Monday, January 04, 2010

Hooray for Scieszka Day!

When the lovely ladies at A Year of Reading cooked up the idea of celebrating Jon Scieszka, I knew I had to participate. As I sat down to write this tribute I decided to go back and see how many posts I've written in which Scieszka is mentioned. That number would be 11. Here are a few of the highlights.
  • My very first Poetry Friday entry (January 26, 2007) featured a poem from Science Verse.
  • In a post on Reading Aloud (February 4, 2007) I described how I begin the first day of my math class each semester by reading Math Curse.
  • In a post on The Poetry of Science (February 9, 2007) I highlighted Science Verse.
While I have written about Scieszka in other contexts, for me it all comes back to these two books. In many ways they form a real foundation for the introductory work I do with preservice teachers. I constantly need to remind my students that we live in a math world. Enter Math Curse. It begins:
On Monday in math class, Mrs. Fibonacci says,
"You know, you can think of almost everything as a math problem."
On Tuesday I start having problems.
Through the eyes of a child we see that getting dressed, eating breakfast, catching the school bus, eating in the cafeteria, English, P.E., geography and just about everything else is related to math. How are these "problems" solved? With math, of course!

And what of Science Verse? First, it makes reading about science FUN! Second, it uses poetry to do it. Many of the pieces in this book parody poems by Joyce Kilmer, Lewis Carroll, Ann Taylor, Robert Frost and others, as well as nursery rhymes and childhood songs. Could there be a better way to learn about the food chain, water cycle, and more?!

My teaching is much richer thanks to these works. So, a hat tip to you today Mr. Scieszka. Thanks for all you've done to create such wonderful books for kids and to tirelessly promote the importance of reading.


  1. We haven't read either Math Curse or Science Verse yet, but I'm sure those two will be on our TBR list in a few years. I clicked on over to your first poetry Friday...never knew your life pretty much started out with a poem. How very interesting and unusual!

  2. Thanks for the nice tribute Tricia. I always knew you were a closet fan.

    Math Curse and Science verse are two of my all-time favorites too.

  3. I have to agree with you, Tricia. My son had most of Science Verse memorized at age 4. He's now 8 and both books are still favorites in our house.

  4. If you hadn't said, I would have guessed that those two are your favorites!