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Air, Air, Everywhere Poetry Contest

For Third, Fourth and Fifth Grade Students

Image of two happy kids throwing their hands in the air and overlooking a farm.  There is a title that says "Air, Air, Everywhere" and a subtitle that says "2024 Poetry Contest".

Celebrate with DNR's Air, Air Everywhere Poetry Contest!

Parents and teachers across Wisconsin helped DNR celebrate Clean Air Month this May by leading students through an activity (or more than one!) from the Air, Air Everywhere Teacher’s Activity Guide. This guide includes ten activities which aim to teach third, fourth and fifth grade students about air quality and the importance of clean air.

Students submitted original poems and riddles as part of the annual Where's the Air? activity. Through the activity, students completed simple sensory experiments to discover the characteristics of air and then wrote a poem or riddle describing air.

Winning Poems

Enjoy the winning poems from 2010-2024.

Congratulations to all of the students who participated in this year's annual Air, Air Everywhere Poetry Contest. The 2024 entries exceeded our expectations! This year's winning entry and runners-up, as well as those from 2010-2023, are posted below. Enjoy!

The 2024 winning poet was interviewed and featured on the Wisconsin Green Fire website.

2024 Winners

2024 Winning Poem

By: Xeonobia Diaz
School: Samuel Clemens School
Grade: 5th

I am your Sister…your Caretaker

I was born to be fresh and clean.
I was born to move like a wave.
My sound is like a beating heart.
I am meant to smell beautiful like a forest.
You don’t see me, but you will know when I’m missing.

I am sad to say to my human family,
“Your actions have taken me for granted.
You have put too much smoke, smog, and pollution in my air,
which has made me sick, and that is not fair!”

So thank you to states like Wisconsin who are setting standards to clean my air.
Thank-you to the lawmakers who are passing more green laws
so that everyone will care.
Plant more trees because they are the lungs of our Earth!
They create oxygen and clean the air so well,
we will never forget their worth!

Know that I am strong and desire to be free.
You will not get rid of me!
So let’s come together and save our air.
Be a good neighbor, no matter where!
Clean air is a human right for all
so everyone step up and answer the call!

Runners Up

By: Charlotte Van Dorn, 5th grade, Swallow School

Always There?

When I look at the sky,
When I breathe in the air,
When the green grass sprouts,
I know it will always be there.
Do we take it for granted?
Or think it will always be this way?
What we do affects the environment,
And how we live today.
The chilly breeze,
And the clouds rolling across the sky,
The clean air we breathe,
In nature we rely.
To keep our air clean,
We have to do our part.
For Earth, the choices we make
Must always be smart.
So next time you take a breath,
Or see rain fall from a cloud,
Know the impacts you make
To keep Mother Nature proud.


By: Stella Baldock, 5th grade, Brandon Elementary School

Our Air is Unique and Special

Nitrogen, oxygen, argon, and methane
All different parts of air
Tinier fractions like aerosols
Breathing it everywhere

Even though we can’t see it
We know it’s there
It flows throughout my body
And rustles through my hair

Air is wind and the breeze and cyclones
Air is gales and whirlwinds and gusts
Air is blasts and puffs and flutters
Air is atmosphere and typhoons and upthrusts

The air is every shape and form
And everywhere throughout our lungs
It’s in the tiniest cracks and corners
Even on our tongue!

Soot, smoke, power plants, and exhaust
Ozone, fossil fuels, and factories
Hurting and polluting our precious air
We need to stand up to these unnecessities

This invisible mix of gases
Might not seem like it’s keeping us alive
But our air comes from the trees
And without it, you’ll surely crash-dive

So the next time you see a tree
Take a moment to thank our friend
Our air is unique and special
We will love it to the end

Previous Winners

2023 Winning Poems

2023 Winning Poems

By: Elin Chance
School: Swallow School in Hartland, WIl
Grade: 5th

Air is...

Air is the sweet taste I find in the breeze,
Air is the whipping wind never at ease,
Air is the one with a cool, clear touch,
Air is the element that is more than enough.

