Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Poems about school

Here in Texas, most public schools are starting again this week. Although temperatures still soar above 100, kids are back at their desks starting a new year. To commemorate this moment, here’s one of my favorite back-to-school poems.

By Prince Redcloud

Close the barbecue.
Close the sun.
Close the home-run games we won.
Close the picnic.
Close the pool.
Close the summer.
Open school.

From THE SKY IS FULL OF SONG. Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins. Harper & Row, 1983

This poem lends itself to several different read aloud techniques. Kids can just join in on the repeated word “close” or alternate reading every other line in two groups, with everyone joining in on the final line. Or individual volunteers can read individual lines solo, with everyone joining in on the final line for added effect.

School is one of my favorite poetry topics to share with kids since it’s where they spend so much of their waking hours. School experiences are so important to them. And there are so many fun collections of school poetry to share. Look for:

Dakos, Kalli. (1990). If you're not here, please raise your hand; Poems about school. New York: Simon and Schuster (and others by Dakos).

Harrison, David L. (1993). Somebody catch my homework. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong Boyds Mills Press.

Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Editor. (1996). School supplies: A book of poems. Simon and Schuster.

Kennedy, Dorothy M. Editor. (1993). I thought I'd take my rat to school: Poems for September to June. New York: Little Brown and Company.

Paraskevas, Betty. (1995). Gracie Graves and the kids from Room 402. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace and Company.

Shields, Carol Diggory. (1995). Lunch money and other poems about school. New York: Dutton (and others by Shields).


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Sylvia...

I was looking for this for my classroom and couldn't remember which book it was in! This is my favorite poem about school!

Tracie VZ

Sylvia Vardell said...

Hi, Tracie. Always glad to help! :-)