Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Drawing - Illustrating Poems

The chicken in the chicken coop
is playing with a hula hoop.
Who went and left a hula hoop
in the chicken coop today?
She’s twisting and she’s twirling,
there’s a cloud of feathers swirling,
and the hula hoop is whirling
as she swivels and she sways.

A hula hoop misplaced in haste
is strangely to this chicken’s taste,
who has, it’s true, no real waist
and rather wobbly legs.
But when you see how she can whir
so fast her middle starts to blur,
I’m fairly sure that you’ll concur:
we’re having scrambled eggs!
                                                                                                                 © Emily Voigt                         
The children listen to poems read aloud and then make drawings to illustrate them. For ages 6 to 13. Plan 1 session.

I'm covered in Band-aids, just covered in 'em.
There are so many on me, you can't see my skin.
See, the problem must be I'm a bit of a wimp.
The smallest of boo-boos compels me to limp.
I'm a crier, a whiner, a ninny, a grump,
completely defeated by bruises and bumps.
Whenever I'm ailing, say, skinned, stubbed, or sore,
I just stick on a Band-aid, 'cause that's what they're for!
Well, it's getting absurd, people call me a chicken.
But the thing about Band-aidsit hurts to unstick 'em.
                                                   © Emily Voigt 
  • Appreciating poetry 
  • Listening for details 
  • Illustrating narratives 
poem, illustrate

Poems such as those written by Ogden Nash, Jack Perlutsky, and Ken Nesbitt are fun to read aloud and delight the children. The poems in this lesson were written by my daughter Emily Voigt.

  • Drawing paper–approximately 9 x 12 inches 
  • Drawing pencils or thin-line, non-toxic permanent markers (Faber-Castell markers are odorless)
  • Poems for reading–plan about 20 minutes to read, discuss, and illustrate each poem.
  • Set out pencils or markers and paper. 
  • Have enough poems available to fill the session. 
  • Become familiar with the poems so you can read them with ease.
How to Begin
  • Explain that poems are the sounds and meanings of words which are combined to create ideas and feelings. 
  • In this session, you will be reading poems aloud and then discussing them with the children. After a second reading, the children will illustrate or draw what they hear is happening in the poems. 
  • Read the first poem slowly and with animation, enunciating each word carefully. Discuss with the children the characters and actions that take place and explain the meanings of any unfamiliar words. 
  • Read the poem again, emphasizing the characters and actions. 
  • Have the children draw pictures illustrating what is happening in the poem. 
  • Collect the drawings before introducing the next poem and repeat the same procedure for each one. 
  • Choose children's poems that are fun to listen to and easy to read aloud. Become familiar with reading the poems before the session.
  • Begin the discussions by having the children talk about their first impressions of what is happening in the poems.  
  • Defining unfamiliar words in the poems provides a good opportunity to build the children’s vocabulary. 
  • Give the children a better understanding of the poems before they start to draw by waiting until after the second reading of each poem to hand out the pencils and papers. 
  • Do the drawings show that the children understand what is happening in the poems?
  • Point out the different ways that the children interpreted the poems. 
  • Have the children talk about the parts of the poems that they chose to illustrate in their drawings. 
What the children might say...
  • I don't know what the Big Thing is. (See the poem at the end of this lesson.)
  • But chickens can't play with hula hoops.
  • Just listening to the words makes me laugh.
What you might say...
  • The Big Thing is whatever you imagine in your mind while you listen to the poem being read.
  • Putting together impossible ideas is part of what makes these poems so much fun.
  • When writing poems, the sounds of the words are as important as their meanings.
Click here to view this lesson in a printer-friendly format.

I've been building a tree house outside in my yard.
It's a project I'm finding especially hard
'cause my parents aren't willing to lend their support
they insist that I mustn't, they say I'll get hurt.
My cavorting in trees they refuse to condone
while right here on the ground I'm quite accident prone.
So I bought my own lumber, snuck out on the sly, 
and I'm starting to build my own tree house up high.
I must be oh so quiet and careful and cautious.
If my parents find out...just the thought makes me nauseous!
Too much noise I've discovered my hammering makes,
so in place of the nails, I've been using scotch tape.
                                                       © Emily Voigt 

This thing is big.
It's bigger than big.
It's the biggest big thing that I've seen.
What is it doing?
What can it be doing
out there on my pink trampoline?

This very big thing,
this gargantuan thing,
saw my pink trampoline and it pounced.
Now it's standing out there,
looking up in the air,
and waiting, just waiting, to bounce.
                                            © Emily Voigt