Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Love That Dog
I began reading Sharon Creech's clever and engaging book Love That Dog to fourth graders this week. Jack, a student in Miss Stretchberry's class, is convinced he could never write poetry. Yet through his teacher's examples - and perhaps simply within himself - he composes (sometimes unwittingly) poems. With each poem offered by Miss Stretchberry, Jack's writing becomes more witty and thoughtful. Bits and phrases by Robert Frost, William Blake, Arnold Adoff, Valerie Worth, and William Carlos Williams (all of which I have also read to the children) seep into Jack's words, craftily blending into his own message. You come too, says Jack, mimicking Frost in "The Pasture". Watching my listeners as they hear and recognize those bits is delightful! It is a masterful and motivating book. The listeners have been torn between finishing the library search activity and starting concrete poems like Jack's.