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Clifton Park third graders get life lessons

The students learn writer's workshop techniques that focus on the process and mechanics of writing, and how to develop a topic into a narrative with a voice.

After several weeks of preparation, the students took to the stage at Clifton Park Center Thursday, Feb. 14, to read poems they wrote to a crowd of more than 100, including parents, grandparents, sisters and brothers.

The students read a variety of poems, including haikus, shape poems and alliteration poems.

"I like the shape poems," said Nathan Fankhanel. "I like trying to fit the poem into a shape."

Matt McLaughin wrote a two-page Tonka poem about an avalanche for his brother. "Boom! Crash!" he said, enthusiastically reciting his poem. He said the Tonka is an ancient Japanese poem form, and although his brother was not there to hear him read the poem, McLaughin said he shared it with him when they got home from school.

Evan Warner wrote a funny poem about John McCain.

"I saw a picture of John McCain/His face it looked like it was in pain," the poem began. Warner said that McCain looks old in some of the pictures he has seen of him.

The students have been following the primary elections and keeping track of the delegate votes, and have become familiar with each candidate, said Allison Goetz, a student in the class.

Matt Roos also wrote a silly poem. His poem pokes fun at his parents, "My dad rocks/even though he smells like stinky socks."

Another part talks about his mom, "My mom is such a hot head/She always wants to go to bed," he said.

However, he ends the poem with, "This might have made you uneasy, or even maybe queasy/ But love my parents, Yes I do/ And that is the end of my hilarious clerihew."

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