CPITS Poetry Teacher
Reading your own poetry builds so much confidence. We work on projection, body language, expression and fun!
What An Honor!
Five of my Student's Poems were selected for publication in the 2016 California Poets In The Schools Anthology - Where Animals Move Like Planets -
Forward by Molly Fisk
"Using the imagination, learning writing tools and then jotting down thoughts with a pencil, forming a poem, editing, typing it into the computer, printing it out, editing it again and finally comes the presentation - it's scary to read in front of everyone, but fun too."
I am the strong, sturdy mountain formed by shaking ancestors,
reaching toward the endless heavens.
I am energy, my very existence is created
to connect with all people.
I am the harsh shine of a manufactured
diamond and the soft luster
of one found in raw rocks.
I am the rumbling of a giant volcano and
the tiny bubbles of my cooling lava.
I am everything, yet nothing
I am happiness, yet sadness.
I am me, and no one else can be that.
4th Grade - Bel Aire Elementary School
Marin County, California
A lot can be learned writing poetry in a group.
It's a great team builder. Group poetry can be a
powerful tool for conflict resolution. Everyone is included, everyone's viewpoint is respected and everyone has a voice.
I Am Everything, Yet Nothing
Could I Be
Could I be the waves of the sea
as I carry driftwood across
the ocean effortlessly?
Could I be gravity
as it pulls me to the ground,
the cause of devastating avalanches
pulverizing the trees below?
Could I be an ancient civilization
creating an elaborate temple
simply with the stones at my feet?
Could I be a comet
in a front-row seat of the universe?
Could I be clouds
as I burst lightning from my core?
I could be anything.
4th Grade, Bel Aire Elementary School
Marin County, California
Van Gough Poem - Art and History
It is so much fun to combine poetry with art and history. The children work together as a group to create their own Sunflower painting, This teaches collaboration and team spirit.
I Am The Light Of The World
I am the spirit of France,
a country that I've never been to.
The sky scraping the Eiffel Tower,
and the boats smoothly swimming
through the clear water.
I am the rolling waves reaching up
to touch the crisp sand.
I am the essence of winter,
the snow, a blanket over the land,
the bare branches hanging with crystals.
I am the voice of knowledge and wisdom,
the smell of books, the words written
on the old yellowed pages.
I am the light of the world.
We are woven together like one quilt,
from summer to autumn,
to the beaches and forests of the world.
3rd Grade, Coleman Elementary School
Marin County, California
"The bare banches hanging with crystals . . ."
"Could I be the waves of the sea . . ."
Watching children blossom as they learn the magic of writing a poem is a total joy. Their successes
always bring a huge smile to my face and heart.
"I am the strong, sturdy mountain . . ."
"Michele says that poetry is like painting a picture with words, I guess it is. I really like using my imagination and going for it. I can be me. No one else has thoughts exactly like mine. Poetry is very cool."
I encourage my students to enter their poems into publishing contests. Anually CPITS celebrates student's work with a poetry anthology. Win or loose students learn the value of participation and going fot it!
Hundreds of students enter every year. It's a huge honor to be selected for inclusion. Five of my student's poems are published in the 2016 CPITS Statewide Anthology -
Where Animals Live Like Planets
Published Student Poets
I Am A Heart Beat - Sydney Johnson
Lightness And Darkness - Georgia Bender
I Am Everything, Yet Nothing - Peter Dachtler
Could I Be - Jack Renny
I Am The Light Of The World - Juliette Douglas
Classroom Poetry Cafe Presentation
We designed and painted Parisien backdrops and sent out colorful invitations to parents. After some great rehersals with using a micraphone, we were ready.
The student poets looked adorable in their black shirts and berets.
Despite 'nerves' each child read one of their favorite poems beuatifully. The recital was fantastic adn a wonderful conclusion to a ten week, classroom poetry program. We created a wonderful anthology too.
"Reading poetry outloud is really scary, but I like it. And I get to talk into a microphone which is weird."
Children should be given time to uncover the joys to be found in nature and in poetry. By moving too quickly, much of the magic and beauty of life is missed. In this hectic world, I like to slow things down to help children to grow fully rather than quickly.
As a poetry teacher with California Poet in the Schools, Michele's work with children spans many age groups and includes poetry residencies at: The San Geronimo Lagunitas Schools, Park School, West Marin School, Edna Maguire School, Mill Valley Middle School, Saint Rita School, Coleman School,
Bel Aire Elementary School, Old Mill School, White Hill Middle School, Strawberry Point Elementary School, and Bolinas and Stinson Schools.
