View Full Version : Good Poems?

April 3rd, 2012, 10:20
I'm looking for some good poems to use in class. Nothing too complex. Shel Silverstein is probably the perfect level. Any favorites?

April 3rd, 2012, 15:54
Limericks are good.

There was a young lady called Betty
Who was blowing a lad on the jetty.
She said, "It tastes nice.
Much better than rice.
But not quite as good as spaghetti."

[Try the veal, etc.] But, a more serious answer would be:
I used to use "Prison Alphabet" by Bruce Dawes with senior high first grade. i'd then get each kid to rewrite the line for one of the letters so that it depicted their ability [or 2 weaker kids, depending on the size of the class] and have them work with the kids [pairs] before and after then to make sure the rhymes worked. Some lines are harder than others to replace, so work with your JTE to give those lines to more able kids.
Poem: Prison Alphabet - Bruce Dawe

Behind the walls the walls begin, behind the bars are bars.
A can make a knife of tin, B can cut out stars.
C can get you what you want, a needle, drink or smoke.
D can laugh through broken teeth, E can tell a joke.
F can fake a heart attack, G can throw a fit.
H can write a letter home as quick as you can spit.
I can con the chaplain, J can con the con.
K will know someone to ask just where your wife has gone.
L can keep an eye out, M can pass the word.
N can hear the gospel truth, and then forget he heard.
O will know which warder can be got at, and the price.
P will offer nothing but a lot of free advice.
Q will want no part of it, R will not be told.
S will roll a cigarette and shudder with the cold.
T will hum a lonely tune, U will turn his back.
V will lie as still as death, W will crack.
X will read his bible, day by holy day,
Y with eyes like torches, will burn the bars away;
And Z, poor Z, will think the walls must end where they begin,
And that a man, outside, will be the same, as he went in.

April 4th, 2012, 00:44
Was about to recommend Daddy by Sylvia Plath and The Burning of Paper Instead of Children by Adrienne Rich, then realised you want kids poems. Was slightly disappointed.

April 6th, 2012, 11:50
Roald Dahl poems. Dr. Seuss.

What do you want to do with them?

April 6th, 2012, 18:12
I'm not really sure. My JTE asked for them. Haven't had a chance to have a good sit-down about what she's got in mind...

April 18th, 2012, 11:25
Is it for junior high? William Carlos Williams can be good. Lots of concrete imagery that's not too difficult to understand, even if they don't get all of the subtext.

Edit: I used "This is Just to Say" in a class with my JHS third years, and they understood it fairly well once I explained the definitions of a couple words. They I had them write their own poems using the same format, quite a few of which turned out all right.

April 25th, 2012, 14:07
A little late, but Julie Andrews wrote (compiled?) a book of kid lullabies and poems and such.

May 2nd, 2012, 14:06
Speaking of William Carlos Williams, this one is one of my favorites:

This Is Just To Say
I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox
and which
you were probably
for breakfast
Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Shouldn't be too hard for JHS third year or so, or even younger if you have good students.

May 7th, 2012, 18:23
What about Kenn Nesbitt's "All My Great Excuses"?
Some of the vocabulary might be slightly problematic (depending on how old the kids are) but the structure's nice and simple.

I started on my homework
but my pen ran out of ink.
My hamster ate my homework.
My computer's on the blink.

I accidentally dropped it
in the soup my mom was cooking.
My brother flushed it down the toilet
when I wasn't looking.

My mother ran my homework
through the washer and the dryer.
An airplane crashed into our house.
My homework caught on fire.

Tornadoes blew my notes away.
Volcanoes struck our town.
My notes were taken hostage
by an evil killer clown.

Some aliens abducted me.
I had a shark attack.
A pirate swiped my homework
and refused to give it back.

I worked on these excuses
so darned long my teacher said,
"I think you'll find it's easier
to do the work instead."

May 17th, 2012, 12:07
If you're feeling particularly evil and want the kids to have some fun doing "fill in the gap" reading... toss Jabberwocky at them. Watch their heads explode. It's like magic, and they'll have a lot of fun trying to figure out what all the words mean.