“In a Book” Supports Choral Reading Activities

“In a Book” Supports Choral Reading Activities

“In a Book” written by Anthony L. Manna

Choral Reading with a Poem

 

In a Book … You Can

Live royally in the ancient past —-a king, a queen

Move to a galaxy far away and in between

Join a protest —-shout cheers of human rights

Convert a bully —-away with painful strife

Swim through the depths of a restless sea

Climb to the top of a rainforest tree
(Oh, what a landscape you’ll see)

Fly off on a dragon, a shape-shifting wonder

Survive a harsh battle, lament the plunder

Build a skyscraper, touch a cloud

Win medals of gold before a cheering crowd

Learn about folks hurtful to souls from afar have come

Meet kind folks who welcome others to their home

Enjoy a weird mystery, let’s fathom the deep-buried clues

Hear the crowds cheer the heroes, drown out the thunderous boos

Open a book, awaiting you there long-lasting treasures

Read a book, savor the savory pleasures

Share a book, a precious gift you’ll give

A wondrous guide, oh, yes, a compass for how to live.

—Professor Granpa Tonio

Choral Reading

Encourage readers to make this poem come alive with Choral Reading.

“Choral reading is a literacy technique that helps students build their fluency, self-confidence, and motivation in reading. During choral reading, a student, or a group of students reads a passage together, with or without a teacher. Choral reading can be done individually, in small groups, or as a whole class.”

Thank you “Strategies for Students” for this description of Choral Reading and for suggestions and plans provided at your lively website for ways to use Choral Reading with kids and teens.

Poetry for Teens

Poetry for Teens

Let’s explore poetry for teens. First, we’ll read some poetry for teens and then we’ll use the poems as models for writing a Memory Poem.

Let’s get going with poetry for teens in a fabulous book named Poetry Speaks Who I Am: Poems of Discovery, Inspiration, Independence, and Everything Else. Edited by Elise Paschen. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2010.

You’re gonna love poetry for teens in Poetry Speaks Who I Am: Poems of Discovery, Inspiration, Independence, and Everything Else, just like other teens have… because…

  • there are more than 100 fabulous poems chosen to interest you and your friends
  • an audio CD comes with the book: 44 of the poems read by 35 poets; most read by the poets themselves
  • there’s a section called “Please Write in This Book”~ You got it: It’s an invitation to write your own poems. YAY!
  • there are popular old poems like “Alone” by Edgar Allen Poe —“From childhood’s hour I have not been/As others were…—; “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost—“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—/I took the one less traveled by,/And that made all the difference.”—; “Hope is the Thing With Feathers” by Emily Dickinson—“Hope is the thing with feathers/That perches in the soul….”—; and “Sonnet 130” by William Shakespeare—“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun….”
  • there are many new(er) poems: “The Germ” by Ogden Nash—“A mighty creature is the germ,/Though smaller than a pachyderm…. —; “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou—“You may write me down in history/With your bitter, twisted lies,/You may trod me in the very dirt/But still, like dust, I’ll rise…”—; “Vampire’s Serenade” by Dana Gioia—“I am the dream you cannot forget,/The face you remember without having met…”—; and “Sedna” by Kimiko Hahn—“Come to find out, Sedna,/is the Inuit woman,/whose father cast her from their kayak,/thus transforming her into the spirit of the sea.
  • there are upbeat, happy, even comical poems like “A Teenage Couple” by Brad Leithauser—“He said, or she said/(Desperate to have their say),/You know, we may not last forever….”— and “The Bagel” by David Ignatow—“Faster and faster it rolled,/with me running after it/bent low, gritting my teeth.
  • sad poems  like “Sometimes With One I Love” by Walt Whitman—“Sometimes with one I love I fill myself with rage for/ fear I effuse unreturned love….”—; and “Mediation” by Kim Stafford—“At the dinner table, before the thrown/plate, but after the bitter claim,/is the one beat of silence/before the parents declare war.
  • poems about relationships like “The Talk” by Sharon Olds—“In the dark square wooden room at noon/the mother had a talk with her daughter./The rudeness could not go on….”—; and “If I Can Stop One Heart from Breaking” by Emily Dickinson—If I can stop one heart from breaking,/I shall not live in vain.
  • poems celebrating the self and others like “I Am a Black” by Gwendolyn Brooks—“I am other than Hyphenation./I say, proudly, MY PEOPLE!/I say, proudly, OUR PEOPLE!….”—; “From For a Girl Becoming” by Joy Harjo—“Bury what needs to be buried./Laugh easily at yourself./…May you grow in knowledge, in compassion, in beauty….”—; and “The Delight Song of Tsoai-Talee” by N. Scott Momaday—“You see, I am alive, I am alive/I stand in good relation to the earth/I stand in good relation to the gods/I stand in good relation to all that is beautiful.

