My September Word of the Month poem

Hi everyone,

I finally got my poem written for this month. Sorry to be slow.


Yesterday I promised her
I’d get it fixed today.
I bet I’ve put her off at least a year.

“You say that every day,” she said.
“I know I do,” I sighed,
“but this time I’m going to fix it, dear.”

She looked at me and shook her head,
“I wish I could believe you.”
Her words of doubt burned me like an ember.

Today I stand with pliers in hand,
saw and hammer ready,
but what am I to fix? I don’t remember.

(c) 2020 by David L. Harrison, all rights reserved

An evening by the lake warmed by fire and friendship

Hi everyone,
Nights are growing cooler here at Goose Lake. Time to light the fire pit for pleasant evening visits with friends.
This past weekend we loved having our dear friend, Elaine Fry, down from Kansas City.While keep our distances, we had a wonderful time watching the night come on.There’s always so much to talk about when friends get together.

Unrepentant vandal confesses, “I drank it all.”

Hi everyone,

Imagine our shock yesterday morning when we looked out and discovered the swimming pool had almost entirely emptied during the night. We’d been in for a splash the previous afternoon and all was good. I looked everywhere for clues. No water around the pool. No evidence of moisture in the earth. The water had simply vanished. Poof!

Why is it that criminals can’t stay away from the scenes of their crimes? It wasn’t until I noticed the chipmunk sitting to one side, watching our consternation with an expression that could mean only one thing that all the pieces came together. I made a citizen’s arrest and began to interrogate the perp, and sure enough, he eventually confessed.

“Why did you do it?” I asked. “Why did you drink all the water in the pool?”
“Because I could,” was his smug reply.

Just like that, he disappeared into his burrow. I had my answer, but there was no guarantee that this case was at an end. Who knows when that chipmunk will get thirsty again.

Today it’s official. New book out!

Hi everyone,

Today is the pub date for my book with Laura Robb.

To help introduce the new title, Laura and her son, Evan, made a webcast that I found quite interesting and helpful and want to pass along to you and your friends in education.

I enjoyed writing poems and texts for our collaboration. If I haven’t shown you an example, how about this one?

Ode to the Skunk

It’s well you dwell within your skin,
protected from the stink you spout,
while victims hate their fate no doubt —
the agony of breathing in
the fumes of skunkly discontent.

Armed with dreadful, stinkful scent,
marching fearlessly by night,
you frighten enemies to flight,
turn, when vexed, take aim, and vent
on anything that comes too near.

Flaunting famous daunting rear,
you rule the evening woods by fear.

(c) 2020 by David L. Harrison, reprinted with permission from

Corwin announced the new book today on is website, described like this:

Use these lessons to build developing readers’ skill and desire to read, read, read!

This book will be your guide as you support middle grade students who are reading two or more years below grade level. The lessons enlarge students’ vocabulary and background knowledge and engage them in meaningful discussions and writing about their reading. As students’ reading skill and desire to read increases, you’ll watch them complete more independent reading and ramp up their reading volume—the practice they need to improve!

Guided Practice for Reading Growth provides all you need to get started. Laura Robb and poet David L. Harrison have collaborated to design twenty-four powerful reading lessons using original poems and short texts that interest your students and encourage them to think deeply. The opening chapters offer background knowledge for the lessons and teaching tips, then the bulk of this book consists of lessons—with full texts and suggested videos provided. Guided practice lessons are the instructional piece that can move developing readers forward by building their self-confidence and the reading expertise needed to read to learn and for pleasure.

This unique book shows you how to:

· Build students’ background knowledge by watching and discussing videos.

· Use the poems to improve reading and to improve fluency through practice and performance.

· Invite students to write about their reading and increase comprehension and recall.

· Ask partners to discuss before, during, and after reading as meaningful talk enlarges students’ analytical thinking and understanding.

· Design your own lessons for students with extra texts by David L. Harrison in the appendix.

Use this book to develop students’ self-confidence and the reading skill they require to become lifelong, joyful readers!

Write to Learn Virtual Speaker Series

Hi everyone,

If you haven’t heard about it, The Missouri Literacy Association is going virtual this year for the well known and popular WRITE TO LEARN conference.

“National-level keynote speakers, bringing you some of the best language arts teaching strategies for these challenging times. Whether your school is going face to face, 100% virtual, or using a hybrid model, these mini series of workshops will give you practical, actionable strategies you can use right away.”

I’m happy to note that two talented friends of mine, Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger, are the leaders of the November and December, 2020 series.

Chairperson Sam Bommarito provided this link to help you get started touring the program and learn more about how you or someone you know might participate. The series of workshops stretches from the first on October 1, 2020 through the final one on January 28, 2021.

If you have questions, the answers should be available on the links provided. I’m glad to see how beautifully this year’s conference has adapted to the needs of our current world. Way to go, Dr. Sam and all involved!