We’re in the middle of a poetry unit of sorts. Unit is probably suggestive of something more organized and formal than what we’re doing. Maybe “poetry exploration”. Whatever you call it, what we are doing is reading a bunch of different poetry books. Sometimes we talk about them, sometimes we just read. This year we are using a new Language Arts curriculum which includes a poetry book so we also are doing a little bit of discussion of some poetic elements like rhyme and stress and meter. My goal with this study is mostly to just introduce poetry as something enjoyable . I also hope to expose both boys, but especially John, to a variety of poets and types of poetry.
toy dog’s own toy chest:
snowman, hedgehog, fake steak, jet-
squeak is all they speak (Shi Tzu)
the one hieroglyph
that appears on all windows:
your nose writing When? (Miniature Schnauzer)
This week we talked a little bit about haiku and we read this book of dog themed haiku by Michael J. Rosen. Haiku isn’t my favorite poetic form, although I appreciate the skill needed to write one. I thought this book made what can be a difficult form for kids to grasp more accessible. The poems are all about something they know and keeping to one theme gives the book as a whole some continuity. I’m not really sure either boy enjoyed the poems very much and in fact David said in the middle of the book “I don’t get any of these poems.” I do think that it was a good introduction to haiku for John and that he came away with a better understanding of the form. The illustrations are by the marvelous Mary Azarian (of Snowflake Bentley fame). The beautifully detailed woodcuts bring each different dog breed to life and I think all the kids enjoyed the illustrations even if they didn’t always get the accompanying poem.
After reading, I had John pick something to write a haiku of his own about something in nature.
spiky and so high
green in snow, ice and the cold
skinny pine needles
Not too bad. I never know what to expect with more creative kinds of assignments. John is a “just the facts” kind of guy . He can be creative in a lot of ways but poetry and art aren’t typically his thing. Still, he enjoyed this assignment more than I expected and also worked very hard on writing his poem out in cursive and then illustrating it.
Poetry Friday is hosted this week at Gathering Books.