When a favorite aunt is reading to her favorite nephew (and she has her arm around him) she can read Shakespeare's sonnets or Milton's epic verse or T.S. eliot's Wasteland and still hold - if not the child's attention, as the leas the child himself.
In the classroom, as every teacher knows, it's different. Each of the 106 poems in this this book was chosen with this difference in mind. They were chosen expressly for a teacher to read aloud to—and with—her class. Every selection invites the listeners' participation—vocal, physical, or emotional.
The selections cover an extensive range of primary-grade children's interests and experiences. There is plenty of nonsense and humor, and there are some sad poems too.
For many of the poems, we have offered a few suggestions for reading, of for audience participation, or for possible discussion. But it is well to remember that a poem doesn't have to lead to discussion , or art activities, or anything at all. A poem can simply be enjoyed for its own sake. We hope this little book will help you transmit to your boys and girls the joy of poetry.This text is actually excerpted from the introduction to the book. There are a few additional sentences, some of them about how to actually read a poem. But I thought this one was most interesting.
The only rule we would like to insist upon is: If you don't like a poem, don't read it. (Enthusiasm and boredom are equally contagious.)When I read a poem and at first glance (or listen) don't like it, I actually re-read it, multiple times. I want to know what doesn't work for me. Why don't I like it? It becomes a puzzle I need to figure out. Is it the rhyme? Or meter? Is it the subject?
This book is divided into the sections (1) Fun With Rhymes; (2) Mostly Weather; (3) Spooky Poems; (4) Story Time; (5) Mostly Animals; (6) Mostly People; (7) Seeing, Feeling, Thinking; (8) In a Few Words; (9) Mostly Nonsense; and (10) Numbers and Letters. I will admit I found it odd the Frost's poem Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening was in the Spooky poems sections!
I suppose I decided I needed this one because it contained Sanburg's Arithmetic, as well as poems by Mary Ann Hoberman, Karla Kuskin, John Ciardi, Eve Merriam, Myra Cohn Livingston, and others.
Today I'm sharing two poems in this book by Karla Kuskin, from the sections Spooky Poems and Mostly Nonsense.
by Karla Kuskin
There was a witch who knitted things:
Elephants and playground swings.
She knitted rain,
She knitted night,
But nothing really came out right.
The elephants had just one tusk
And night looked more
Like dawn or dusk.
If I Were A . . .
by Karla Kuskin
If I were a sandwich,
I'd sit on a plate
And think of my middle
Until someone ate
End of the sandwich.
Not sure these are worth sitting still for, but I enjoyed them.
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Jama Rattigan at Jama's Alphabet Soup. Happy poetry Friday friends!