And so it goes. One delicious discovery after the other.

Had enough? NO?

Stay tuned: The next time we meet::: poems by teens themselves in You Hear Me?: Poems and Writing by Teenage Boys and Things I Have to Tell You: Poems and Writing by Teenage Girls, both edited by Besty Franco.

In the meantime: Write a Poem: A Memory Poem. 📝

First, go to:

6 Tips for Writing a Poem About Memories

And then take a look at some good examples of memory poems:

Memory Poems | Poetry About Memories 

Ready to write? Think friends, family, first love, pets, teachers…

Go ahead, get that poem down. Put your poem and/or your notes about the poem in your writer’s notebook. HUH? Writer’s WHAT? Right here, on this website, you’ll find my blog about WRITING TOOLS “Tween and Teen Writing Tips.” That’s where you’ll find a description of the writer’s notebook. Go there now. Be happy.

Happy Reading! Happy Writing! And away we go…

Your Bio

Teenage Poems

Teenage Poems

Let’s explore teenage poems. Teenage poems are poems written by teens. First, you’ll read some teenage poems and then you’ll find directions for writing a fun type of poem called a cinquain (sin-kane).

Let’s get going with teenage poems in two fabulous poetry books.

The first book is You Hear Me? Poems and Writings by Teenage Boys, Edited by Betsy Franco, Photographs by Nina Nickles. Candlewick, 2001.

The second book is Things I Have to Tell You: Poems and Writing by Teenage Girls, Edited by Betsy Franco, Photographs by Nina Nickles. Candlewick, 2001.

Wow and Wow. In these two books, teens from diverse cultures and backgrounds write from the heart in free verse poems and brief stories. Raw emotions bring us deep inside a lot of topics and issues including identity, relationships, drugs, AIDS, family, rejection, loss, and survival.

Listen to these guys from You Hear Me? Poems and Writings by Teenage Boys:

Joshua White, age 12, in “Dark Cellar”—“I like to hide in my dark damp cellar/Where rats scurry across the cold cement floor…./All I know is that anger and sorrow/Evaporate into clouds of air…/When I’m there….”

James Balzer, age 14, in “I Am”—“I am the ungodly thing/Preached against in church—/ Preached against in politics./I am loathed,/I am shunned,/I am feared,/I am gay.”

Shysuaune T. Taylor, age 19, in “Black Boy Blues”—“Baby black boy eyes watch/dream smoke rise/from glass/pipes…/burning away bills, food, hungry baby mouths.”

Seth Chappell, age 14, in”Does My Mother Look Like This?”—“Does my mother look like/a person who would/leave four sons and a daughter/and go to another place?”

Troy Williams, age 16, in “I Want”—“To know/If there’s a ghetto/In heaven.”

Juan C. Medina Arias, age 18, in “Love Between Two Cultures”—“Between two cultures you find peace and friendship,/and when you fall in love/it doesn’t matter of what blood, just the blood/that is in your heart.”

Emmanuel E. Carter, age 14, in “Mail”—“Tomorrow I’m going to/seal up my heart/and send it to/my one true love./When she receives it,/I hope she will sign it/and send me hers.”

