Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Poem a Day #10

Today I have a parody for Anne at Book Buds. Book Buds was one of the first kidlit blogs that I became addicted to early last fall. I won Books Bud’s “First Words” contest with a humorous poem and received a signed copy of Catherine Thimmesh’s wonderful book TEAM MOON. How great is that? Anne is one of the bloggers responsible for creating the Cybils. I wonder if she’s got any other bright ideas planned for the kidlitosphere this year???


THIS LITTLE PIGGY
by Elaine Magliaro

This little piggy went to Saturn.
This little piggy went to Mars.
This little piggy zoomed his rocket ship
Around a zillion stars.
But THIS little piggy read comic books
At home
And smoked cigars.


I have always enjoyed parodies. One of my best friends and I used to make up silly lyrics to popular rock-and-roll tunes when we were in high school…during the Jurassic Period.


CLASSROOM CONNECTIONS FOR TEACHERS: Writing Parodies

Writing & Literature Connection
What could be more fun than having students write parodies of nursery rhymes in class? If you’ve got Judy Sierra’s book MONSTER GOOSE on hand, you’re all set with an entire collection of hilarious parodies to serve as models for your students’ writing.

MONSTER GOOSE
Written by Judy Sierra
Illustrated by Jack E. Davis
Gulliver Books/Harcourt
2001


Here are two parodies from MONSTER GOOSE:


JACK SPRAT

Jack Sprat
Ate some fat
And drank some gasoline.
He lit his pipe
And in one swipe
Invented lean cuisine.



CANNIBAL HORNER

Cannibal Horner
Sat in a corner
Eating a people potpie.
He bit his own thumb
And cried, “Oh, yum, yum,
A tasty young morsel am I!”


First, you know the kids are going to laugh! They are sure to enjoy listening to their teacher read the parodies in MONSTER GOOSE. Second, you can bet they’ll be inspired and eager to write their own humorous versions of the traditional verses.

Writing & Science Connection
Another great book to use to teach students about parodies is Jon Scieszka’s SCIENCE VERSE. This is a collection of truly clever parodies of songs, nursery rhymes, and famous poems—including Joyce Kilmer’s Trees, Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky, Ernest Thayer’s Casey at the Bat, and Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. Scieszka's poems will serve as good models to show students how to incorporate their knowledge of science when writing their parodies.

SCIENCE VERSE
Written by Jon Scieszka
Illustrated by Lane Smith
Viking
2004



Here are a few excerpts from Scieszka’s excellent book:

From LOVELY

I think that I ain’t never seen
A poem ugly as a spleen.

A poem that could make you shiver,
Like 3.5…pounds of liver.

A poem to make you loose your lunch,
Tie your intestines in a bunch.



From SCIENTIFIC METHOD AT THE BAT

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for my experiment that day;
The only way to graduate was to come up with an A.
So when my lab exploded and turned to blackish gunk,
My chance of passing anything went Titanic—you know, sunk.



‘TWAS THE NIGHT

‘Twas the night before Any Thing, and all through deep space,
Nothing existed—time, matter, or place.
No stockings, no chimneys. It was hotter than hot.
Everything was compressed in one very dense dot.

When out of the nothing there appeared with a clatter
A fat guy with reindeer and something the matter.
His nose was all runny. He gave a sick hack.
“Oh, dasher! Oh, Dancer! I can’t hold it back!”



Suggestion: In addition to MONSTER GOOSE and/or SCIENCE VERSE, a teacher would need to have a collection of nursery rhymes and copies of poems to be parodied on hand. Students should be immersed in parodies and the nursery rhymes and/or poems to be parodied for two or three days before the creative writing exercise is assigned. It is always best to model the writing process for students. One great way to do this is to work with the class in writing a collaborative class parody.

Writing a parody is one thing; writing a witty, clever, rhyming parody in verse is another. Students will need several writing/rewriting sessions and lots of teacher assistance during the parody-writing process.


Here are a few more of my own parodies that were posted previously at Blue Rose Girls:


A LOQUACIOUS ASTRONAUT WAXES POETIC AFTER STEPPING FOOT ON MARS
by Elaine Magliaro
(I wrote this poem for Book Buds "First Words" contest. My other poem won.)

Whose planet’s this? I know I know.
His home’s on Mount Olympus so
He will not see me stopping here
To go exploring to and fro.

The polar ice cap’s very near.
I spy three skaters. Drat! I fear
Some other life forms came before.
I’m NOT the first Mars pioneer.

I see a Super Star Trek Store…
And garish neon signs galore!
There’s garbage everywhere I tread.
Don’t want to be here anymore.

This trip’s a bust to “Planet Red.”
Yo, Earth, give me the go-ahead
To visit Jupiter instead,
To visit Jupiter instead.



MARY HAD A LITTLE MOON
by Elaine Magliaro

Mary had a little moon.
It shone just like a star.
And everywhere that Mary went
She brought it in a jar.

She sneaked it into class one day,
Which was against the rule—
But teacher smiled because it was
The brightest thing in school.



HICKORY DICKORY DOCKET
by Elaine Magliaro

Hickory dickory docket,
I sped into space in a rocket.
I traveled past Mars
And seventeen stars
With a picture of Earth in my locket.


2 comments:

Anne said...

Elaine, you're very funny. I used to smoke cigars but I started dating a guy who thought it smelled gross and was very unladylike. I married him, so no more cigars.

Thanks for the laugh!

Elaine Magliaro said...

Anne,

C'mon! Did you really smoke cigars?
Are you more ladylike now? Do you suppose your husband was attracted--subconsciously, of course--to the scent of cigar smoke in your silky tresses?