Air is the one that keeps us alive,
Air is what lets us thrive,
Air is what we need,
Air is what we lead.

Air is what makes us live
It is important for us to give
All the hope we have
It lets us breathe
We shall never let it leave.
The air is everything.

Runners UP

By: Hope Williamson, 4th grade, Dodgeville Elementary School

Flying ‘round on invisible wings
Through fields and rolling hills it sings
Then finally it comes to rest
Up in the sky, it’s great nest
Then up again to foreign lands
To move the grasses and lift the sands
It’s way down low and above the trees
It’s everywhere, but no one sees


By: Sara Jo Butterfield, 4th grade, homeschooled


Wind in my hair,
Air in my lungs.
Quality air is key!

Trees provide oxygen.
So, we can breathe.
To keep us alive, and happy.

Particles and chemicals,
Exhaust and pollen, Pollutants to the air I breathe.

Earth’s natural power
To protect the ozone,
destroyed by all of these.

2022 Winning Poems

2022 Winning Poem

By: Naomi Tost, 5th grade, who is homeschooled but also attends Maple Park Charter School in Lake Geneva one day per week


A playful kitten
Chasing the leaves
Fresh and clean
Is the sound of tickled noses

Kitty chases the kite
Up, up, up
Then down
Down, down

She ruffles the red leaves
And off they go
Falling to the ground

She kisses the sea
Making waves
That splash
And roll
With Kitten's paws

She bats the clouds
With her tail
Sending them off
To the other cats
Across the sky

Runner Ups

By: Myla Nemitz, 4th grade, Warrens Elementary School in Warrens


You may not be able to see me. When a flag is flapping, I am there. When you see a pin wheel spinning, I am there.
What am I?

I can carry smells like sunscreen, s'mores, and a wet dog.
What am I?

You can feel me. I can be a gentle breeze or a winter wind. When you're in the car, you can feel me when the air conditioner is on.

What am I?
I can carry different tastes to you like dust, pickles, or smoke.

What am I?
You can hear me by listening to the clinking of wind chimes or pages of a book flipping.

What am I?
I am air.

By: Makenzie Pickett, 4th grade, Kennedy Elementary School in Janesville

The Newest Poem

You can feel it
you can taste
it it's strong
I and you can't see it
it's swift
it's not a mammal, it's not a reptile
it's cool it's clean and it's cold
you can breathe through it
you can blow through
it it's not a human, it's not a cat or dog
it's a tradition it's been going on for years
it helps you stay alive
it's an only thing
it's always in the world in and out
it's helpful it's safe it's secure
it's not solid it's not a type of liquid
it's not a state
it's like you’re taking a bite out of life
I will give you a clue
it's something that connects to your body, strong and true it's something similar to what blows on your hair
it's something that god created
it's really amazing
its traveling all around the world in outer space
you can do so many experiments with it
it's not a synonym, it's not a prefix
it's not even a verb
it's something very magical
it's not a diagram it's not a technique
What is it?
It is AIR!

2021 Winning Poems

2021 Winning Poem

By: Christian Cale, 5th grade, Everest Virtual Academy in Weston

Let's Clear the Air

I would love to live in a world where,
Everyone aspires to breathe the cleanest and freshest of air,
Air so pure it's beyond compare,
I want the whole world to agree and to be aware,
That it takes action from us all to lesson pollution so it's fair,
If we all cooperate it would show we care,
To have clear, clean air for future generations to share,
We'd be much happier and healthier I swear,
If we could all work together to get there.

Runner Up

By: Sophie Takala, 5th grade, Swallow School in Hartland

Air is Life

Air is
Part of us.
Each moment we take a breath.
In and out.

Air settles.
Beneath the wave of water.
In the lungs of us humans and animals.
In and out we take a breath.

Air moves.
Constantly, with the clouds moving to seek the sun.
Along, the speed of an elephant running to save her young.
In and out we take a breath.

Air brings life.
To the plant growing, with the wind of the air.
To the baby’s smile when born.
In and out we take a breath.

