SATURDAY MORNINGS FOR KIDS: POETRY

Thanks Carla of Carla Loves Books for this lovely illustration. Be sure to check out her blog for HER Saturday morning post.

In honor of National Poetry Month, today’s Saturday Mornings for Kids will feature renowned children’s poet, Shel Silverstein.

My introduction to Silverstein came as a sixth grade teacher, who after seeing a review of Light in the Attic in the Houston Chronicle, asked for a copy for her birthday so she might share it with her students.

My students loved the cartoonish illustrations and the sound-rhythms of the poems I read aloud.

Not long after, Silverstein published Where the Sidewalk Ends, and I treated myself to a copy. This was followed by a purchase of Falling Up.

Becoming enamored more and more by Silverstein’s poetry, I took the poetry collections to school, introduced them, and read several poems aloud, sharing the illustrations like a teacher of much younger students might, holding up the book and panning around so all could see them. Afterwards, I would place the books on a side counter, encouraging students who had finished their work to go over to the counter and look at/read them. We even started a “game” where students would take a fancy bookmark left in each book and move it to one of their favorite poems. I think the students were as interested in each other’s tastes in poetry as they were in the poems themselves. I began this introduction to poetry the second or third year I taught sixth graders, and continued it the remaining four years I taught sixth grade in an elementary setting.

Silverstein has something for everyone. The Giving Tree, one of his most emotional narrative poems, appeals to all ages, and touches the hearts of the hardest-hardened adults.

The perfect gift for almost any occasion.

Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

5 thoughts on “SATURDAY MORNINGS FOR KIDS: POETRY”

  1. Sorry, but I hate, Hate, HATE the Giving Tree. I threw the book out and refused to read it to my kids. The boy was totally selfish, and he treated the tree terribly. I didn’t want my kids to get the idea that this is an example of a healthy relationship.

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