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Paula's Poetry Page

Home | Module 1: The Poetry Environment | Module 1: Poetry Break 1 | Module 1: Poetry Break 2 | Module 1: Poetry Break 3 | Module 1: Poetry Break 4 | Module 1: Poetry Break 5 | Module 1: Poetry Book Review | Module 2: Major Poets | Module 2: Poetry Break 6 | Module 2: Poetry Break 7 | Module 2: Poetry Break 8 | Module 2: Poetry Break 9 | Module 2: Poetry Break 10 | Module 2: Poetry Book Review | Module 3: Poetry Performance | Module 3: Poetry Break 11 | Module 3: Poetry Break 12 | Module 3: Poetry Break 13 | Module 3: Poetry Break 14 | Module 3: Poetry Break 15 | Module 3: Poetry Book Review | Module 4: Poetry Across the Curriculum | Module 4: Poetry Book Review | Module 4: Poetry Break 16 | Module 4: Poetry Break 17 | Module 4: Poetry Break 18 | Module 4: Poetry Break 19 | Module 4: Poetry Break 20 | Module: 5 Multicultural Poetry | Module 5: Poetry Break 21 | Module 5: Poetry Break 22 | Module 5: Poetry Break 23 | Module 5: Poetry Break 24 | Module 5: Poetry Break 25 | Module 5: Book Review | Module 6: Responding to Poetry | Module 6: Poetry Break 26 | Module 6: Poetry Break 27 | Module 6: Poetry Break 28 | Module 6: Poetry Break 29 | Module 6: Poetry Break 30 | Module 6: Poetry Book Review | Poetry Bibliography | Poet Study: Douglas Florian - Interesting Facts | Douglas Florian Poem 1 | Douglas Florian Poem 2 | Douglas Florian Poem 3 | Douglas Florian Poem 4 | Douglas Florian Poem 5 | Douglas Florian Bibliography | Favorite Florian Poems
Module 5: Poetry Break 21

A Poem by an African American Poet


Introduction:  This poem can be used to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. who had a dream to make the world a better place and worked to make that dream come true.  Before reading the poem, discuss any words that you think would be unfamiliar to the children.  Next, have the students close their eyes as you read the poem.
"Dreams" by Langston Hughes
Hold fast to dreams
For is dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
Extension:  After you read the poem, have the children open their eyes and describe the pictures they saw in their heads.  How did those pictures make them feel?
Share Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech with the children.  
Taken from: 
Fleming, Maria. 2000. POEM OF THE WEEK. Illustrated by Laura Merer and James Graham Hale. New York: Scholastic. ISBN: 0439077516.
Introduction:   Following the poem "Dreams," "By Myslef" is a perfect introduction to lead students into a discussion on uniqueness and diversity.   
"By Myself" by Eloise Greenfield
When I'm by myself
And I close my eyes
I'm a twin
I'm a dimple in a chin
I'm a room full of toys
I'm a squeaky noise
I'm a gospel song
I'm a gong
I'm a leaf turning red
I'm a loaf of brown bread
I'm whatever I want to be
An anything I care to be
And when I open my eyes
What I care to be
Is me
Taken from:
Wright Van, Cornelius and Ying-Hwa Hu. 1991. MAKE A JOYFUL SOUND: POEMS FOR CHILDREN BY AFRICAN-AMERICAN POETS. New York: Scholastic. ISBN: 0590674323.
Extension:  Ask the children that if they closed their eyes and could be anything they wanted to be - what would they be?  Have them share their ideas.
Lead the children into a discussion on uniqueness and self-esteem.  Tell them that it is OK to dream, but when they open their eyes, it is best to be themselves because they are unique individuals and the world is a better place because they are in it .
Module 5: Poetry Break 22            

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