ROUND ONE: 5-palpable vs. 12-sequitur

r1f2 5-palpable vs. 12-sequitur

Click here for authlete instructions.

Voter Instructions:

  • The countdown at the bottom of each pairing indicates how much time is left to vote.
    • When voting closes, timer will disappear.
  • Read both poems as many times as you like.
  • Mark the poem you like best by clicking the circle next to its name.
  • Press the “Vote” button to record your vote.
  • Votes are counted in real time and cannot be changed once entered.
  • You can only vote once from a given IP address.
    • Classrooms should submit one vote as a class.
    • Students can then vote again individually from home.

Things to Consider in Making a Choice:

  • How well the poem incorporates the authlete’s assigned word.
  • Technical elements: meter, rhyme, form, shape, and other poetic standards.
  • Creativity: wordplay, imagery, unusual approach, etc.
  • Subtle elements that make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.
  • Your overall response: emotional reaction such as admiration, tears, laughter, terror, or some indefinable feeling.

Here are the poems:

Spelling Rules?
by Debra Shumaker

A palpable problem, that’s true.
When spelling’s not easy to do,
And teachers won’t let us make-do.

I know that it’s “i” before “e.”
Except when it comes after “c.”
Then please explain “species” to me.


by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

Kids of the jury, believe me,
if you had a sister like mine,
you, too, might be bucking authority—
her conduct was way out of line.
She kidnapped my Captain America
and threw him in Barbie’s pink jail!
So it seemed like a sensible sequitur
to place the ad: “SISTER FOR SALE.”


Public Vote (5-palpable vs. 12-sequitur)
Final Results:
5-palpable vs. 12-sequitur

Authlete Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
5-palpable vs. 12-sequitur
Classroom Vote (ID Required)
Final Results:
5-palpable vs. 12-sequitur

Like it? Share it!

Like me? Subscribe to TKT!

  • Linda Baie

    Now I want to know more about the dilemmas of kids! Both terrific poems!

  • Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

    Well done, Debra! I’ve often wondered about that word myself. ;)

  • Catherine

    It’s a dilemma picking for sure. Great job ladies!

  • Matt Forrest

    Michelle’s has great rhythm and a scene every kid can relate to, while I totally feel for Debra’s dilemma!

  • Quinette Cook

    Sometimes it is the very little things that decide a poem for me… these were both well written. Now where do you place an add to sell your siblings?

    • Mother Streusel

      Ha ha!

    • Michelle Heidenrich Barnes


  • BJ Lee

    Nice use of sequitur, Michelle, minus the ‘non’!

    • Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

      That non can make all the difference, can’t it?

  • Damon Dean

    Debra, quite a dilemma indeed…darn the pesky rules, how’s pepl gon txt f we haf 2 spell stff.

    Michelle, your young self-defense attorney has spunk. I think he should start running ads on tv…

    • Mother Streusel

      Damon, you write great comments!

    • Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

      I agree with Mother S, wonderful comments– thank you! And congrats on moving on to Round 2. :)

    • Bonnie Bailey


    • Debra Shumaker

      Thanks Damon. Yes, texting takes spelling to a whole new level!

  • Mother Streusel

    Yes and Yes! Both great!!! SO clever!!!!!! It’s been fun getting to know you on Facebook, Michelle. You are super witty!!

    • Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

      Vice versa, Karyn– and you’re quite the word play Queen, might I add!

      • Mother Streusel

        Aw, thanks. Your compliment might be a bit generous, but I’ll take it!

  • Bonnie Bailey

    A sensible sequitur sister for sale…oh my Michelle…nicely done.

  • Bonnie Bailey

    Species! SPECIES! How did I never see this?! This rocks my world Debra.

  • Debra Shumaker

    What a great poem Michele! My boys can totally relate. This was fun! Good luck.

  • julie krantz

    Enjoyed both of these poems!

  • Renee LaTulippe

    As a grammar and spelling enthusiast, I’m drawn to Debra’s dilemma. As a crime show enthusiast, I’m drawn to Michelle’s well structured plea to the court. Jury’s still out!

  • Michele Krueger

    nice job on both words, girls!