The NZ Book Council has supported this competition for the past two years (I am so grateful for their generosity – they do admin, fly me to the school, get me a hire car and accommodation!), so it was only fitting the CEO, Catriona Ferguson, helped me judge it. In fact this time I decided the final choice was up to her. But we were in complete agreement when it came to the winners and a handful of Highly Recommended schools because they really stood out in terms of variety and quality.
Catriona came out to my house in the country and we buried our noses in fabulous poems. Every school’s selection had a standout poem or two, a poem that crept in your pockets and under your skin because it was so good you knew it was going to stay with you. That blew me away! So bravo New Zealand schools.
We loved schools that surprised us, that used language that made us laugh or gasp or just say ‘wow!’. There were a lot of ANZAC poems, weather poems and family poems. The best of these used great detail, sounded good, mattered to us. These poems took us right into the heart of war, or family or the weather. Sometimes a poem can create a strong mood with just a few words. That is what words can do!
We loved the way poems can do and be anything. You can tell when a child has really enjoyed doing a piece of writing and feels proud of it. It shows.
Some schools just sent in one poem so even though that poem might have been great, we were after a submission of 12 poems.
Thank you so much teachers and students for sending in the poems. I know it is hard when you do so much work and you don’t get picked. But just because you didn’t win doesn’t mean your writing wasn’t liked and valued. For me the most important, the most wonderful thing, is the writing of the poem.
I am going to post a few of my favourite poems from ALL the entries this week. Watch this space! Keep writing poems! Do keep trying my challenges every Monday. I posted one this morning.
And a HUGE thank you the NZ Book Council Council, especially Catriona and Lynette. You are poetry stars!
Teachers, let me know if you have done an exciting poetry project in your class. I might be able to share it with the rest of New Zealand!
The Results (C o n g r a t u l a t i o n s ! )
The Winner: St Cuthbert’s School
Highly Recommended: Good Shepherd School and Hauraki School
Ormond School, Gisborne
Highly Recommended: West End School and Carnot School in Palmerston North
The Winner: Port Chalmers School, Dunedin
Highly Recommended: Arrowtown Primary School and Russley School, Christchurch
Here are a few poems from the winning schools:
My Seed Pod Poem
Steep hills create a canoe
Wide dips form a slide
Brown curves build a roller coaster
The dark mahogany ladder
leads to the head of a hissing snake
Sara, Age 11, Year 6, St Cuthbert’s School
Rock ‘n’ Roll
Bam! The wheels hit the ground,
I jump onto my aqua-blue skateboard.
Careful I say to myself,
Just go straightforward.
I roll down the pathway,
With great speed.
My wheels roll on,
In the boiling heat.
I wake with excitement the next morning,
Draped mist in the sky.
A curtain of cold cloud won’t stop me,
My wheels roll on by.
I am speeding like a jet,
That’s what I have been told.
People watch in amazement,
As they see me rock ‘n’ roll.
Georgia, Y5, Age 9, St Cuthbert’s College
am a leafy, lovely tree
am a beautiful tree
staying on the grass
am brownish, yellowish
reddish and greenish
am a smooth tree
can feel the puffy clouds
lying on me
want to see
the marshmallowy clouds.
Ashlynne, Year 2, Age 6 Ormond School
The Christmas Tree
felt the cold breeze
felt like it was
a huge person
it blew on me
am a Christmas tree
Noah Y3 Age 7 Ormond School
Like little raindrops
falling off the trees,
floating to the ground.
When you walk in the leaves
the brown leaves crunch
beneath your feet.
Ashieka Brasell-Jagger Y2, Age 6, Port Chalmers School
The leaf swishes and sways down to the
ground trying to be the first one.
It’s warm to the touch and red like fire.
The veins fade as the sun burns.
The spiny edges protect it from predators.
It lies dead as other leaves fall.
It rustles in the wind.
The bent stalk is like an umbrella handle.
Autumn has changed the weather to a dark
and cool place.
One sweep and a huge pile is gone.
One more sweep and all signs of life
Only the old and rugged branches of the tree
Louie Y4, Age 8 Port Chalmers School