Michele has also taught poetry to young adults at Juvenile Hall in San Rafael. She has worked with Seniors with Alzheimers, and with Vietnam Veterans in collaboration with USF's Community Wellness Outreach Poetry Program.
Michele taught poetry and creativity classes for adults and children at The Findhorn Foundation in Scotland, and for The Somerset County Council Special Education Program in England. Her popular altar workshop Creating Sacred Space has been awarded several grants by the Lloyd Symington Foundation.
USF contracted Michele to teach with retired Jesuit Priests at Sacred Hearts, and The Sisters of the Holy Names in Los Gatos.
Michele's poetry and her student's poetry have been published in many anthologies including five students poems in the 2016 CPITS Statewide Anthology - Where Animals Move Like Planets.
"Michele Rivers brings total creativity into the classroom. She did a wonderful job improving academic knowledge.
She challenged the students, they became better poets and better people. She manages a class very effectively. We ended the program with a successful Poetry Café for all the parents. We all loved it!”
–Brian Clement, Teacher – St Ritas
Select a Poetry Program to suit your needs:
5 sessions (minimum)
Half academic year program*
Full academic year program*
*These programs include creating an illustrated anthology,
and a poetry recital at the conclusion of the poetry program
Each class is one hour in length and includes time for listening to poetry, instruction on how to use poetry tools, an imagination journey, writing and presentation.
Michele's Poetry Programs can be customized to fit your classroom needs, or you can choose from any of the poetry plans listed below:
Whacky What If's
Could I Be?
Our Precious Planet
Ode to a Hot Dog
Liquid Life – water poems
Loudness and Quietness
Out of This World (Space)
Lightness and Darkness
Through the Camera
Dreaming the Future
Poetry and Art - Van Gough
Presentation (Class dedicated to performing)
Anthology - classroom
Individual poetry books with illustrations
“C.P.I.T.S. teachers are professional, published writers who are trained in the art of teaching poetry to children. Michele brought so much to my classroom. I learned a lot from her, and the kids fell in love with her and
poetry. Michele’s commitment is to support young poets to recognize, examine and value culture, imagination and creativity. She helps them to build an appreciation for self-expression.” – Susan Johnson, Teacher
“My students loved Michele, they couldn’t wait to show her what they had written. Some of my least confident writers turned into very self-assured poets. Michele’s a really wonderful poet and teacher.”
–Julie Hoffman, Teacher – Edna Maguire
Select a performance for your class:
Celebrate your students work with a poetry performance for their families and friends.
Performance builds a child's confidence.
In Classroom Poetry Recital -
with lemonade and cookies for families and guests afterwards. This is also a great time to share the poets classroom antholgy with Mums and Dads.
School Multi Purpose Room Presentation - can be as simple or as elaborate as you like.
Invite the whole grade level or everyone in the school. What a fabulous showcase!
Evening Performances -
are very special. Create a Poetry Cafe or a Poetry Land theme in the multi-purpose room or choose a venue off campus. Students invite family and friends and the recital becomes a real celebration.
Classroom Poetry Fees
One hour poetry class $85 - $100 per classroom program
Grants may be available
Discuss with Michele
English born, Michele Rivers is a professionally
trained CPITS teacher, a published writer, an award winning artist, photographer and author.
She has a background in theatre and created her own Radio and TV shows.
Each one hour tutoring session will include
imagination journey, then guidance on transfering thought into poetry. Your child will learn writing tools: the use of metaphor, simile, alliteration and personification. How to edit and the layout of a poem are also included in the tutoring program.
“Michele is my favorite teacher and poetry is my
favorite subject. Michele says writing poetry is like painting a picture with words.”
—Kelly Lee, 5th Grade
Performance is encouraged, as it builds a child’s confidence and pride. Family poetry recitals can be scheduled. If your child enjoys art, we can also compile an illustrated anthology which makes a fabulous treasure for Parents and Grandparents!
"Thanks to Michele, Meyer blossomed, his confidence, public speaking voice and his creative writing all greatly improved. All of which helped him get into a good school.”
