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The Poetry of Science

Fostering Scientific Literacy with Poetry

Science and Children—July/August 2022 (Volume 59, Issue 6)

By Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong

camera sketch

My Photo Experiment

by Janet Wong

For my science fair project
I took three favorite photos.
I copied each file ten times.
Then I played with the settings,
adjusting saturation,
then scribbling down
notes of what I’d done.
I moved onto contrast,
exposure, and tint.
I got so excited
I just had to print.
I stopped taking notes
and I worked the slider bars
and I printed and I printed.
I got pretty far on my project—
I almost got to the end—
when I realized . . .
without notes,
I’m doing it all

Poem © 2014 Janet S. Wong from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong © 2014 Pomelo Books; illustration by Frank Ramspott from The Poetry of Science: The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science for Kids © 2015 Pomelo Books.   

Take 5!

  1. For a poetry prop, show three photographsyour own or from online sources like Google Images or iStock. Then read the poem aloud faster and faster, slowing down at the end.
  2. Read this poem aloud again, and invite students to join you on the important last two lines (I’m doing it all / AGAIN). Read those lines together slowly and with exaggerated emotion.
  3. Science projects can include technological investigations as well as more traditional activities. Brainstorm more possibilities students might consider for science fair projects.
  4. Recording data and taking notes are an important part of scientific inquiry. Use this poem to talk with students about at what points the “speaker” in the poem should have stopped to take notes during this photo experiment.
  5. Connect with other poems about conducting investigations like “Testing My Hypothesis” by Leslie Bulion (Online Resources) or “Meet Mr. Wizard” by George Ella Lyon (Online Resources). Or seek out Art Lab for Kids: 52 Creative Adventures in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Paper, and Mixed Media for Budding Artists of All Ages by Susan Schwake (Resources) for more ideas about other possible media projects.


Wong, J. S. 2014. “My Photo Experiment” in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, eds. S. Vardell and J. Wong, 221. Princeton, NJ: Pomelo Books.


Schwake, S. 2012. Art lab for kids: 52 creative adventures in drawing, painting, printmaking, paper, and mixed media for budding artists of all ages. Beverly, MA: Quarry Books.

Online Resources

Janet Wong author website

“Meet Mr. Wizard” by George Ella Lyon

“Testing My Hypothesis” by Leslie Bulion

Interdisciplinary Literacy Early Childhood Elementary

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