Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Audio Poem: Seal

This week, Mrs. Yollis' class is learning about poetry! 

When reading a poem aloud it is important to:
1. Practice reading the poem in a clear voice.
2. Change the sound of your voice to help express the idea of the poem.
3. Pause a little at the end of each line. Pause longer at punctuation marks.
4. Look up at your listeners whenever you can.

Have a listen as we recite the poem Seal by the poet William Jay Smith.

Click to enlarge and read along with them!

Readers:  Ryan, Tucker, Iman, Lindsay, Hannah, and Amitai

How did you like the poem?

What did you think of their expression? 
Do you have a poem you'd like to recite?


  1. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I liked the poem very much. Before today I had no idea who William Jay Smith was. They did a great job reciting the poem. It is very fun to read poems. I do not have a poem I want to recite because I get stage fright.


  2. Dear Mrs. Yollis' students,

    Absolutely fabulous! My son and daughter just came out to listen, and they didn't believe third graders were the readers. There was great expression, pauses for emphasis, and splendid fluency. The way the poem was read expressed the tone of the poem. Do you learn about tone in third grade?

    Kind regards,
    Mrs. Watanabe

  3. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    I liked the poem a lot and hope to hear it again! I listened to the poem a few times. I also thought that the expression was terrific!

    I do know a poem called Monday's Child.

    Monday's child is fair of face,
    Tuesday's child is full of grace,
    Wednesday's child is full of woe,
    Thursday's child has far to go,
    Friday's child is loving and giving,
    Saturday's child works hard for its living,
    And a child that's born on the Sabbath day
    Is fair and wise and good and gay.

    When I was little my mom would say that to me a lot. In fact, she put it on my wall for a little bit.
    She liked it so much because I was born on a Tuesday and my name is Grace!

    Have you ever heard this poem before?



  4. Dear Mrs. Yollis and class,

    What a wonderful reciting of the poem by all of you! I also enjoyed the expressions as it helped me visualize what was occurring in the poem.

    I used to read a book of poems to Grace often when she was younger. It is a shame we haven't done that in awhile. You have inspired me to pull out the book of poems and start reading them again to Grace and her brother. Thank you!


    Shari (Gracie's mom)

  5. Dear Mrs. Yollis,
    Since I live in the middle of the Pacific Ocean this hearing this poem made me smile. Your third graders did a wonderful job reciting the poem and I look forward to hearing them again sometime.

  6. Dear Ryan,Tucker,Iman,Hannah and Amitai,

    How, wonderful! the way you all read this poem.
    You all read with such expression and passion in your voices.You paused at the correct moment and then burst into your next line of the poem with wonderful expression which really drawed me in wanting to hear more.

    I really loved it, well done everyone I am soo impressed.

    I do have a favorite poem it is from a book called 100 Australian poems for children. It is called nothing.

    If nobody had no body
    Nobody would know
    No one could see anyone,
    Nowhere could they go.
    No one would walk up to no one
    To look him in the eye,
    If nobody heard no voices
    No one would reply.

    Hope you like my poem.
    From your pal down under,

  7. @ Jaden,

    I think the poet, William Jay Smith, did a very nice job with his poem! It is natural to feel a little nervous when presenting a poem or being in a play, but the more you practice...and then experience what it is like to become fun not frightful!

    @ Ben,

    I thought Amitai's line was delivered well too. One thing I enjoyed was the way the voice went UP when the seal came up, and then the voice went down when the seal dove down! That's the fun of poetry!

    @ Mrs. Watanabe,

    Thanks so much for listening and for sharing our work with your son and daughter!

    We have not used the word tone yet. Maybe you could explain a bit to the students about what tone means.

    @ Grace,

    Thanks so much for sharing that poem! I do know it. It is a very old poem. Did you recite it from memory or did you have to look at the words?

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    @ Shari, (Gracie's mom)

    I agree with you that poetry reading is fun. I love to hear poems read, so recording them for listening is perfect for me!

    Have fun!

    @ JoAnnJ68,

    Aloha! Yes, you are right in the middle of the Pacific! Do your ever see any playful seal by the sea?

    Your pal,
    Mrs. Y♥llis

  8. Dear Mrs. Yollis and students,

    Thank you so much for sharing this poem. We can see seals around our island and I am quite fond of them!

    I thought that you really brought the poem to life with your expressive reading. I loved the way you changed the tone of your voice to match the words, like you did with "down" and "up".

    I hope that you will have more poems to share!

    Mrs. Watson

  9. I love the reading of the poem! The expressions in your voices are priceless! I could tell exactly who was speaking and even picture you each reciting the poem.

