Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Poetry Break: Unusual Form

Poem: Sleepover Conversation

Book: Technically, It's Not My Fault

Written by: John Grandits

Poetic Form: Concrete Poems

Publisher: Clarion Books, 2004

ISBN: 978-0-618-42833


Ask students if they have ever slept over at a friend's house, and what is their favorite part about spending the night somewhere else. After children have shared their answers, display a copy of the poem "Sleepover Conversation so they can see the form of the poem and how it is written for two voices. Share the poem using two distinct voices so students hear both characters.

Sleepover Conversation
by John Grandits

I like sleeping over. Your room is so cool.

Knock yourself out.

I will. You've got totally superior stuff.

No. I mean it. Knock yourself out--
shut up, be quiet, go to sleep.

Let's talk for a while.

You talked all day. You never shut up.
Now go to sleep.

How come you always win at chess?

I'm smarter than you.

I think it's because you're four years older.

No, it's because I'm smarter.

I'm going to practice a lot, and
next time we come to visit, I'll beat you.

I'll still be four years older.
And I'll still be smarter.

I like Huggin' the Rail. I can win that game.

It's s stupid board game. It's just luck.
Whoever rolls the highest number wins.
No skill. All luck.

Don't be a sore loser.

I have a game we can play.

Great! What?

Who can stay quiet the longest.
Ready, set, GO!

Okay, I'll start. . .

. . .

. . .

. . .

. . .

. . .

Hey! No fair.


Ask students what they think happened at the end of the poem. Can they get an idea of how old each boy is? Divide students into two groups and have each group read a specific part. Next, select two students to read each boy's part. Ask students how they liked hearing the poem the best--one narrator, two groups, or two individuals. Did it make a difference in how they enjoyed listening to the poem?

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