Category Archives: Poetry

A Meal of the Stars: Poems Up and Down

“A Meal of the Stars: Poems Up and Down”

In this poetry picture book, poetry is turned on its head. Some poems are meant to be read from the bottom up while others are meant to be read from the top to the bottom. Readers need to figure out whether the poem should be read up or down.

Read up or down?

Read down or up?

Illustrations marry beautifully with the up and down poems to reveal the extraordinary in the ordinary. 

This book promotes creative components of perspective and imagination.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK:  I like this book because the poem structure adds depth to the meaning of each poem. I adore the illustrations, which also bring another layer to reading these poems.

TITLE: A Meal of the Stars: Poems Up and Down

AUTHOR: Dana Jensen

ILLUSTRATOR: Tricia Tusa

PUBLISHER: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2012

AGE GROUP: 4-6

TOPIC(S): poetry

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: perspective, imagination

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Think of things that fall or rise up. Pick one of these things and write a “skinny” poem where the reader has to figure out whether to read it up or read it down.

2) Let’s turn things around. Think of things that are long in length. For example, a semi-truck is long.  Write a short poem about your long item by writing it lengthwise – one long line.

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author Dana Jensen, visit:

A webpage for Dana Jensen could not be located, but here is a little bit about him: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-meal-of-the-stars-dana-jensen/1110914062

To learn more about illustrator Tricia Tusa, visit:

http://www.triciatusa.com/about

Hoop Kings

“Hoop Kings”

In this book, Hoop Kings, poet Charles R. Smith Jr. captures the essence of each basketball player with metaphoric analogies that shoot readers straight into the game.  

This story promotes creative components of imagination, flexible thinking, and passion.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I like this book because these fast-paced poems inject readers into the game through word choice, poem line set up, and passion for the game while introducing the reader to each player’s style of play, skill set, and court personality.

TITLE:Hoop Kings

POEMS by: Charles R. Smith Jr.

PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press, 2004

AGE GROUP: 8-12

TOPIC(S): poetry, basketball, word choice and analogies

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, flexible thinking, passion

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Things that interest you so much that you want to learn more and more about them through reading, doing, and experimenting are called passions. What are some of your interests/passions? Create an independent study on one of your passions to learn more about it with the goal of producing an end product. Use your end product to teach others about your passion.

2) Who is one of your favorite sports players? It can be a famous athlete or someone you know. Jot down a list of adjectives that describe how this person plays her/his sport. Read your list and visualize that player, what does s/he remind you of? Next incorporate that into a metaphor to write a poem about your player.

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about poet Charles R. Smith Jr., visit:

http://charlesrsmithjr.com

Listen to Charles R. Smith Jr., read some of his poems from Hoop Kingsin this Follow the Poems Series:

For additional classroom exercises, visit:

http://charlesrsmithjr.com/?page_id=12178

Poetree

Poetree”

Each season is introduced with a rhyming couplet. 

Followed by acrostic poems that inspire wonder about the seasons.

Illustrations bring readers into this seasonal world. 

This story promotes creative components of imagination, originality, nature, and flexible thinking.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: I like this book because the poems are written in kid-friendly language that shows originality about a commonly written topic. 

TITLE:Poetree

POEMS by: Caroline Pignat

ILLUSTRATOR: Francois Thisdale

PUBLISHER: Red Deer Press, 2018

AGE GROUP: 5-7

TOPIC(S): changing seasons, poetry

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, flexible thinking, originality, nature

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) What is your favorite season? Using your senses, make a table-list of things that show that season. 

SEASON: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

TasteSmellSightTouchHear
     
     
     
     
     

From your table-list, pick words to create an image of your season by drawing a picture and “hiding” your words in your picture.

2) Seasons change and so do you. Think about what new things you learned or did during the last year. What new thing(s) did you learn or do in Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall? 

3) An acrostic poem is where the first, last or other letters in a line spell out a word. Pick a seasonal word to write an acrostic poem.

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about poet Caroline Pignat, visit:

https://www.carolinepignat.com/caroline.html

To learn more about illustrator Francois Thisdale, visit:

https://www.thisdale.com/bio_e.htm