Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Poetry Break: Biographical Poetry

Poem: Eleanor Roosevelt

Written by: Rebecca Kai Dotlich

From: LIVES: Poems About Famous Americans

Anthology by: Lee Bennett Hopkins

Illustrated by: Leslie Staub

ISBN: 0-06-027767-X


Notable Children's Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies 2000, National Council for Social Studies & Children's Book Council


Ask students if they know who Eleanor Roosevelt was. Ask if they know what title is given to the President's wife. When they respond with First Lady, tell them that Eleanor Roosevelt was President Franklin Roosevelt's wife. Explain how during FDR's presidency, the nation was suffering from the Great Depression, and then became involved in World War II. Eleanor Roosevelt was a person that many Americans looked to for comfort during these times. Share the poem:

Elanor Roosevelt
by Rebecca Kai Dotlich

She chiseled out
the rarest place;
First Lady of the World, that face--
a portrait
of beguiling grace
endeared her to us all.

Who among us can't recall
the words she spoke
to soothe the poor.
And soldiers who had been to war
declared her their own

Our First Lady Eleanor; this Nation's charming chancellor.

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt--
No one knows the burdens she felt,
and yet,
her gentle spirit stirred
a passion in
the land she served.

She calmed the crowds each time she spoke.
Her gallant words
helped those to cope
who hadn't dared,
to hope.
Courageous deeds so humbly dealt--

We miss our Mrs. Roosevelt.


Reread the poem again, having students join you in chorus on each phrase or word in italics. Place the poem in the biography section of the library with a display of books about Eleanor Roosevelt. Challenge students to discover some of the things that Eleanor Roosevelt did that made her so loved by the people of America. Post these findings near the display.

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