Thursday, April 25, 2013

Week 34

We are rolling on to Week 34 in our year of sharing a poem every Friday. This week's theme is "On the Move" and our sample poem comes from fourth grade.  Poet Joan Bransfield Graham challenges young people to think about time zones across the globe in a very creative way. (She has also given permission to share the entire poem.)

Crossing the International Dateline
by Joan Bransfield Graham

On Tuesday at 4 PM,
     our trip ended—
we departed.
We got back home
     Tuesday 7 AM,
to arrive
before we started!

Note: This happened when we went to New Zealand (from California).

[This poem appears on p. 220 of The Poetry Friday Anthology.]

Take 5 Activities
1. Highlight the time on a nearby clock before reading this poem aloud.

2. Share the poem again, but this time invite students to say the 1st and 5th lines (On Tuesday at 4 PM; Tuesday 7 AM) while you read the rest aloud.

3. Challenge students to “do the math” calculating how long the trip in the poem actually took.

4. Talk with students about the arrangement of words and line breaks in this poem and where the crucial rhyming words occur (departed/started). Then read the poem aloud again emphasizing the rhyming words in particular.

5. Follow up with another poem about travel, “Directions” by Janet Wong (5th Grade, Week 34).

PFA poet Laura Purdie Salas is hosting this week's Poetry Friday party at her blog, Writing the World for Kids. See you there!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Week 33

Welcome to Week 33 where we are turning our attention to the poetic device of personification, our theme for the week. Our sample poem comes from fourth grade and is a wonderful weather poem by Irene Latham. Here is just the first stanza of the poem to whet your appetite.

Summer Storm
by Irene Latham

Cloud warns, get ready.
Lightning spits, all clear.
Thunder growls, Hello, Dog.
Dog yips, get out of here!

[Look for the whole poem in The Poetry Friday Anthology, p. 219.]

Take 5 Activities
1. As you read this poem aloud, add your own sound effects to fit the poem’s meaning at the end of the poem’s lines (for lightning, thunder, dog, rain, door, boy).

2. This time, display the text of the poem and invite students to read the second half of every line, pausing at the comma for them to complete each line.

3. Review emergency preparations for imminent storms.

4. Sometimes poets use their imaginations to guess what it might be like if something that is not alive had a real personality—which is called personification. Guide the students in determining which words or lines in this poem suggest that clouds, lightning, thunder, rain, and door have human feelings.

5. Follow up this poem by revisiting “Bird Alert: Storm Warning!” by Constance Levy (from Week 8) or selections from Sharing the Seasons, edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins.

As it happens, today's featured poet Irene Latham is also the host of this week's Poetry Friday gathering. So, see you over at her blog, Live Your Poem.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Week 32

We are moving on to Week 32 and looking closely at the poetic devices of metaphor and simile, our focus for this week. Our sample poem is from fifth grade and is by poet Deborah Chandra. It paints a picture of night-time that children are sure to respond to.

Night Comes
by Deborah Chandra



circles round,
closer . . .
        closer . . .
settling down—
like a big black
with fur of silk,
and deep dark purr,
the milk.

[Look for this lovely poem in its entirety on p. 258 of The Poetry Friday Anthology.]

Take 5 Activities
1. Before sharing this poem, take a moment to help students picture the day turning to night, the dark sky, the moon shining. Then continue by reading this poem aloud.

2. Share the poem again, inviting students to say the repeated lines Night / comes / slow (lines 1, 2, 3 and lines 10, 11, 12) slowly as you read the rest of the poem aloud—slowly.

3. For discussion: What are the best and worst things about the night?

4. What comparisons does the poet make in this poem? Help students identify the similes and metaphors in the poem (like a big black / cat; as the world / fills up / with cool / milk, for example).

5. Follow up with “Poem Like the Sea” by Patricia Hubbell (3rd Grade, Week 29) or selections from Sky Magic, edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins.

Now head on over to Random Noodling where Diane is hosting this week's Poetry Friday gathering.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Week 31

It's Week 31 and time to focus on the FORM of poetry. Our poem for the theme "Different Forms," comes from third grade and features the always-popular haiku form. The poet? Author of the prize-winning poem picture book, Won Ton, Lee Wardlaw. She offers THREE separate haiku poems that reveal a bit about the feline personality. Here is ONE of her three "Catku" haiku poems to whet your appetite.

by Lee Wardlaw

Stranger coos:  “Itty
pwetty kitty!” 
  A fur ball
serves as my reply.

[For all three "Catku" haiku, look on p. 177 of The Poetry Friday Anthology.]

Take 5 Activities
1. Point out the clever play on words in the title: Catku = haiku poems about cats. Then read the poems aloud in a kitty cat voice to convey the cat’s point of view.

2. Share the poems again, inviting students to say the quote in italics in the third stanza, “Itty pwetty kitty!” with exaggerated sweetness.

3. For discussion: If these are the elements of the “cat instruction book,” what might a “dog instruction book” include?

4. This is an example of a poem form that usually does not rhyme, a haiku poem. Originally a Japanese form of poetry, a haiku focuses on nature in only three lines (generally 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables). Guide students in understanding the haiku form with these examples.

5. Follow up with another descriptive cat poem, “All Worn Out” by Kristy Dempsey, and with Lee Wardlaw’s haiku picture book, Won Ton.

Don't forget to join the Poetry Friday round up hosted by PFA poet Robyn Hood Black over at Read, Write, Howl. See you there!