Thursday, February 5, 2009

Poetry Break: School/Library/Books

Poem: The Big-Word Girl

From the Book: Please Bury Me in the Library by J. Patrick Lewis

Publisher: Gulliver Books, 2005


Ask students if they know the name of the book we use to look up words we may not know how to spell. Prompt them to answer "dictionary" if they are stuck. If students are familiar with dictionaries and their uses, ask them to list some of the reasons one might need to use a dictionary. List these reasons on chart paper. Explain that we can also use the dictionary to learn new words to use, like the character in the following poem:

The Big-Word Girl
by J. Patrick Lewis

Of all the clever girls I know,
Elaine's the one who counts.
But what she counts are syllables
In words I can't pronounce.

I took her to a horror show--
(Godzilla Meets Tooth Fairy)--
But she could not unglue her eyes
From Webster's Dictionary.

She put her trembling hand in mine
(Godzilla smashed the floor!),
For she had come across a word
She'd never seen before!

But when the lights came on, Elaine
Was sound asleep and snoring.
I woke her up. She yawned and said,
"How Uncustomarily,


Post a copy of the poem in the library, next to where the dictionary is displayed. Also post a piece of blank chart paper next to the poem. Encourage students to look up words they come across as they read that they may not know the meaning of. Have students list these words and their meanings on the blank chart paper.

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