Friday, November 28, 2014

A poem for Black Friday

Last week I was at the NCTE conference (so fun!) presenting alongside Janet Wong and Eileen and Jerry Spinelli on the topic of kindness. Here's a tiny glimpse of our session-- a video of Eileen reading her original poem, "Get a Life" from The Poetry Friday Anthology (K-5). It's perfect for this crazy Black Friday, too.

And here is the text of the poem:

Get a Life
   by Eileen Spinelli

There are books to read.
And birds to feed.
And awesome facts for learning.
There are yards to weed.
And friends in need.
And dreams to set us yearning.
There are trails to hike.
And films to like.
And stories made for swapping.
What I mean to say in this poem today
is there’s more to life than

And here are the Take 5! activities that accompany this poem:

1. Prior to sharing the poem, jot numbers on a piece of paper or list on the board (1, 2, 3, etc.) as if you are making a to-do list. Then read the poem aloud, pausing for a moment after each line. 

2. Share the poem again, inviting students to join in on the final two lines (is there’s more to life than / shopping!) while you read the rest aloud.

3. For discussion: What are some of your favorite activities to do during holiday breaks?

4. Lead students in considering how repeating key words and phrases, particularly at the beginning of each line (There are; And), helps build a poem and can add to the distinctive rhythm of the lines. Then read the poem out loud together again, listening for the patterns.

5. Link this poem with another thoughtful poem by Eileen Spinelli, “Today” (4th Grade, Week 29, page 215 in The Poetry Friday Anthology).


Mary Lee said...

HA! True that!!

Janet Wong said...

Eileen Spinelli is such a great role model for us all!

Carol said...

My sentiments exactly! I HATE shopping! Would much rather spend my Friday reading poetry!

Irene Latham said...

Ha! Definitely more to life that shopping! Thank you for sharing this... so great to meet you at NCTE!

Buffy Silverman said...

Well said! Thanks for sharing (and taking the blackness out of today!)

Robyn Hood Black said...

Sure do love that Eileen Spinelli. And AMEN to this poem. :0)
(I was attending that panel in spirit - I'm sure it was great!)

Betsy Hubbard said...

Shopping, yes, more to life. We decided to stay in today instead of braving the crowds. Best decision ever!

Anonymous said...

I'm not much of a shopper so this poem rang true for me! Very clever!

Charles Waters said...

Here Here!

Bridget Magee said...

So true! That is why I am visiting poetry blogs on Cyber Monday instead of shopping. Thanks for sharing Eileen's poem - perfect. =)

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thank you all for your comments. So glad you enjoyed Eileen's poem as much as I do-- a good reminder of what is REALLY important!