Monday, October 4, 2010


By Karen Jo Shapiro
Publisher: Charlesbridge
ISBN 978-1-58089-143-1

FROM THE FLAP: I must go down to the beach again, where there’s water, sand, and sky…

It sounds familiar, but it’s not quite what your parents memorized in school.

In this delightful collection of poetic parodies, Karen Jo Shapiro has taken 23 classic poems spanning nearly five centuries and given them a kid-sized twist. Channeling wordsmiths from Shakespeare to Blake, Dickinson to Poe, this celebration of poetry and parody is sure to spark your imagination.

KATE’S TAKE: A whimsical introduction to the classics.

CLASSICS TIMELINE: Verbal/Linguistic, Interpersonal, Visual/Spatial
Karen Jo Shapiro introduces fifteen classic poets in English and American Literature. Break the class into pairs and give each pair an index card. Ask each pair to write down some basic biographical information on a specific poet, including date of birth which can be found in the back of Ms. Shapiro’s book. Have students arrange themselves in chronological order without speaking. Then ask each pair to present their poet’s biographical information to the class.

GUESS WHO: Verbal/Linguistic, Interpersonal
Ask students to dress up as one of the fifteen classic poets, memorize the classic poem mentioned in Ms Shapiro’s book, and prepare five clues to read out loud to the class. Invite each student up to the front of the class to recite his or her poem and read his or her clues. Ask the audience to guess which poet the student is imitating.

MACBETH MADNESS: Interpersonal, Verbal/Linguistic, Visual/Spatial
Break the class into small groups, and ask each group to act out a scene from Macbeth. If you have more time, put on a class play of Macbeth complete with scenery.

PERSONAL PICKS: Verbal/Linguistic and Visual/Spatial
Ask students to choose one of Ms. Shapiro’s poems and write their own poetic parody of her work. Have them illustrate a picture to go along with their poem.


-Come Fall by A.C.E. Bauer
-Macbeth by William Shakespeare
-My Letter to the World and other Poems by Emily Dickinson
-Shakespeare’s Secret by Elise Broach
-Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

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