just put more bait on your hook
and try again.
Patience is always rewarded.
But most importantly,
the size of your catch doesn’t matter
as much as having fun does.


What I Learned from Soccer

Play the game you’re given
with everything you’ve got.

Sometimes the best decisions
are made on the spot.

You should never give up
until the final whistle blows.

Don’t forget about your teammates,
you don’t walk on the field alone.

Charge toward your goal,
and never quit trying.

Your’ gonna’ get fouled on,
so there’s no point in crying.

Listen to other people,
but follow your own heart.

Don’t over think it,
just play the game smart.

Sometime you will fail,
but never have shame.

Remember not to hate the players,
instead love the game!



  1. WOW! Great poems! (I'm SO borrowing this activity for next year!!)

    Happy last day of school!!

  2. Thanks, Mary Lee. The kids have fun with it and so do I!

  3. These are fabulous. It's wonderful to see kids open up. I love how they respond when given a well-thought out prompt. Congrats.

  4. What a wonderful idea, Linda!

    I hope you have a restful and relaxing summer vacation.

  5. These are just lovely! I love what they came up with!

  6. Dear Linda,
    This is a great idea, and your students' poems are so honest. Thank you for sharing these...I'm linking to them tomorrow!
    (I'm glad we're facebook friends...I can't figure out how to "send" you a message there!)

  7. These are awesome, Linda--you and the kids did a great job! My high school daughter's creative writing class did I Learned poems this year and the ones I heard were terrific. So great to have kids reflect and share what THEY know, which they sometimes don't even realize they know!

  8. Laura, I was fortunate to have a class of writers this past year. I'm going to miss them!
    Elaine, thank you. I'm working this summer, but I won't have papers to grade or lessons to plan so I'm hoping to get some writing time.
    Kelly, they are a creative bunch of kids! I loved working with them.
    Amy, thank you for linking to my post. I'm honored to be a friend on fb. You are such a talented poet, and I enjoy your blog so much.
    Laura S. I'm hoping to see you next Friday at ALA! I want to treat you to a drink for all the kindness you've shown me so look for me there! : )