Thursday, April 9, 2009

Alligator!





Time for a Poetry Break!






www.google.com/images/



POETRY CHOICE: NEWER BOOK—Post a Poetry BREAK with a poem of your choice published in 2008/2009 OR a Poetry BOOK REVIEW on a poetry book of your choice published in 2008/2009

Yolen, Jane. 2009. A mirror to nature: Poems about reflection. Jason Stemple, photographs. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong. 14.

Students must study the cycle of animals according to the science TEKS:
(5.6)Science concepts. The student knows that some change occurs in cycles. The student is expected to:
(C) describe and compare life cycles of plants and animals.

This TEK is for fifth grade, but the same TEK is found in grades three to four as well. The poem, Jaws X 2 X 80, published in 2009 by Jane Yolen in A Mirror to Nature: Poems about Reflection, would fit nicely with a study of alligators, or an animal unit that includes alligators.

Jaws X 2 X 80

Because
of jaws,
I stay out
of the river.

One pair’s
a scare,
the other --
full shiver.

One pair
is real
and one
a reflection.

But I’ll never
give either
a closer
inspection.


by Jane Yolen

Poetry Break: Show the poetry book and the photograph of the alligator. Read the poem aloud twice. Since the premise of the poem is reflection, ask for four volunteers and have those students stand facing each other. Have a student in one pair read the first stanza, (while facing the other student), then the second student read the second stanza. The second pair should read the third and fourth stanzas in the same fashion.
Try this a couple of times and then ask for another group of four volunteers and repeat. By the time the students all possibly volunteer and read the poem aloud, most of them will know the poem! Be sure to read the footnote aloud to the students about the alligator’s teeth: “The American alligator has between seventy and eighty teeth. When one falls out, another grows in its place” (14).

Extension activity: take the students to the computer lab to view a video about alligators on the Animal Planet website, for example, The Pet Psychic: Chester the Gator, http://animal.discovery.com/videos/the-pet-psychic-chester-the-gator.html and The Pet Psychic: Pop the Alligator, http://animal.discovery.com/videos/the-pet-psychic-pop-the-alligator.html. On the same site, there are other videos of various animals presented in Jane Yolen’s poetry book. The lesson could continue by pairing the poems with the videos. Swimming with Raccoons, (p. 10), might be paired with the Animal Planet video, The Orphan Racoon, http://animal.discovery.com/videos/the-pet-psychic-orphan-raccoon.html.


References

"Chester the gator." Animal planet videos: The pet psychic. http://animal.discovery.com/videos/the-pet-psychic-chester-the-gator.html (accessed April 4, 2009.

"Orphan raccoon." Animal planet videos: The pet psychic. http://animal.discovery.com/videos/the-pet-psychic-orphan-raccoon.html (accessed April 4, 2009.

"Pop the alligator." Animal planet videos: Pop the alligator. http://animal.discovery.com/videos/the-pet-psychic-pop-the-alligator.html (accessed April 4, 2009).

Yolen, Jane. 2009. A mirror to nature: Poems about reflection. Jason Stemple, photographs. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong. 10, 14.

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