—Beth and Barry Gorelich
“Over the summer, Michele tutored
Austin, which he really enjoyed. His
writing skills improved greatly and resulted in one of his poems being
published. Unexpectedly, he also learned to be a little gentleman and make pots of tea!”—Laura Alders
Private Instruction Fees
Choose A Poetry Program For Your Child
After school hours 2:30 - 7:30 pm
1 One hour session $100
5 One hour sessions $450*
10 One hour sessions $900*
Parent and Child Poetry Program:
Share the adventure of being creative together. It’s exciting to write with Mom or Dad. Learn about each other with poetry
Poetry Gift Book Package:
Custom, hard cover poetry book featuring your child's poetry, art and photos.
Parent and child special poetry edition.
These are the best type of gift giving!
*Poetry Program + Additional fee of $150
Call: 415 827-9793 or
Classroom programs also available
Social Etiquette for Children of all Ages
Michele's teaching skills help to develop a personal style, confidence and how to behave in the world. These programs focus on dining, communication, conduct and character building.
Michele is the author of the best selling tea book - Time For Tea - Tea and Conversations with Thirteen English Women —Random House
Children delight in Michele's unique approach to learning how to be gracious and appropriate. Kids have so much fun they don't realize that their learning skills that will serve them for a life time.
"My son is welcomed everywhere he goes because he learned the skills of good manners at nine years old. Today as a young man out there in the world, doors open for him. Not only is he a smart guy, he's knows how to behave at a dining table, in a conference room, throwing a party and even on a bus. He's that guy all the other Mothers love."
Celebration Etiquette Packages:
Planning and hosting an event, is a wonderful way to to engage children in the world of etiquette. Choose from the following list to enhance your child's learning:
Birthday Party Celebration
Time For Tea - Tea Party
A Family Dinner
Individualized Packages can be designed to fit your child's specific needs.
Areas of Enrichment May Include:
Select from the following options to create a personalized program.
Showing respect for adults, siblings and other children
Smiling and eye contact
How to make introductions - the best meet and greet
Opportunities to be kind and generous
Social media behavior
How to write an invitation
How to write a thank you note
How to sit at a dining table
How to eat politely
How to give and receive gifts
Attention to your personal presentation
Attention to your wardrobe
Delight in seeing your child's best self
"Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings for others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use."
"It was kinda fun to learn how to be polite. My Gran gave me $20 when she saw how I
ate properly at the dining table." —Sam K
“For 19 years I have invited Michele Rivers to teach my 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students.
Michele has a unique combination of brilliance which includes: creativity, experience, passion
talent, love, playfulness, patience, and very high standards. She has the ability to focus
students, which allows their best to come forth. The skills children learn in writing poetry transfer to many aspects of their lives. They do better in school, their communication, writing skills and confidence all improve.
Any child privileged to work with Michele is blessed." —”Susan Artis, EdD
Three of Michele’s favorite words are Curiosity, Imagination and Insight
She motivates students to creative and academic excellence. Michele encourages using a little fairy dust to make the magic! She asks students to use their imaginations, to take risks, to shut their eyes and to think outside of the box.
Michele uses writing tools and language to
inform, persuade, and convey ideas to diverse students. In each classroom she supports children to collaborate with others. She demonstrates empathy, ethical behavior, respect for self, others, and the environment. Poetry subjects often include a focus on local and global communities with an understanding for different cultures.
With her background in acting, Michele likes to encourage poetry presentations which teach
self-assurance and confidence.
Michele is a 20 year + California Poets in the Schools teacher. CPITS train and coordinate a multicultural network of published poets, who bring their passion and craft to public and private schools, juvenile halls, hospitals, libraries and other community settings.
Dear Friends of CPITS . . .
Why do children who write poetry do better in school? It’s simple. Poetry allows children to express themselves in a non-academic, creative way that is emotionally enriching. In poems, a girl can imagine she lives in a snowflake and a boy can crash into a rainbow. Children reveal their deepest thoughts, hopes and dreams in poetry; they write about sadness and cures for sadness, about divorce and autumn and growing up.
During April, the nation honors literary art with National Poetry Month. In this issue of Poetry Matters, you’ll find stories about the excellent work our poet-teachers do all year long, in over 1000 classrooms a year. Enjoy the featured poems, stories, and the many accomplishments of our students and teachers.
California Poets in the Schools continues to bring our award-winning poetry writing instruction to over 26,000 students a year. Third-grader Letizia Oetker of Los Angeles County wrote, “My poems are like wheels
taking me where I want.”
Let the journey begin!
—Erica Goss, Editor, Poetry Matters
For more information on California Poets In The Schools - CPITS
Go to the link at the top of