Wintry delights: Illustrating Poetry with Young Children

Last week I had the delight of leading a Poetry Friday lesson in a second-grade classroom. I used my poem “Skating with Dad,” featured on the wonderful poetry website Dirigible Balloon. 

After reading the chart together, we had fun using highlighter tape, finding each consonant cluster in the poem… sk in skate, gl in glove, sl in slide… they even found the cr in Cronin!

Then each child illustrated the poem in their poetry notebook. We always talk about how “thinking like an illustrator” means that every illustration in the class will look different. I love all the ways the students brought this poem to life in the illustrations…

from the close-up of the gloves,

to the child and parent skating together,

to the valentine to hockey from the young hockey player,

to the ads on the side of the rink!

Poetry Friday has come alive in my school, and it’s a delight to be a part of it.

I’m wishing all the poets and poetry lovers out there a wonderful and restful holiday break. See you in 2024!

On Fridays, I love taking part in Poetry Friday when I can, where writers share resources about children’s poetry. This week, Jone hosts the Poetry Friday Roundup today at her blog. Check out the celebration of poetry there today!


  1. Mitchell Linda says:

    What joy…from the publication to the mentor text to the consonant blends to the illustration thinking. So much joy in your classroom from your fingertips.

  2. Tracey Kiff-Judson says:

    Mary, this whole post made me smile, but the ads on the side of the rink gave me the biggest grin! We are planning to watch hockey tonight, and I will think of these lovely illustrations!

  3. Karen Edmisten says:

    A wintry delight indeed! There’s nothing like helping kids discover their individuality and unique creative talents. Love all these illustrations — they gave my heart a lift this morning! ❤️

  4. lindabaie says:

    I love seeing the children’s drawings, Denise. Lots of creative (& unique) work there. Wishing you lots of “giggles” in your holiday celebrations! Thanks for sharing this special time you had.

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