Thursday, February 7, 2013

Week 23

Our year of poetry is rolling along and we are now in Week 23 with the theme of Exploring. Our sample poem excerpt comes from Fourth Grade. It is by British poet Graham Denton and here's just a taste.

Give Me Wings
by Graham Denton

Give me wings
so I may know
the world above
the earth below,
those endless oceans
of the sky
where I can float
and I can fly.


Give me wings
so I may be
a bird at last –
unbound and free,
a bird whose heart
forever sings,
unburdened by
this gift of wings.

[For the whole poem, go to p. 209 in The Poetry Friday Anthology.]

Take 5 Activities
1. Before sharing the poem aloud, pause to encourage students to close their eyes and imagine being able to fly; imagine wings; imagine sky. Then continue by reading this poem aloud.

2. Next, invite students to join together on the first line of each stanza, Give me wings (also the title of the poem).

3. For discussion: Where would you go if you had wings to fly?

4. In this lyrical poem, the poet uses alliteration to repeat the same sound(s) in the beginning of several words for greater emphasis. Help students in locating examples of this (for example, swoop/sweep; whirl/wheel; beneath/breast).

5. Link this poem with “Explorer” by Joan Bransfield Graham (3rd Grade, Week 23) or selections from Give Me Wings, edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins.

Now head on over to A Teaching Life where Tara is hosting the Poetry Friday gathering. See you there!


  1. Q: Why do birds sing?
    A: Because they can fly.

    This is a lovely poem that I enjoy each time I read it. thank you for sharing it with us.

  2. "Give me wings" indeed! I love this repeated line. A great poem as we head into the weekend. =)

  3. I love the strong rhythm of the poem--this would make it a particularly strong candidate for memorization by kids. Personally I hate memorizing poems because I'm terrible at it, but I've noticed that kids who are able to do this LOVE the feeling of accomplishment. So I think it's a great thing to offer for "extra credit"; at a school in Wayne, PA last month, kids who memorized poems were invited to join me for lunch during the "Author Visit Day."