Air is

Third Place

By: Ella Lord, 4th grade, Wabesa Intermediate School in McFarland

This is What Air Does

Wind whooshes at my hair
whipping it around my face.

Lavender’s soothing sent
calms me.

This is what air does.

Air changes like the seasons.
From sharp cold air
To pleasant fresh air
To humid moist air
And the crispy chilly air.

This is what air does.

We need to protect
the ever-changing air.

So don’t drive,
Don't chop down trees,
Plant new ones!

Let’s help the air
be crisp and clear.
Let's all pitch in
to protect the air.

A light spring breeze
Flutters around my ankles like a butterfly.

Freshly cut green grass's
Scent makes me grin.

This is what air does.

2019 Winning Poems

2019 winning poem

By third grader Deema Arman from Madinah Academy of Madison

My Cool Friend

Air is my friend.
Now and till the end.
Air is all around.
Up in the sky and near the ground.
We know it's there though it can't be seen.
Let's work together to keep it clean.
Air, Air, I know you're here.
I can feel you ever so near.
You are the thing that helps me live.
And anything you want I will give.
You lift me up.
You keep me cool.
And that's why I say you rule.
I know you're hurt.
When people pollute.
And to those who help you
I give salute.

Runner up

By fourth grader Cassidy Lindner of Central Intermediate School in Rhinelander

The Solution for Pollution

I can feel it, so can you
every day we use it too

Not all dirty, not all grey,
It should never be that way

Keep it clean and stop pollution,
We are sure to get a solution

Have you guessed it yet? It's air!
And it is everywhere!

If you do keep it clean you'll see,
That keeping it clean is quite easy!

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle,
You can even ride a bicycle!

Or walk if you aren't going far,
It is far better than a car

Walking gives you exercise,
And will not pollute the skies

Keep the air crisp and clean,
And the earth nice and green!

Even fossil fuels are cruel,
And it will never be cool

So keep our skies clean and bright,
And it could stay that way, it might.

Third place

By fourth grader Haidyn Berger of St. Paul Lutheran School in Appleton

Beautiful Air

Beautiful, beautiful air I breathe
This is what you do for me
You keep me alive through day and night To the air we shall give thanks
Oh, air
You give me all I need
The trees and plants help you stay
But oh, those cars want you gone You are invisible
But I know you're there
You have been there
since the day I was born
You will be there the day I die
Thank you!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart
Through all my years
Thank you to the air
Air, oh air, you are so beautiful
Air - I love you

2018 Winning Poems

2018 winning poem

By fourth grade student from Mrs. DeKok's class at Roosevelt Elementary School in Janesville

Air Poetry

Mike plays street basketball as he takes a sniff,
He smells the baker's blueberry pie,
Being pulled out of the oven nearby.

He dodges a piece of trash from the wind.

And thinks that he better finish the game,
With a far shot that's not too lame!

He finishes the game and goes to the bakery to talk,
He says, "I smelled the fresh blueberry pie you were baking,
And wondered how the smell gets hungry?"

The baker said, "The zephyr carried the scent to the court."

"The zephyr?"
"It is the wind my friend. Fresh air that may someday end.

Trees give us oxygen and allow us to live,
We must protect air from pollution.
You must be the solution."

"How can I help to protect it too?"
"By not using so much electricity and cleaning the town,
Air not letting wastefulness go you down."

So Mike ate cereal with a box that he could recycle,
Headed off to clean the streets, and did not watch T.V.
Thinking "Saving energy starts with me!"

Two days later he went to the baker's shop and said,
"I cleaned the courts, did not waste electricity,
And recycled a cereal box with simplicity."

"Thank you for keeping the town clean,
I will reward you with a fresh and tasty blueberry pie."
It smelled of fresh blueberries and raw honey…no lie.

Mike said, "Thank you Baker,
I will help clear out air pollution in many other ways,
And try to spread the effect to the whole world for millions of days!"

