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.


  1. Thank you, Sylvia, for sharing this -- how appropriate with all the wacky weather we've experienced lately. And you know what a fan I am of these Take Five activities. Inspired AND inspiring. Thank you!

  2. Middle grade novelist Irene Latham is one of the "best kept secrets" in the children's poetry world--PSSST! Pass it on! Tell your editor-friends! Name- drop Irene's name and people will say, "My writer-friend told me about Irene and I just HAD to read her novels and visit her blog and find out more about her." Would love to see a whole collection of children's poems by this talented writer!!