Stephan Johnson, age 17, in “Song For My Father”—“At night I say “I love you” and hear no response./The song of his silence is thrown down from pulsating stars/telling me to go on.”

****************

And now girls tell us about themselves in Things I Have to Tell You: Poems and Writing by Teenage Girls.

In these poems, you’ll meet teenage girls from diverse cultures and backgrounds with so much to say about love, rejection, grief, fear, vulnerability, pride, and happiness.

Listen to these girls in Things I Have to Tell You: Poems and Writing by Teenage Girls:

Danya Goodman, age 15, in “Hallway Between Lunch and English (Freud Can Kiss My Sexually Ambiguous Arse)”—“…we are all armed/with our polysyllabic sabers/uninformed by our lust/united by our laughter/unique by our will/we march together toward/the war we cannot name/but at least we are dressed for it.”

Becky Mann, age 17, in “Contemplating fat and thin”—“Contemplating fat and thin/as I lift my foot upon the scale/my heart skips a beat/to see the tortuous needle/point to the number I don’t want to see/No food, you’re fat….”

Miriam Stone, age 16, in “Damn, I Look Good”—“…This coquette can get/Any man she’s set eyes upon—-/A female Don Juan./The best, I confess,/Cannot help but obsess/Over me,/Devil walking/In one hell of a dress.”

Marion Liu, age 17, in “A Man’s Strength, But a Woman’s Mind”—“I am not a superhero who changes gender by touching water, nor do I punch out bad guys on a daily basis. But like Ranma, in this Japanese anime, I break the stereotype of a girl as a dainty little thing who needs a man by her side in order to do anything. Like Ranma, I try to be the best girl that I can be.”

Lindsay Henry, age 17, in “Apricot Bath”—“…But if you must love me/Love the little smooth scar on my knee/not my eyes/Love my round belly/not my legs/Love the two freckles on my neck/that looks like a vampire’s kiss/not my lips/Love my square, pudgy toes/not my smile….”

Mahogany Elaj Foster, age 16, in “Words”—“Words fly across the paper like blackbird across the sky/and I think to myself why oh/why oh why/why why,/Why would anyone use words like/I hate and/I can’t and/I quit, therefore, I won’t….”

Laura Veuve, age 15, in “I know I am strong,”—“I know I am strong/both in my convictions and in myself./I know I am beautiful/both inside and out./I know I am powerful/and growing more so./I know I will do just fine.”

Go to your library–public or school–and find a copy of Things I Have to Tell You: Poems and Writing by Teenage Girls and You Hear Me? Poems and Writings by Teenage Boys. Professor Granpa Tonio found both books at his public library. YAY!

Hey ho: Now it’s time for you to become a teenage poet.

Write a CINQUAIN (sin-kane). A WHAT? A CINQUAIN IS AN UNRHYMED POEM WITH A FIVE-LINE STANZA.

To write a cinquain, follow these easy directions:

  • Line 1  A one-word title (a noun that tells what your poem is about
  • Line 2  Two adjectives that describe what your poem is about
  • Line 3  Three —ing participles that describe what your poem is about
  • Line 4  A phrase that tells more about what you’re writing about
  • Line 5  A synonym for your title, another noun that tells what your poem is about

 WHEW! Sounds hard, right? Wrong. Make it easy:

  • Write about something or someone you like
  • Write about something you don’t like
  • Write about something you see around you.
  • Write about something that happened to you

(Thank you for the suggestions: Ken Nesbitt’s Poetry 4 Kids)

Examples of cinquain will help you get motivated. Visit this website for good examples:

Cinquain Poems | Examples of Cinquain Poetry

Ready to write? Think friends, family, first love, pets, dreaming, losing, gaining, fear, success, teachers…

Go ahead, get that poem down. Put your poem and/or your notes about the poem in your writer’s notebook. HUH? Writer’s WHAT? Right here, on this website, you’ll find my blog about WRITING TOOLS. That’s where you’ll find a description of the writer’s notebook. Go there now. Be happy.

SHARE YOUR POEM WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS Happy Reading!
Happy Writing!
And away we go…