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"Resolutions"

Resolutions by Linda Knaus

© copyright Linda Knaus with permission of its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

"Santa Got Stuck in the Chimney"

Santa Got Stuck in the Chimney by Kenn Nesbitt

© copyright Kenn Nesbitt with permission of its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

Library Journal Review

Picture of Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the NewbornPregnancy, Childbiirth, and the Newborn was reviewed in last month's Libary Journal.

“VERDICT: Readers considering having a baby or who are already pregnant will find this a valuable resource. - Barbara Lundanis, Longmont Public Library, Colorado”

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A Bad Case of Sneezes

A Bad Case of Sneezes by Bruce LanskyLast night I had the sneezes.
I was really very ill.
My mother called the doctor
who prescribed a purple pill.

At eight o’clock I went to bed.
My mom turned out the light.
I used up one whole box of Kleenex
sneezing through the night.

I sneezed my brains out in my bed.
I didn’t get much rest.
So that’s the reason, teacher,
that I flunked the spelling test.

Text © Bruce Lansky with permission of its publisher Meadowbrook Press. Illustration © Stephen Carpenter.

Turkey Treats

Picture of The Children's Busy Book

What you'll need: 

One 15-ounce package prepared pie crusts
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
Turkey-shaped cookie cutter

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 450ºF. Unfold the piecrusts on wax paper. Let your child cut shapes from the pastry with the cookie cutter. Mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the shapes. Transfer them to an ungreased baking sheet and bake them for 8–10 minutes. Remove them from the baking sheet and let them cool on a wire rack.

This recipe makes about 16 turkey treats.

© copyright Trish Kuffner from The Children's Busy Book with permission of its publisher Meadowbrook Press.

Girls to the Rescue Theater

Girls to the Rescue

Looking for some theater ideas for your classroom?  Clover Park High School in Lakewood, WA is rehearsing a one-act play based on a Girls to the Rescue story!  Read the article below then visit www.FictionTeachers.com for more ideas and stories for your class!

The plays are the thing for Clover Park High School Thespian - The Suburban Times


Available from these retailers

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Short Metaphorical Poems

Giggle Poetry

by Bruce Lansky

Most of my school visits include 4 or 5 writing workshops—usually with 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students. And since we usually write 3 to 6 poems in each of those sessions,
I wind up creating about 10 to 20 poems on every full-day school visit. Recently I have begun to include free-verse poems in the mix. This allows us to focus on ideas and words—without having to worry about rhythm and rhyme. I started experimenting with a new “genre” I invented called “Short Metaphorical Poems.” These poems usually involve a comparison between two things or ideas. Sometimes they use metaphors (e.g., “My Mother is My Alarm Clock”), sometimes they use similes (e.g., “The Moon is Like a Light Bulb”) and sometimes they use comparisons (e.g., “How to Tell if the Critter Who Sleeps in Your Bed is a Dog or Cat”).

When I write metrical poems with students, I usually spend about 2/3 of the time explaining and demonstrating where the rhyming words go, the difference between “true rhymes” (in which both the vowels and consonants rhyme—like nap and cap) and “near rhymes” (in which only the vowels rhyme—like nap and hat), the need for a consistent rhyme pattern, how to count “beats,” the difference between “beats” and “syllables” (usually there are two or three or four beats in each line and two or three times as many syllables), and the need for a consistent rhythm pattern.

I thought you might find it interesting to share a recent free-verse comparative poem I wrote with students I recently visited in Dallas and Wichita. I got the idea in a 5th grade workshop in McKinney, TX. While working on “The Moon is Like a Light Bulb,” a clever student suggested that because the moon reflects light from the sun, it is more like a mirror than a light bulb. At the end of the session, I asked the students to think about other comparisons they might want to write about. One suggested a comparison between dogs and cats.

I worked on that suggestion with other 5th grade students in McKinney, TX and with 4th and 5th grade students in Andover, KS. The students seemed to love the concept and couldn’t stop thinking about experiments that would demonstrate the difference. The challenge of writing a quasi-scientific, humorous poem about the difference between cats and dogs kept students’ hands up throughout the workshops.

