Friday, March 11, 2016

SOLC 2016 11/31 and Poetry Friday: A Captive Audience

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Betsy, Dana, Beth, and Anna
for hosting this meeting place each day in March
and for nurturing our writing lives.

 for this week's roundup of poetry love.
Thanks for hosting, Irene!

When I head out for a day of substituting, one of my favorite things to tuck in my bag is a book.  Nope, you won't find me seated at the teacher desk, nose in my book, while the students work on whatever torture their teacher left behind.  No, you'll find me hyper-focused with the students on the activities for the day, pushing through the assigned lesson plan, and hoping for a few minutes at the end of the period to share book love.  Sometimes, I book talk a favorite novel I've just discovered, but more often than not, the perfect thing to share is poetry.

I shared One Today with eighth graders,  poems from Linda Rief's book, 100 Quickwrites, with sixth graders, and picture books when I was given the gift of an entire period by my friend Melissa on WRAD (World Read Aloud Day).  Thinking about how much I love reading aloud and having a captive audience, I recalled "Bubblegum in Braces" from Sketches from a Spy Tree by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer.  
And no, my husband doesn't listen to me read aloud.  But sometimes, my daughter and I share a picture book together just like we did when she was younger, taking turns reading each page.  

When I pulled Sketches from a Spy Tree from my shelf to photograph "Bubblegum in Braces," I remembered how much I love this book.  You could teach sensory detail and figurative language using this book.  Metaphors, similes, personification, alliteration: all are abundant in its pages.  You could also use the book to teach about theme:  change, family, and neighborhood.  It's a great book to introduce how poems can tell a story.  Helping students understand the linked poems in this book could lead to a discussion of novels-in-verse.  You could use it for an introduction to reading response.  And there are so many individual poems that I love:  "Early Spring," "And She Does," "Cat Lady," "Sheets," "The Book Lady," "Tasting," "It Must be September," "Perspectives," "Potential" and "Self-Portrait."  If you've never read this book, it's time to request it from your library or visit your favorite indie bookstore so you can explore one of my favorite books, Sketches from a Spy Tree.  


  1. It is so great when we get time to spend quality time with kids and books. I am glad to have poetry book suggestions especially.

  2. I don't know that book, Sketches from a Spy Tree, Ramona. It sounds great. Thanks for sharing about all you do. I know some, but not all, & think you must be a sought after substitute, doing "extra' things.

  3. Ramona, I think I will try to get the book you mentioned at the library. Thank you. I am glad that you found your calling after retirement as a substitute teacher. It is a great "unretirement" pursuit. I also think it is grand that you and your daughter read aloud together. Enjoy the weekend.

  4. I'm a bit obsessed with poetry and novels in verse so thanks for sharing, Romona. I just purchased my copy and can't wait for it to arrive!

  5. Reading aloud is one of the best parts of the day! This book is new to me, and looks terrific. Thanks for sharing it with us today, Ramona!

  6. Gosh, I wish you could sub for me - my class would love you! What a special treat for students to have you sharing books and poetry with them.

  7. I'm like Holly -- I wish I could find a sub like you!!