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Paula's Poetry Page

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Module 5: Poetry Break 23

A Poem By An Asian American

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Introduction:  Use this poem as a part of a map skills lesson and as an introduction to the Depression.  Have a world map and a map of the United States to show the students China, where the poem begins, in relation to America and the state of California where the poem ends. 
 
 
"GongGong and Susie" by Janet Wong

Susie sure is good
watchdog.
Got to be.
I treat her right.
Last night
almost
kill a skunk.

Did I tell you?
Many times
I did eat
skunk
soup.
Take out them
stinky thing,
cook
with garlic, onion.
Skunk, snake, night owl,
I eat them
all.
It was Depression time.
No work, nothing
to do.
We hunt, we fish, we camp.

Hey Susie, Susie,
want to eat
some chow
mein?

*GongGong is one Cantonese word for grandfather.

Taken from:
 
Wong, Janet. 1996. A SUITCASE OF SEAWEED AND OTHER POEMS. New York: Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing. ISBN: 0689807880.
 
Extension:  Ask the students who they think was speaking in this poem?  Was the person young or old?  How did it make them feel?
 
Pair the students up and have them practice reading the poem as they think the man in the poem would speak.  This is a perfect poem to explore "voice" within a poem.
 
Read the author's excerpt about how this poem came about to the students.
The excerpt by the author can be found at:
  
Lead the children in a discussion about The Depression. 
 
 
 

This web site was created as an assignment for LS 5903 - Section 23 at TWU.
 
Some of the graphics used on this site are courtesy of http://www.graphicgarden.com
'Artwork copyright www.graphicgarden.com
 
Book covers on this site taken from Google Images and Follett Library Resources.