Southwest Children's Literature

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Cactus Poems

After listening to poetry about the deserts of North America, mostly in the southwestern United States, the students in Mrs. Gillooly's fourth grade class were asked if they liked the book's poems. The majority of the students responded positively to the poems about the animals, plants, and landscapes of the desert, and to the beautiful photographs. Many of the photographs were taken from the Sonoran Desert, which surrounds Tucson, Arizona. Many of the students related their personal experiences in the Sonoran Desert with wildlife, plants, and desert landscape surrounding Tucson. The students were asked to write poetry about the animals, plants, and desert landscape, as well as drawing illustrations of desert life and the environment. The following poetry was written by students in Mrs. Gillooly's fourth grade class in Gale Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona.

The Hawk

In the desert my heart soars high

As I see the hawk fly.

I see his prey

The prey shall run.

The hawk dives for his prey

Only having his mind

On catching his prey

In his grasp.

The hawk's goal has been achieved.

by N.

This is a drawing of a hawk flying over a mountain in the desert.

This is a drawing of a Gila monster.


Gila Monster

There's a gila monster
Just as bright as night.

Up in the desert

Blooming sky

They are up very high.
You can see the gila monsters

Up in the rocks
Up high in the desert blooming sky.

by Kalyn Rose





Colors of the Deserts


Cactus flowers are red
Deserts are brown
Trees are green
I have a frown
Because deserts are usually brown


by A. K.

This is a drawing of red flowers on a cactus.
This is a drawing of a cacti in the desert.



The rain comes very suddenly.

The rain comes very fast.

But for some reason

In the desert

It never seems to last.

by J.


The Old Ghost Town

Walking through the desert

Cactus all around

Being guided by the moonlight

In the old ghost town.

by Whitney

This is a drawing of a night scene in the desert; a sign reads: "Old Ghost Town."


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