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.
Head over to Live your Poem...with Irene Latham
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.