(I should probably mention that students in my writing workshops usually spend more time revising lines of poetry we’ve just written than writing new lines of poetry. Often they would rather rewrite, or fix, the line of poetry we’ve just written than start work on the next new line of poetry. I think this may be one of the biggest lessons they learn: That rewriting poetry is as important and fun as writing down a fresh idea.

Maybe it was the fun of writing non-metrical poems; maybe it was the plunge into scientific thinking—but whatever it was, the students were fascinated*. After I got home I decided to fine-tune the poem for presentation on my Giggle Poetry Facebook page. Below is my second rewrite on the dog/cat comparison theme. You might want to show it to your children or students to see what other experiments they can come up with.

How to Tell If the Critter Who Sleeps On Your Bed is a Dog or Cat

Call the critter. If it runs to you and wants you to pet it, it’s a dog. If it looks at you as if you are crazy, it’s a cat.

Throw a tennis ball across the yard and say, “Fetch!” If the critter chases it, brings it back to you—all wet and gooey—and then wags its tail happily, it’s a dog. If the critter walks after the ball, sniffs it, and then walks away, it’s a cat.

Take your critter to the lake, then run into the water and yell, “Come!” If the critter follows you into the water it’s a dog. If the critter won’t go near the water, it’s a cat.

On the fourth of July, bring your critter to the parade. When the fire truck drives by, if the critter chases after it barking loudly, it’s a dog. If the critter runs home and hides under your bed, it’s a cat.

Pick the critter up and throw it onto your bed. If it lands safely on its feet, it’s a cat. If it crash lands on its back it’s a dog.

Now that you know if your critter is a cat or a dog, take good care of it so your parents don’t get so tired of feeding it they threaten to donate it to Goodwill.

Vampire Brat

Vampire Brat

On the night he was bit by a vampire bat,
my brother turned into a vampire brat.
He used to be someone I tried to ignore,
but now he’s obnoxious like never before. 

He brushes his teeth, then he sharpens his fangs.
He sweeps back his hair to get rid of his bangs.
He swoops through the room, and he messes my hair.
He’s weird. I mean, look how he dresses, I swear. 

He says I’ve got zits, such an ugly complexion,
but look in the mirror—he’s got no reflection.
At dinner he makes me feel very uptight
when he raises his eyebrows and asks for a “bite.”

He stays up all night watching movies and junk,
then he sleeps upside down from the top of his bunk.
My friends won’t come over. My life is a wreck.
Let’s face it, my brother’s a pain in the neck. 

Text © Neal Levin with permission of its publisher Meadowbrook Press. Illustration © Mike & Carl Gordon. Any copying or use of this poem or illustration without consent is unlawful.

Now Available

Mary Had a Little Jam

Mary Had a Little a Jam the best-selling “fractured nursery rhyme” book is now back and better than ever with twice as many poems!

This collection of silly, contemporary rhymes recount the latest adventures of Jack and Jill, Humpty Dumpty, Old King Cole, Old Mother Hubbard, Little Boy Blue, Little Bo-Beep, and other popular Mother Goose characters.  Written by a gang of gifted poets including Bruce Lansky, Kenn Nesbitt, Linda Knaus, and Darren Sardelli, these rhymes are guaranteed to delight children of all ages.

With over 800,000 copies sold of the original edition, it’s the most popular book of funny, contemporary nursery rhymes in the English language.  The new edition includes 40 kid-tested and hilarious poems from Peter, Peter, Pizza Eater that’s sure to keep kids laughing long after the last poems are read.

“An instant classic.  Move over Mother Goose!”
—Peggy Gisler, “Dear Teacher” syndicated columnist

“Long overdue!  A kinder, gentler Mother Goose… and funny too!”
—Christine Clark, “Humpty Dumpty’s Magazine

Available from these retailers

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Mary Had a Little Jam Giveaway

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