Dreams sol#16


“What would we be without our dreams?”

I asked that to my third graders today.  There were looks of befuddlement.  It was a heavy question for a Monday morning.  Then, I shared Langston Hughes’ poem.  I read it several times, allowing the words to marinate for a moment.

I let my kids turn and listen to each other talk about their dreams and to then about what Langston Hughes wants us to know about our dreams.

And, I just listened.

It’s moments like these that are part of my own dreams.

Dreaming.  Sharing.  Listening.  Smiling.  Laughing.

We went from early Monday morning-I-need-another-hour-of-sleep to sharing our biggest dreams and feeling inspired by others dreams and filling a classroom with uncontainable energy.  If only I could bottle that up.

I shared my dreams – of having a little farm out in the country,  raising chickens, llamas, a few goats and of course, puppies.  I’d have a big garden and a little house with a loft up above that faces the east so I could see the sun rise – and that will be by writing room, because I’ll be an author, you know.

Of course, some of my students added raising llamas and writing rooms to their dreams, too.

Calub dreams of being a metal worker and creating robots that will help those who are handicapped.  His dad is a metal worker and he watches him.  He knows what to do.   Miguel dreams of being a guitar player and creating you tube videos.  Nathan dreams of being a video game designer and combining old games with new ones.  Camille wants to be an artist, author and book illustrator while at the same time, be a doctor.   “I’ll be a doctor to earn my money and write and illustrate on the weekends,” she confidently said.

Caden dreams of racing snowmobiles and four-wheelers, but also, he wants to help the homeless somehow.  Kimberlee dreams of raising horses on her own horse ranch.  Grace – she’s dreamed of being a ballerina forever.  She twirls to her spot in the circle.

These third graders have big dreams.  I tell them that if we let go of those dreams, Langston Hughes tells us our life will be changed somehow, and we go back to the poem to for another close reading.

We decide that our dreams are what keep us alive.

Of course, I snuck in a little lesson on metaphors as this poems begs to be noticed because of the comparisons.  But, it did not overshadow the bigger message here.

A poem is meant to felt, to be taken in and become of part of you.

A poem should be lived.

Just like dreams.

What dream or poem are you living?

Shari 🙂

Inspired by Brett Vogelsinger’s post on Edutopia last week:  4 Reasons to Start Class with a Poem Each Day

7 thoughts on “Dreams sol#16

  1. What a wonderful conversation you had with your students. They are lucky to have a thoughtful teacher who knows how to inspire them to think deeply as well.


  2. This is the one poem I have memorized forever. I have learned many lines from many poems, but this is the one that I’ve been able to keep in my mind. I think it’s because it’s deceptively simple. I love the lesson you taught with your students. They are lucky to have a teacher like you who helps inspire them.


  3. How impactful to not only allow their dreams to live in the space of your room and give them validity, but also to show them the power of a poem. I am looking forward to our poetry unit in April as the unexpected can be anticipated.


  4. I love this poem so much and have read it with my third graders for many years. I am always impressed with the level of thinking they can achieve when looking at and listening to this poem. How terrible life would be without dreams! It is funny how their dreams can so easily become influenced by yours. I loved hearing what they were dreaming and why.


  5. You have created a wonderful community in your classroom where dreams are shared and honored. What a great way to start a tired Monday morning!


  6. I found myself smiling as I read this post. This week has been quite magical for my kiddos as well. I was in such a rut and for some reason, prayer, shift in my mind-set, reading your previous post, whatever it might be, this has been a rich, full week with my kids. Oh, and they LOVED the Chinese legend. Thank you so much, Shari. 🙂


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