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I came up with one of those last minute lessons that the kids happened to
love, and since it involves poetry I thought you might want to know in time
for poetry month. I was reading all classes the story "Down the Road" and I
brought a wicker basket with a dozen plastic speckled eggs. In each egg is
a brief poem that somehow deals with Spring or is loosely related to the
story (apple trees, chickens, treehouses, etc.) or just the freshness of
childhood. After reading the story, I bring out the basket and pick
students to choose an egg. Then we "crack" it open and read the poem. I
left one egg empty and told students that if someone picked the empty egg,
I would have to sing a song (I begged them NOT to pick that one.) I've had
a wonderful response to this, and it fit well seasonally without being an
"Easter" story. In fact, it worked so well that now I'm gearing it up to
middle school by placing a more mature selection of poems in envelopes
addressed to "You" from whoever the poet is and emphasizing the message
that poets are trying to get across in their work. We'll see how the older
version goes tomorrow. For the "little people" I took most of my poems from
"Sing a Song of Popcorn," and for the middle-schoolers I gathered mostly
from the "Kingfisher Book of Children's Poetry" and "Knock at a Star."


Gayle Hodur                             Snail Mail:
District Librarian                      Main Street Middle School
Soledad Unified School District         441 Main Street
(408) 678-3923                          Soledad, CA  93960

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