Thursday, May 2, 2013

Week 35

It is Week 35 in our 36 weeks of sharing poetry weekly. We're nearing the end of the school year and looking forward to Summer Vacation, our theme for the week. Our sample poem comes from third grade is by Debbie Levy and offers a clever poem with a surprise ending. Here is an excerpt.

My Best Friend is Leaving
by Debbie Levy

My best friend is leaving.
I’m crushed, I’m dismayed.
I’m crabby, I’m crusty,
and yes—I’m afraid.

My best friend is leaving.
My summer looks bleak. . . .
Good thing her vacation
is only a week.

[Look for the whole poem on p. 181 of The Poetry Friday Anthology.]

Take 5 Activities

1. Feeling brave? You can sing this poem to the tune of “On Top of Old Smoky.” (You may also need to explain the word dismay to students.)

2. This time, read the poem aloud while displaying the words of the poem if possible and invite students to chime in on the last two lines of the poem—the surprise twist at the end (Good thing her vacation / is only a week).

3. For discussion: How can you keep in touch with friends when you’re apart?

4. This poem is another good example of humorous poetry. Talk with students about how the poet creates humor in this poem through the surprise twist at the end, confounding the expectation of the title and the long list of worries.

5. Share another funny poem about friendship with a surprise twist at the end with “Greetings” by Lesléa Newman (5th Grade, Week 17).

Join the Poetry Friday round up hosted by Liz at Growing Wild. See you there!


  1. Such a fun poem... and gets us all in the mood for summer's comings and goings!

  2. Debby Levy's poem is so true to the emotions of young ones and how they react to separation - even a week! Thanks for highlighting this poem today.

  3. Debbie Levy is a master of what Sylvia calls "a surprise twist at the end." If you have (or can borrow) The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School (PFAMS), take a look at her poem "Breaking the Spell," where the speaker spends the whole poem telling us that s/he cannot spell and then suddenly realizes that s/he spelled "catastrophe" correctly--so "it seems I've got my brain unlocked."