    My favorite poem is "Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out" by Shel Silverstein. Each time I read it, I can picture the trash piling up and up and up! And this is actually what happens when the trash isn't taken out at my house!

    My current poems that I am trying to learn are military cadences. They are sometimes called Duckworth Chants or Sound Off. They started as poems or chants in the military and are great for when you are hiking!

    I am going to try to learn more poems! Thanks for the inspiration.

    Ryan's Mom

  10. What wonderful expression in your voices, it helped create pictures of the poem in my mind.

  11. Dear Kids,

    I loved your expression. I can tell you practiced pronouncing clearly. I understood every word, which is important in poetry.

    My favorite poems are the silly ones written by Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky. I just love to laugh!

    Happy blogging,
    Mrs. Kistler

  12. Dear Ryan, Tucker, Iman, Lindsay, Hannah, and Amitai,

    I can tell you followed all the directions of reading a poem. The inflection in your voice was great! It kept me excited about the poem all the way through. I couldn't wait to hear what was going to happen next!

    Your blogging buddy,
    Mr. Avery
    Plympton, Massachusetts

  13. Dear Mrs Yollis's students,

    You all did wonderful job reading the Seal poem.

    I loved the poem and your expressions used were outstanding.

    Here is my favourite poem and is called Fish.


    Down by the sea
    in the shallows,
    fish, thin as silver needles,
    lacy seaweed.

    Hope you like my poem.
    From your pal,

  14. Hi Mrs Yollis and 3rd Grade,
    I loved listening to the seal poem. I thought everyone did a great job but my favourite bit was when the seal went diving down and the student's voice dove down (got deeper and slower) too.
    Ms Hughes

  15. Dear Mrs. Yollis' Class,

    What a fantastic job you all did reading the poem with expression and fluency! I also really liked how you took turns and transitioned smoothly.

    We have been working on reading fluently with the right pace and expression also. Sometimes we do reader's theater scripts. Have you ever tried that? They can be a lot of fun.

    In March our class has a poetry tournament called "March Madness" where we start with 16 poems and then vote on the ones we like best until we have one poem as the champion. Maybe you could help us vote this year?

    Mr. Salsich

  16. Hi. Your student did great at reciting the poem. Also great choice of picking that poem. Comment back at my blog or visit our website!!!

  17. The poem was great! There was good expression! Check out our class blog and my blog anytime!

  18. That was a great poem.Make new poems

  19. Hi my name is Jedrick,I think your students did a great job reciting the poem, and keep up the good work.

  20. Youi guys and gals were just Amazing! I'm a fifth grader in National City you guys and gals sound better then me. Here's my website if you want to comment back:

  21. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    I liked the poem. My favorite part was when Amitai said, "He plops at your side with a mouth full of fish." I thought everyone did a good job!


  22. Dear "Seal" poem readers,

    You made my day,
    you made me smile.
    What can I say,
    it will take me a while.

    I loved your voices,
    they had such expression.
    You all made great choices,
    reciting with such perfection!

    Quite pleased,
    Grandma Grace

  23. @ Mrs Yollis and class,

    My name is Sophie and I am in 2KJ.

    I liked skyping with you on Wednesday.

    Do you have MAD day? MAD day is when you dress up as a scientist.

    Best Wishes,

  24. Dear Mrs. Yollis' Class,

    We have really enjoyed reading and listening to your poems.

    We have just finished learning about Japanese poetry called Haiku. It was hard but fun. We also made a Voice Thread to share with everyone. If you are interested in listening to our Haiku poems you can find them at:

    Oh yes, I guess we should tell you that we are a Grade Three class at an international school in Beijing, China. In our school Grade 3 is called Year 4 which can be confusing.

    Thanks for reading our comment,

    Ms. Davis' Year 4A class
    Beijing, China

  25. Dear Ms. Davis,

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment. How is Haiku different and similar from our poetry?

    What do you like about China? What we like about California is that it is very sunny, so we could have a fabulous day at the beach. We also like that in the mountain region of California it is snowy.

    We learned that Beijing is a very popular city. What is it like having so many people? We also learned that you are building a high-speed railway. How fast does it go?

    California does not have those long, high speed-rail ways, but we have subways and trains.

    Ryan and Amitai

  26. Dear Mrs.Yollis,
    I loved this poem! The specific motions and rhythm of the poem really made it fun to visualize the seal swimming. I loved the imagry and the cute phrases they used like "apple butter". It made the poem refreshing and fun to read out loud. I'm a junior at Mira Costa High School and the art brought me right back to preschool! It reminded me of the art in The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Thanks so much for sharing this poem, it really made my day.


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