The World Is Not A Pleasant Place To Be
, by Nikki Giovanni is a great poem to use with our next lesson. After the children have had a chance to express themselves using voice, they will now have the opportunity to express themselves with art. Depending on the poem, each child will take a part of the poem or the entire poem. They will read their poem and think about the message and what it means to them. Some students may have trouble at first understanding what this means so you can ask them some questions to help spark their ideas. For example, if we use the first three lines of Nikki Giovanni's poem, we could ask the following questions. Who would you want to be held by if you were scared? How would this person make the world a pleasant place? How would this world be unpleasant if they were not there for you? How do you feel when this person is with you?
The students will use paints, crayons, markers or colored pencils to create a picture. As the students work they will tap into their imagination and become inspired to add more details. Once their picture is completed, they will use their five senses to describe the story from within the picture. The students will use the graphic organizer below to help them develop their ideas with each sense. If the students write one word answer, encourage them to tell you more. Have them read the poem again and think about what they were thinking or feeling as they were reading it.
Once the graphic organizer has been completed, let the students turn each sense into a detailed sentence that paints a picture. Then have them compile their sentences into a poem. Encourage the students to use words that will help them paint a picture for their readers. You may want to help students by supplying a list of descriptive words so that they are not stuck using the same words over and over again.
There was Grandma on the porch
Sitting under the bedroom window
Her wool black skirt and ribbed sweater was soft upon her skin
Small brown curls mopped her head
The Aqua Net kept them in place.
I spotted Grandma on the concrete porch sitting under the bedroom window. She was wearing her black wool skirt and her black, ribbed sweater. Her soft, brown hair had just been curled. It stood perfectly still from the Aqua Net hairspray that she always used.