Runners up

By fourth grader Kate Flint from Mrs. Botelho-Chojnacki's class at McKinley Elementary in Wauwatosa

Clean Air

Though we can't see it it is there
Swooshing and swishing through your hair
How life would be different without this powerful thing
We wouldn't be able talk or sing
But most of all it's clean
Swirling and spinning around us like a dream
Spinning fast
floating slow
Changing form though we may not know
Swooshing through trees
and their leaves
Breathing in
breathing out
The importance of this masterpiece with cleanness
Without it we all would be dreamless
Pollution takes over
Ruining the helpful thing we need in our lives
So protect it
And pitch in
When you help
the earth will win
It will swoosh through your hair
Blow a breeze on your face
Swish through your favorite place
Breathing in
Breathing out


By fifth grader Matthew Ladson from Mrs Stringfellow's class at Riverside Elementary School in Menomonee Falls

Air We Love You

Air you are so sweet
you really take care of me.

Air you are so clear
it's really so good to see.

Air, we are trying
to really take care of you.

Air we need your embrace
to really stay in this place.

Air you are so beautiful
what would we do without you?


By fourth grader Reina Chan from Mrs. DeKok's class at Roosevelt Elementary School in Janesville

Nature's Air

Air blows inside and outside of me,
inhaled into my body and swept onto my face.
I breathe it into my lungs.
We humans breathe, and other living creatures too.

Air blows harshly through frosted autumns and freezing winters
when animals are fast asleep...breathing.
Air also makes my cheeks and hands cold as ice cubes too.

But winds can blow calmly and silently through beautiful springs.
Birds of tree branches chirp happily with insects eating plants,
white butterflies are flying gracefully in the cool breeze.

I sit on a park bench on a hot summer day,
watching the air pass by in the trees,
as a breeze cools down my sweet face.
Air blows through skies and clouds float by.
A cool breeze in like nature's air conditioner.

Air is a gift, an important part of nature.
Throughout the world, we must protect it!
Air helps us live and breathe.
Air makes us all live through life's joys.

2017 Winning Poems

2017 winning poem

By fifth grader Ali Adhami from Madinah Academy of Madison

Ode to Air

Air, air, it's everywhere,
In your face and in your hair
It can be a gentle breeze,
It leaves your mouth when you sneeze,
It can be a strong gust,
It can carry debris or dust.
So when you feel air blow by,
Just remember to say "hi."

Air, air, in the sky,
It can carry a plane or a fly,
Sweet air, cradle of life,
Protect it, without any strife.
You inhale it,
You exhale it,
If of air we were deprived,
None of us would have survived

Air, air it's so great,
About that there is no debate,
You don't have to be quiet,
Feel free to start a riot.
Let's work on the solution,
To curb the air pollution,
And make sure no one protests,
That air needs our best.

Runners up

By fifth grader Elaina Nemes from Viroqua Middle School in Viroqua

Air, Air Everywhere

Air, Air all around
From the big blue sky
to the grassy ground

Humans, animals, and vegetation
need clean air
in every nation

We take oxygen in
and release carbon dioxide
which helps new plants begin

When we pollute our precious air
we kill our environment
Do we care?

Let's do our part and work as a team
Let's recycle and bicycle
to keep our air clean.


By fourth grader Rose Trondson from Yahara Valley Elementary School in Edgerton

It's as fast as a rabbit,
It's as powerful as a bear,
You cannot see it,
But you know it's there.
It carries smells,
It's cold and fierce,
But it can be a great relief,
In summers hot pierce.
It's everywhere,
You cannot live without this, what is it?

Answer: air

2016 Winning Poems

2016 winning poem

By third grader Carson Kerrigan of St. John Nepomucene School in Little Chute

Air, air, why do we care?
We breathe it in again and again.
We do not see air but know you're there,
We can hear you whistle and hear you blow,
Even though you might not show.
I can feel you gently blow on my face,
As I try to win my race.
Air, air, some of your smells are fair,
But others curl my nose hair!

Runners up

By Pawnee Doddridge-Hornett of Warrens Elementary School in Warrens


Sometimes you can smell, hear, see, feel, and/or taste me.
I am everywhere, but space.
Without me, you would die.
I contain oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water vapor.
I am the thing that brings the smell of chocolate to you from the bag it was in.
Gases pollute me.
Plants help me.
I let you fly your kites.
I really wish you would stop polluting me.
What am I?

