Friday, August 27, 2010

Going Back to School...with Poetry 2010

Messing Around on the Monkey Bars and Other School Poems for Two Voices
Written by Betsy Franco
Illustrated by Jessie Hartland
Candlewick, 2009

This collection of nineteen poems touches on many different aspects of a typical school day—including a “wild” bus ride, writing animal reports, library class, recess activities, looking through “weird” stuff in the lost and found, pencil tapping, lunch money, homework, and a new kid at school. The lively rhyming poems, written for two voices, would be perfect to use in a choral reading activity in an elementary classroom. Franco even provides suggestions for “adventurous ways to read the poems” in the back matter of the book.

Here are excerpts from a few poems to give you a taste of this school-themed collection.

From New Kid at School

Where did you come from?

Far away.

Miss your friends?

Every day.

Where do you live?

Maple Street.

What’s your name?

Call me Pete.

From Animal Reports

I might do mine on the great blue whale.
I’m thinking about the valley quail.

Or maybe I’ll try the spitting spider.
There’s always the yellow-bellied glider.

I might look up the lazy sloth.
My mom said, Do the luna moth.”

From Messing Around on the Monkey Bars

Time for recess!
Here we are,

messing around
on the monkey bars!

Hand over hand,
fast or slow,

calling to
our friends below.

Franco uses straightforward language to capture the essence of an elementary school day from the morning bus ride to the final bell in her lighthearted verse. Hartland’s humorous childlike gouache illustrations add to the fun of this collection that is sure to appeal to young children.

Click here to view an inside spread.

Click here to download a teacher’s guide.


School Poems and Poetry Book Reviews from Wild Rose Reader

Falling Down the Page: A Book of List Poems compiled by Georgia Heard (April 2010)
Stampede!: Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School by Laura Purdie Salas (September 2009)
Click here to check out Laura Salas’s Stampede! website.
Click here to look inside Countdown to Summer.

Swimming Upstream: Middle School Poems by Kristine O’Connell George (August 2007)

Click here to look inside Swimming Upstream.

Click here for the Middle School Companion Guide for Swimming Upstream.


Poetry Book Review from Blue Rose Girls

POETRY FRIDAY: This Is Just to Say. This post includes a review of Joyce Sidman’s book This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness (March 2007)

Click here for a reader’s guide for This Is Just to Say.


At Blue Rose Girls, I have a lovely poem titled FIREFLIES by Marilyn Kallet--as well as lots of pictures of my summer vacation in Maine.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Book Aunt.

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