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Four Poems About Plants

James Wilson, E.L. Haynes Public Charter School, Washington, DC
September 02, 2008 | Miscellaneous

We received the following poems this past February via Jim wrote the poems when he was teaching the New Plants Module to his second graders. The FOSS staff enjoyed them and hope that you will, too.


The Humble Brassica

A fleck, a speck—
This seed would lie so lonely on a plate.
A spot, a dot—
It only takes two days to germinate.
A root, a shoot—
This cousin to the radish wastes no time.
A leaf! Relief—
The stem will stretch and slowly start to climb.
Two, four—then more—
The pairs of leaves line up to lap the light.
A bead, a bud—
Atop the stem they swell, then overnight. . .
Kaboom! A bloom—
A yellow crown to advertise to bees
The need for seed—
So won't you come and pollinate me, please?

Lawn in a Cup

A plastic cup with holes punched in the bottom,
A scoop of soil that's damp but not too wet,
A pinch of seed—two pinches if you've got 'em,
A week, a sunny windowsill—you're set.
You've grown a lawn four inches square, and green.
Now all that's left to do is somehow buy
A lawnmower no bigger than a bean
And pushed by a determined dragonfly.


All heifers fully favor
Filling up on some alfalfa.
The sprouts are full of flavor—
Try falafel with alfalfa.
It follows that a fluffy
Furry bunny loves alfalfa.
Don't laugh, or get so huffy!
Try alfalfa for yourselfa.

The Onion

This doorknob looking for a door!
I can't imagine what it's for.
Its waiting for a friend to pour
Some water on, and then some more.
Up through the roots the waters
And then a slender shoot will grow—
On warm days fast, on cool days slow
And soon enough we all will know.
For when it grows ten inches high,
Just take a snip and give a try—
Your monster breath! Your burning
It's all enough to make you cry.
Far better to have sliced the things
Into a pile of ivory rings,
Battered, dropped in oil that sings—
An onion feast for onion kings.

If your creative juices start to flow (and/or those of your students) while you're teaching FOSS, we'd love to see the results of your efforts. You can email them to us at