Skip to main content

Found Poetry with Kwame Alexander's BOOKED

Dear Kim (and friends!!),



Our students are nearing the finish line (teachers too.) A quick sprint to the end is all that we have left.

At our school, the students literally speak in terms of "finish lines", "touchdowns", and "goals". Not because of the annual field day, but because of the new reading program. The final unit in the American Reading Company's curriculum is SPORTS FICTION.

No SPORTS FICTION unit would be complete without a poem from Mr. Kwame Alexander. But, what Kwame book to discuss? CROSSOVER? BOOKED? THE PLAYBOOK?


Since many students are shin guard-deep in soccer right now, I picked BOOKED. In this verse novel, Kwame Alexander uses a variety of poetry styles to bring his main character, Nick Hall, to life. Nick is obsessed with soccer. When he becomes sidelined, books are his new game.

The lesson:

After reading from the book, we "borrowed" one poem and used it as a seed for our own poetry. Students were able to highlight up to three words per stanza. They then cut the words from the copied poem and maneuvered the words to make their own. Manipulating words in this manner is called found poetry, and it is a favorite way to get kids engaged in writing poems.



I then offered a selection of additional poems from a wide range of sports. The students could work to apply the same rules:

1. Read the poem all the way through.
2. Reread and highlight up to 3 words per stanza.
3. Cut out the highlighted words.
4. Rearrange into a new poem.
*You can use any punctuation you wish.
*You can add up to 3 words of your own within the poem. (I fudged on this when a child had an idea that was too good to stick to the "only 3 extra words" rule!)

One student's poem reads:

Goal!
Yes!
I know soccer
The green grass
The ball
Yes!
I know soccer!

Have you found a poem lately? I am sure one is waiting for you in the pages of BOOKED by Kwame Alexander.

Much love!
Alison

P.S. Speaking of poems, and classrooms, and teachers... If you know a teacher who might be interested in our On the Bookshelf workshop at the Highlights Foundation, please pass the information along. Teachers can earn up to 3 credits and bring home a bag full of books. (Bonus: you'll get to see me!!)


Popular posts from this blog

The Querying Writer: Part II

Dear Kim,


Remember that letter I sent you way back in October? (You remember October-- back when all things seemed possible.) 





The letter, COMP TITLES and THE QUERYING WRITER, shared details from our Novel Nuts & Bolts class with Empire Literary Agent Carrie Howland. (I may have referred to her as "agent-extraordinaire" in another post.)

Though today's post will be my third about Carrie, it is titled "Part II" because my querying journey seems sequel worthy.







I started looking for an agent soon after you and I met at the NYC SCBWI conference in 2012. I had nice feedback from an agent at a conference and sent him my work. His response was kind (which I've found most responses from agents to be.) But my writing wasn’t ready. The novel he saw was the first I’d ever finished. I wasn't ready.

I swallowed that little voice that said, SEND! SEND! SEND! for two more years until I entered #PitchWars-- Brenda Drake’s crash course in pitching. In the years between t…

Cover Reveal: The Perfect Trip by Stacy Barnett Mozer

Dear Alison,

Thank you for my letter on Friday. I was teaching and didn't get to read it until late Friday night, but oh the memories of our time at the Writing Barn...so wonderful, so peaceful, so inspiring. The retreat was a much needed break from the insane fall I've had, and though we worked our butts off, it was a different kind of work, a good kind of work, my favorite kind of work, and sharing that work with you and Donna? Yeah, that was awesome. I, too, was really able to dig into my WIP and find Gigi's voice. She's so different from Starr and with so much prep work on Starr Lost (Book Two) and Starr Gone (Book Three), I had a hard time recapturing Gigi's voice, but Texas changed all that. Her 'in your face' style sets the tone for the entire young adult urban fantasy series, and I can't get her defiant nature out of my head. (People, you've been warned.)

Alison, you and I get to share the writing love every Monday and Thursday. Today, I ge…

BOOK REVIEW: Starr Fall & BOOK RELEASE: Once & Forever

Dear Alison,

Goodbye January, Hello February! Last week, I let everyone peak in my drawers.  Today, I'm opening my inbox. Well, not literally. You DO NOT want to see my inbox--though I do try to keep all the accounts very tidy--sometimes the emails get a bit, what's the word I'm looking for? Expansive. My favorite emails are from fans. I LOVE them. They make me all warm and fuzzy. Seriously, touch my arm...

See? Warm and Fuzzy. Oh, wait those are my doggies;)

While, I ADORE the fan mail (I DO, I REALLY DO) I would LOVE them even more if they were added as a review to AMAZON and GOODREADS. For instance, look at some of these reviews:


Must Read!!!, January 31, 2017 By  Kelly

This review is from: Starr Fall: Book One of the Starr Fall Series (Kindle Edition) Purchased this book for my 14 year old daughter who is NOT a fan of reading for pleasure or at all for that matter. Well, the book immediately grabbed her attention. In her words..."I can't put this book down. I ne…