Sunday, April 19, 2009
It is important to remain strong in order to stay true to your own uniqueness while growing and going through life.
I found this poem in an edited book of stories and poems by Sandy Asher called, On Her Way Stores and Poems About Growing Up Girl.
By Donna Jo Napoli
I’ve always known I was a girl,
It doesn’t matter that they call me
for climbing trees
making bows and arrows from palm fronds on empty lots.
It doesn’t matter that they warn me
argue about the infallibility of the pope with the grown
men who play poker with my father.
It doesn’t matter because I’ve always known.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
This collection compiled by Paul Janeczko consists of poems broken into ten chapters for sharing. All aspects of poetry for reading aloud and in groups is covered. There are tongue twisters, bilingual poems, poems for one, two and three voices and more. This is fun stuff and a must have for a classroom shelf. Poetry like Edward Lear’s “Owl and the Pussy-Cat”, Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing” and William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth, Act IV, Scene 1” are all included bringing new life to these wonderful works. Inside I found a concrete poem by one of my favorites poets.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
A major contributor to this cause, writer Isabel Allende, also wrote the foreword. The work here is an excellent jumping off point in helping wrap young minds around poetry as an alternative mode of expression.
Breaking the kids into discussions groups regarding this collection and the writer's situations can be natural bridges to comparisons and empathy. As a follow-up, have the teen writers try their hand at writing out their experiences putting it all that out there in rhyme.
12 winos drinking
11 crackheads tweaking
10 rats eating
9 hookers hookin'
8 dogs barking
7 babies crying
6 cats sleeping
5 robbers creeping
4 gangs shooting
3 guys screaming
2 cars rocking
and a hobo taking a pee.
Cameron Contos-Slaten (age 12)DeDonato, Colette. 2004. Contos-Slaten, Cameron. "Twelve Days" p. 65. City of One: Young Writers Speak to the World. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books.
Monday, April 6, 2009
The book is illustrated by Phil Parks and at the end of the book the author includes a poem which informs the reader that hidden throughout all of the illustrations is a mouse. This leads to the poem that I have chosen which is all about a mouse. And like the narrator, in the poem "What Do We Do, What Do We Do?" the first time I came across a mouse the same reactions took place. Thank goodness calmer heads prevailed at my house.
WHAT DO WE DO,
There’s a mouse in the house!
Unless I’m dreaming.
Koontz, Dean R., and Phil Parks. 2001. The paper doorway: funny verse and nothing worse. New York: HarperCollins
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Here is a taste of the sweetness.
My skin is red
And my hair is red
“He’s redder than a cranberry,” they said
when I was born.
Why am I red?
Maybe it’s because I like cranberry sauce
With holiday dinners
Expecting me, Mama ate it every day
Maybe it’s my Irish ancestors
Who reddened the Africa in my face
I don’t’ know
My father’s side of the family
Has hair as crinkly and red as mine
When we measure who we are
We don’t leave anybody out
We count who we are
And add all who came before us
The way we figure it
We’re just great
Thomas, Joyce Carol and Cooper, Floyd. 2008. The Blacker the Berry. New York: HarperCollins.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Just published this year, this is a must have for not only the classroom but for the home.
A great activity would be to have raw vegetables, or different fruits like star fruits, pineapples, kiwis and other unusual foods to taste while you share these poems. A unique diversity connection program could be created through this poetry connection. Having parents share their cultural background through food by inviting families into the program with the homemade dishes for the class to try.
This poem by Robert Weinstock explores the days of the week with the foods related to them.
Monday smells like dinner rolls
Or is it buttered toast?
Or maybe oatmeal served in bowls
Smells like a Monday most?
Tuesday feels like lemon peels,
Through sometimes more like limes.
Tuesday also sometimes feels
Like clementines. Sometimes.
Wednesday’s mostly tuna fish
In casseroles with peas.
A gloppy goop all yellowish
With moldy cheddar cheese.
Thursday’s usually gingerbread
Or else it’s rhubarb pie.
But could be liverwurst instead
Of these. Don’t ask me why
Friday’s is a rack of ribs,
Beef fondue, and sushi boats.
And moo shu pork and plastic bibs
And also root beer floats.
Saturday’s like honeydews
Like cucumbers and kiwis,
Or Southeast Asian rambutans, whose
Juice is sweet like lychees.
Sunday should be filled with jam
and browned like griddle cakes
Then sliced like baked Virginia ham,
And rubbed like stomachaches.
Weinstock, Robert. 2009. “Monday.” p. 20. Food hates you, too and other poems.