Francis J. Degnan
The students will memorize a poem and read it with emphasis!
The student will recognize and imitate in their reading the feelings expressed in the selected poems.
The students will recite poetry together chorally with feeling. The students will illustrate the Creature from the poem “The Creature in the classroom”, using material from the poem for detail.
The students will review the poetry and find rhyme patterns, any alliteration as well as any homophones and homonyms.
Each poem should be copied on a separate sheet of paper. There should also be paper set aside for the illustrating of the final poem in this presentation. The poems for this lesson are:
“Anteater” by Shel Silverstein (Silverstein,
“I Saw a Little Girl I Hate” by Arnold Spilka (Prelutsky,
“Mean Song” by Eve Merriam (Hopkins,
“Say, did you say, or did you not say say” (Potter,
“The Creature in the Classroom” by Jack Prelutsky (Prelutsky,
This is a whole class unit. The poems are to be given out one at a time. In a twenty-five student class there should be established groups of four or five students. Questions should be asked about the poems.
Questions for “Anteater”;
What is an anteater?
How does it eat ants?
If you did have one could it eat a person?
What do we sometimes do when we say ant and aunt?
If we pronounce them the same way what do we call them?
Questions for “I Saw a Little Girl I Hate”;
What happens in this poem?
Which one of the things the little girl does is the worst?
Is what happened fair?
Questions for “Mean Song”;
Why does the author use the words podes, grodes, snickles and Ribble?
What kinds of feelings are expressed in this poem?
Did you ever tell anyone to “Keep out of sight”?
What does that warning mean?
What will happen if you see that other person?
Who can say this poem showing the feeling the reader must have?
Questions for “Say, did you say, or did you not say”;
Would you call this a tongue twister?
What exactly is going on in this poem?
Have you ever heard anything like this before?
What could the relationship be between the two people?
Express the Question being asked in the poem in a less complicated fashion.
Does this selection have a rhyme scheme?
Questions for “The Creature in the Classroom”;
What words rhyme in the first stanza of the poem?
What is the rhyme scheme for the complete poem?
What parts of the poem would you emphasize?
While the class reads the story part of the poem, would someone read what is inside the quotation marks?
What is an arabesque?
Is this a male or female creature?
Can you illustrate one of the stanzas of this poem?
What kinds of things are you going to put into your picture?
How is the teacher’s voice apt to change as the end comes closer?
As we read this poem together add the emphasis you think necessary.
If time allows the class may now illustrate the poem. This activity may also be done as an art or cartoon lesson. Each stanza would be illustrated if the cartoon format was assigned. They might pick a line or two to write above their drawings. They may use bubbles and have the creature and teacher talking! It is always interesting to note the children who put in the most detail, draw the best creature and have the best dialogue. This exercise makes a great bulletin board theme.