The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary































secretly he leaves
a peach candy on my desk
fifth grade valentine


looking, not looking
to see if he is looking
my favorite class


sitting side by side
as the Ferris wheel rises
last days of fifth grade


To celebrate the publication of her book The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, a wonderful novel in verse told by the 18 members of said class, Laura Shovan has invited any and all to share their haiku about fifth grade. Fifth grade doesn’t seem quite as memorable to me as third or sixth grades, but once I made my way down memory lane, the scenery came into greater focus. I hope you’ll give it a try and follow along on twitter. Did I mention prizes?

Happy Day 13!


10 replies
  1. Janet F.
    Janet F. says:

    AH Liz, wonderful. Having taught 5th grade for 25 years I adore 5th graders. Adore. This poem is so sweet. While the girls (in my era which was 1973 – 1997……never outwardly showed “romantic” interest in the boys, I know there was some of that going on. But it was really not shared with the teacher, me. I just know the girls were often incredibly helpful. The boys could be, too. It always depended on the child. I can’t wait to read this so it can bring me back. I ended with 13 years in gr. 3 plus 3 more in my friends’ gr. 3 and my earlier years were in K and 1. But 5th……they were on the cusp….so many so attuned……I miss them. Can’t wait to read Laura’s book! (And yours…..when does it come out?)

  2. Laura Shovan
    Laura Shovan says:

    I love this series, Liz! What a sweet story. My teacher, Grace Cavalieri, prompts poets to get on an imaginary elevator: each floor of the building is a year of your life. Write what you see there. You have done so with these FIFTH GRADE poems.

    • Liz Steinglass
      Liz Steinglass says:

      Thanks, Laura, I love the idea of an imaginary elevator. I couldn’t see much of fifth grade until I got off the elevator and looked around.

  3. Tabatha
    Tabatha says:

    I love that second haiku, too. Laura’s comment about imaginary elevators is interesting. I skipped third grade, and I liked being in fourth grade early…in fifth grade, though, I felt quite young and out of my element. Maybe I should write a haiku about it. 🙂

    • Liz Steinglass
      Liz Steinglass says:

      My son also skipped a grade. At first it was fine but later it got more complicated. Yes, I hope you’ll write a haiku about it!

  4. Linda Baie
    Linda Baie says:

    Fifth grade has now become the “top” in school, & I wonder how that’s changed things for growing up. I left my haiku on twitter, have loved seeing everyone’s memories. I remember a Valentine now that you’ve reminded me of that bit of “young love”.

  5. bookseedstudio
    bookseedstudio says:

    The lagard, evermore I am without a haiku/senru yet. I’ve enjoyed this post. And so jealous – my pre-order is still yet to delight me, making it more fun when it pops into our big ol’ mailbox. Appreciations also for the big photo of the wonderful cover of each student. Brava! to Laura!


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