I am Air.


By third grader Rowan Smithberger of Girl Scout Troop 2534 from Middleton


Air is light as a feather
But clear as clean glass,
It flies like a bird
Experienced in flight.
But it has no wings
Or a mouth,
But still howls...
Even with its cunning disguise
We all know it's there.

2015 Winning Poems

2015 winning poem

By Kelsey Olmen of Green Lake School District

With Every Small Breath

With every small breath I feel alive
The freshness heals me and lets me thrive
With every small breath I feel I can fly
With the birds who enjoy the air as much as I
With every small breath I sing and run around
With all the air-lovers that I have found
With every small breath that is clean and fair
I am healed by the wind with love and care
As everyone else is in this world with clean, fresh air in every small breath.

Second place

By Megan Johnson of Argyle School District

Air, Air Everywhere

Air, air everywhere
Beautiful, clean, crisp air.
The grass is green, the sky is blue
What does clean air mean to you?

Stop, wait here.
Do you hear that breeze whispering in your ear?
Fresh, cool, lovely breeze
Will overcome you with ease.

Smog, gas, smoke
These air hitchhikers may make you choke.
In your lungs these will stay
Make a stand, say this in not okay.

Trees and greens
Will help, so by all means.
You can plant, garden or grow
To keep the pollution low.

Air, air everywhere
Beautiful, clean, crisp air.
The grass is green, the sky is blue
Ask yourself what you can do.

Third place

By Maggie Godfrey of Argyle School District

Air is Everywhere

Oh where, oh where can I find some clean air? Up high in the sky or way down in the ground, where is the air, I will tell you it is all around. Air is to share because it is everywhere. Don't pollute or you might end up in a dispute.

Smoking, fires, fumes and debris limit birds flying and ability to see. Limiting pollution is a great solution.

I do not want to see illness or plants that do not thrive or smog over cities that affect us when we drive. If everyone does their share, the gift will be CLEAN AIR!

2014 Winning Poems

2014 winning poem

By Lilia Rose Osborne of Edgewood Campus School in Madison


You can't see it but you can breathe it...
It can fill a box, a room, a building...
And even you...
Air is just air...
Just oxygen, the thing that gives us life...
Just a substance formed by a tree's sighs...
A tree's songs...
A tree's hard, hard, work...
Thank you, tree...
Did you think? Did you know?
That air is history...
A historic past...
A historic present...
A historic future...
You inhale, you let it go...
Then they inhale what you inhaled...
And let it go...
And it goes on and on... and on...
And think... think...
People... famous, poor...
Singers, presidents, saints...
You may have breathed their air...
It may lie inside of you...
Right now...

Second place

By Kathryn Arnold of Clinton Middle School in Clinton

Where Is Air?

Where is Air?
Air is around us.
Air is around our hair.
You can't see it, but we know it's there.

Air is in H2O
Fresh air?
That's a go!

Air, Air it can't be seen
Let's keep it there
Let's not pollute
Let's keep it clean!

Air is around the world
Air is in the clouds
Air is one big swirl!

There are different moods in the Air
Some are blowy
Some are gentle
Some are snowy!

In the city,
If more people aren't careful
Air can be black
Ew! That's nasty!

Keep our Air clean
Keep our Air fresh
Keep our Air nice
We'll do our best!

Instead of drive,
You can walk
Instead of text,
You can talk

Try to make our Air nice and fresh
Once we do, let's keep it there
Because what would we do without...
Air, Air Everywhere!

Third place

By Caden Rohan of River View School in Kaukauna


It is freshening with a chill to it,
Like an icy mint,
It's warm at the same time
Like the beams of the sun falling on to my skin,
Its calming as it goes through my lungs,
Clouds floating through it yet,
It's not the sky, swiftly carried by the wind,
As I jump into it, I could not survive without it.

