A FEW OTHER EVENTS FOR
- Happy birthday Alice Schertle (All You Need for a Snowman, Little Blue Truck), and Cheryl Willis Hudson (Hands Can).
- Itâ€™s the birth date of Donald Carrick (1929-1989), The Wednesday Surprise, Patrickâ€™s Dinosaurs.
- In 1795 France adopts the metre (meter) as a basic measurement of length. Hence, it is Metric System Day.
- Best birthday wishes to the World Health Organization (WHO), established by the United Nations in 1948. And, by chance, it happens to be World Health Organization Day. Read Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss and Peek-a Who? By Nina Laden.
April has been designated Poetry Month by theÂ Academy of American Poets. If I could make any single volume the book of the month, I would choose Sharon Creechâ€™s Love That Dog, published by the Newbery-Award winner authorÂ in 2001. In a small volume of one hundred pages,Â Sharon uses free verse to celebrate poetry and the writing of poetry. Â Love That Dog also provides a lesson in modern poetic forms. And it shows, in a believable way, a young reader who becomes an advocate of poetry — a form he once hated.
On the first page we meet Jack, a student of Miss Stretchberryâ€™s. He tells us simply â€śI donâ€™t want to/because boys/donâ€™t write poetry./Girls do.â€ť But then readers watch Jack make some small attempts and respond to poems being read. (Many of these have been included in the book.) As the school year progresses from September through June, Jack develops as a writerâ€”responding in more sophisticated ways to what has been presented to him. Over time his own poetry grows in complexity and skill.
Finally, toward the end of the year, Jack writes to Walter Dean Myers, because he has become a fan of Myersâ€™s poetry. Myers actually comes to the schoolâ€”and Jack writes a poem inspired by his hero. In a book that teachers use in grades three through six, Love That Dog can be read in less than an hour. Parents report success in reading the book aloud to children as young as five to seven years old. In this love letter to poetry and poets, Sharon Creech demonstrates how powerful a few pages and a few well-chosen words can be. With her background as a teacher, she has a keen grasp of children and of the teaching/learning process.
Anyone who would like to view a video clip created by TeachingBooks. net of Sharon Creech, along with Walter Dean Myers and Avi, performing this book in Readersâ€™ Theater can do so here. It makes a wonderful addition to classroom activities and enriches the experience of reading the book.
Love that Dog has encouraged children to think about poetry, enjoy poetry,Â and writeÂ their own. Like so many of her fans, I loveÂ Sharon Creech. She knows how to engage children and adults as she tells a storyÂ — and she can bring out the hidden poet in all of us.
Hereâ€™s a section from Love That Dog:
Originally posted April 7, 2011. Updated for .