Books Related to the Teaching of Poetry
All of these texts by Kenneth Koch relate to the teaching of poetry to both children and adults. They discuss the elements of poetry and give examples of simple approaches that teachers may use in motivating students to write poetry. All, also, contain examples to illustrate the points and techniques that Koch is presenting.
Making Your Own Day
. New York: Touchstone, 1998.
Koch, Kenneth, Rose,
Where Did You Get That Red
: Teaching Great Poetry to Children. New York: Vintage Books, Random House, Inc., 1990.
Wishes, Lies, and Dreams: Teaching Children to Write Poetry.
New York: Harper and Row, 1970.
Koch, Kenneth, and Farrell, Kate,
Sleeping on the Wing.
New York: Vintage Books,
Random House, 1981.
Collections of Poetry by Shel Silverstein
These three books contain a variety of children's poetry by Shel Silverstein along with his trademark illustrations. In them, the teacher will find many poems that relate to the objectives of this unit. Although I have listed a few that I feel are particularly relevant, there are many more that the individual might prefer.
A Light in the Attic
. New York: Harper Collins, 1981.
. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.
Where the Sidewalk Ends
. Harper and Row, 1974.
Books by Shel Silverstein
Silverstein has written a number of books for children that are also favorites of many adults. Most contain some of the same poetic elements found in his poem. All leave the reader with thoughts to ponder. Here are five that I have selected to use with my class.
A Giraffe and a Half
. New York: Harper Collins 1964.
Children will enjoy the progressive repetition of this rhyming story. It is a story that some will enjoy memorizing just for the fun of it. It examines hypothetical things that might happen to alter a giraffe until things just seem to have gone too far. Silverstein then unravels events so that the giraffe gets back to being an ordinary giraffe. Though there is some room for discussion, this story is mostly for enjoyment.
Silverstein, Shel, Lafcadio, the Lion Who Shot Back. New York: Harper Collins, 1963.
After becoming a crack shot with a hunter's gun, becoming rich and world famous as a circus member, and finally becoming tired of his life as a near human, Lafcadio returns to the jungle, but his experiences have changed him forever. He cannot belong completely with either world and is left to face the conflicts his experiences have created. Provides many opportunities for discussion.
The Giving Tree.
New York: Harper Collins, 1964.
Probably Silverstein's most popular book, it tells the tale of a tree that is willing to give everything it has to a demanding boy. Only when she is giving is she happy. The story raises many interesting questions especially regarding the relationships between male and female. Great opportunities for discussion.
The Missing Piece
. New York: Harper Collins, 1976.
A circle, with a wedge missing, searches for its missing piece. When, after finding a number of possibilities that don't exactly fit, at last, the circle finds its missing piece. However, it soon discovers that it no longer can enjoy many of the things that made its life so interesting and enjoyable. The circle leaves the piece and rolls away happily singing of its continuing quest for the missing piece. Provides many opportunities for discussion.
The Missing Piece Meets the Big O
. New York: Harper Collins, 1981.
In this story we are presented with basically the same story, but now from the viewpoint of the missing. The results are similar, again, providing many opportunities for discussion.