Thursday, November 22, 2012

Week 13

This Week 13 it is especially appropriate to focus on our theme of Families. Our sample poem comes from First Grade and is a gem by Margarita Engle. Here is just the beginning and the ending-- to encourage you to search out the rest.

by Margarita Engle

We called her little grandmother
even though she was big.


She taught me how to embroider
a garden,
decorating the world
with a sharp needle,
one flowery stitch
at a time.

[Look for the whole poem in The Poetry Friday Anthology on p. 79.]

Take 5
1. Before reading the poem aloud, talk about the different words we use for grandmother, such as abuelita, oma, nana, etc.

2. Invite students to set the stage and read the first two lines aloud together while you read the rest aloud slowly. Display the poem so students can read their lines or invite them to echo you.

3. Invite students to share memories or feelings about their own grandmothers.

4. Sometimes poems rhyme and sometimes they don’t. In this case, the poem doesn’t rhyme but still has a rhythm that emerges through the length of the lines. Challenge students to point out lines that “go together” and have a similar rhythm even though they don’t end in a rhyme (like Her neighbors rode horses / and lived in thatched huts).

5. Pair this poem with “Doña Pepita” by Guadalupe Garcia McCall (5th Grade, Week 14). 

And don't forget our free e-book giveaway-- details below. 

Now join the Poetry Friday fun hosted by Mary Lee and Franki at A Year of Reading here


  1. I love that poem, Sylvia. I rarely write family poems, but there are some that I really treasure reading:>)

  2. This poem brought back wonderful memories of learning embroidery at my grandmother's direction. I love it when a poem is a memory switch.

  3. Brought back memories of my grandmother teaching me to knit and crochet--or, rather, TRYING to teach me. (Anybody ever seen those dolls whose knitted hoop skirts concealed a roll of toilet paper and the knitted dogs who fit perfectly over kleenex boxes?)