Subject Area: Poetry, Language Arts
Reading Level: 3.0
A delightful, offbeat, and frequently humorous collection of poems from a beloved author. Stevenson's dry wit and just-right illustrations make the ordinary seem extraordinary.
Students will gain an appreciation of the language of poetry.
Standard: Students will gain an understanding of the ways in which language is used in literary texts (e.g. personification, alliteration, onomatopoeia, simile, metaphor, imagery, hyperbole, beat, rhythm.)
What's Just Around the Corner?
Encourage your students' imagination with a playful exercise.
- Show your students the cover of Just Around the Corner.
- Ask them to imagine that they are walking down the street pictured on the cover.
- Have each student write a brief poem about the dog disappearing around the corner. Where might he be going? What might he see? What could he be named? Urge your class to be as imaginative and freethinking as possible.
- Read the poems aloud. How are they similar? How are they different?
Finish the Rhyme!
Have fun with rhyme!
- Distribute a piece of paper to each student.
- Create a random sentence or solicit sentences from your students. Record the agreed-upon sentence on your chalkboard. This will be the first line of your poem.
- Ask each student to write the sentence on the top line of his or her sheet of paper.
- Next, ask each student to write a sentence that rhymes with the first sentence.
- Have each student pass his or her piece of paper to the person sitting directly behind him/her.
- Now, ask each student to write a sentence that rhymes with the second line on the sheet of paper in front of him/her.
- The length of the poem may depend on how many students are in your classroom; as a result you may want to limit the poem to 10 or 12 lines (more or less).
- When finished, collect all the papers and read the new "poems" aloud to the class.
- Post the poems on a classroom bulletin board.
Making the Ordinary Extraordinary
Stevenson transforms the ordinary. Encourage your students to do the same.
- Talk about Stevenson's playful use of language and creative images.
- Ask each student to pick his or her favorite poem from the book.
- On a sheet of paper, ask him or her to list three reasons why he or she chose that particular poem.
- Next, ask each student to make a different observation of the same subject Stevenson chose, and compose his or her own poem about it.
- Encourage your class to be as creative and imaginative as possible.
- Have each student read his or her finished poem aloud.
Award-Winning Poetry Team
Sidesplitting humor and sly puns fill these award-winning books of child-pleasing poetry. Written by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by James Stevenson.
The Baby Uggs Are Hatching
The New Kid on the Block
A Pizza the Size of the Sun
Something Big Has Been Here
Other Books by James Stevenson
The Mud Flat series
The Sea View Hotel
The Most Amazing Dinosaur
Don't Make Me Laugh
Could Be Worse
Lesson Plan by Rebecca Gómez