2013 Winning Poems

2013 winning poem

By Ingrid Sokup of Hayward School District


Like an invisible magic
It's nothing, but something
Quiet, watching us play
It's foggy and smoky
Has no boundaries
And never ends in a way

It's crispy and cool
On a mid-fall day
It's edge, but clean
And has a particular sway

It's freezing and frigid
On a wintery day
As soft as a cloud
But as hard as a rock

In summer it's humid
And hot and sweet
With a faint blueberry smell
And big waves of heat

In springtime it smells
Like nothing ever happened
And tomorrow is perfect
And everything's good

Second place

By Evan Salywedel of Warrens Elementary


I keep you alive every day.
What am I?
I get polluted by cars and trucks.
What am I?
I cool you down with a breeze when it is hot.
What am I?
I make your kite fly.
What am I?
I can throw down trees on houses.
What am I?
I can make hurricanes and tornadoes.
What am I?
I can make tsunamis and tide waves.
What am I?
I am very cold in the winter.
What am I?
I can carry the smells of pie or bad rotten smells.
What am I?
I am taken in by trees and flowers to be cleaned.
What am I?
Please keep me clean!

Third place

By Monica Kemstra of Ronald Reagan Elementary

Air Poem

I feel it blowing on my face. I wish I was in a warmer place!
I see the branches swaying. I'm not so glad we're staying.
I smell the dampness and the pretty flowers. I look up to see a cloud tower.
When I taste it, it's cold on my tongue. When I breathe it, it goes into my lungs.
I hear the soft sound of it when it blows. If you're out boating it can ripple through the water when you row.
What is it?

Answer: Air!

2012 Winning Poems

2012 winning poem

By Abby Ahlborn & Morgan Phillipich of Eagle River Elementary School

Can You Guess?

I'm usually very quiet but not always.
Nobody can live without me.
I'm one of nature's best friends,
but cars and gas hurt me,
we are like enemies.
Plants keep me going and I keep you going.

Can you guess what I am?

Answer: Air

Runners up

By Bryan Groshek of Amherst Elementary


Whoosh! Whirl!
These are the sounds I make.
What am I?
I blow down houses, I knock down trees.
What am I?
I blow leaves, I calm thoughts.
What am I?

I am the AIR!

I give you oxygen.
What am I?
I give plants carbon dioxide.
What am I?
You run and jump through me.
What am I?

I am the AIR!

All you do is pollute me.
What am I?
You open factories that hurt me.
What am I?
I need your help now.
What am I?

I am the AIR!


By Rachel of Amherst Elementary


I am the air,
The dark*, smoggy, polluted, air.
Stop doing this to me.**
Ride bikes, not cars.
Turn off the lights.***

* gasp
** sputter
*** Breathe heavily

I am the air.
The clean, fresh, non-polluted, air.
I forgive you for pollution me!
You did what I said!
You turned out the lights!
You saved energy!
We can breathe!
I knew you could do it!

2010 Winning Poems

2010 winning poem

By Jacob LaFleur of St. Matthias School

Where's the air,
I know not where.
In daytime bright,
I see the light,
and yet the air escapes my stare.

In the dark of night,
I feel its windy fright,
and still the air escapes my stare.

In spring, the smell of the air is sweet,
in summer we all feel its heat.
Winter brings the very cold,
and in fall its scent is leaves of old.

This is a challenge to my senses,
as I know air has no senses.

To keep the air sweet, fresh and clean,
should be the best of all our dreams.

Runners up

By Gia Gonzalez of Whittier Elementary School


I float around above your head and in other places.
I am not a color such as green or blue.
You can't see me but you know I'm there, going in and out throughout your body.
What am I?


By Britney of Waupaca Learning Center


Air up, air down,
To the left and to the right,
In front of you and behind you,
The thing that's always around you,
It's meant for life and people,
Flowers and trees,
Animals and bright blue skies,
Air is meant for everything.


By Jenna of St. Matthias School

I Am

I am what keeps you alive, I am what helps you survive.
I am every bit of freshness,
I am what keeps you through the day with zestness.
I am with you every breath you take and every step you take.
I am what keeps you awake.
I am air.
I am.