Yellow

Hi everyone,

Haven’t written an original “yellow” poem yet but for now here’s one from a book for Pre-K children I wrote with Mary Jo Fresch for Shell Education called LEARNING THROUGH POETRY. In that book, and four others that accompanied it, I began with a single sound and wrote a poem inspired by it. Here’s the one for yellow. Mary Jo recorded one of her grandsons as he reacted as she read the poem. It’s sensational.

Yellow Y

A yak walked into a yoyo store
And yelled, “I want a yoyo!”

“Why do you want a yoyo, Yak?”
Yelled back the yoyo fellow.

”A yoyo’s yummy!” yelled the yak,
“But only if it’s yellow.
Blue ones make my tummy hurt,
Oh yes, they make me bellow.”

And then he gulped a yellow yoyo.
“Yuck!” yelled the fellow.

(c) 2013 David L. Harrison
from Learning Through Poetry (Shell Education)

Every book starts with a “what if”

ANNOUNCEMENT: Kathy Temean is featuring Giles Laroche today on her blog at https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/illustrator-saturday-giles-laroche/#comment-77773 . I hope you’ll go check it out. Giles is the artist-half of NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T and A PLACE TO START A FAMILY. He gives a good, thoughtful interview.

Hi everyone,


My good friend and colleague Mary Jo Fresch had one of those “what if” moments yesterday that could lead to another collaboration for the education market. I love working with her and hope this will lead to our 7th book together.

Mary Jo and Hank and Sandy and I will be on a trip together next month but I’m guessing we won’t get much writing done then. Can’t even cross the trip off to research. But maybe we’ll sneak-talk about a book while we’re together.

Here’s a poem that sprang from one of our earlier efforts.

Need a Bigger Tank

I put two guppies
in a tank.

One was Bob.
One was Frank.

One of them played
a little prank.

Bob’s a girl
or else it’s Frank.

(C) 2013 by David L. Harrison
Reprinted from LEARNING THROUGH POETRY: Level D
Short Vowels
Shell Education

More blended fun

Hi everyone,

Thank you Jane Yolen and Matt Forrest for chipping in with poems based on the prompt CR. “Crazed” and “Croissants & Crackers” are great fun and good examples of how wordsmiths can take off from any point and find clever ways to amuse and entertain. I’m eager to see poems from others and know that some of you are still at work. By the way, here’s mine. It’s part of the LEARNING THROUGH POETRY series I mentioned earlier. I cast it in two voices. When my co-author Mary Jo Fresch and I went to California to record all the poems, we had a fine time reciting the girl or boy parts respectively. In this case, I was “Croc” and she was “Cricket.”

Croc and Cricket
David L. Harrison
images
(Croc)
A crocodile and a cricket
Fell in love.
He crooned, “I’m crazy about you,
Wuvvy-dove.”
untitled
(Cricket)
The cricket cried, “I’m lucky
That we met!
I wuv you more than cracker
Crumbs, my pet.”

(Croc)
“I wuv you more than crabs,”
Her lover cooed.

(Cricket)
She said, “My darling, eating
Critters is rude.”

(Croc)
But snooky-wookums,” he said,
“I crave my meat!”

(Cricket)
She whispered, “Honey-bunny,
You’re so sweet.”

(Croc)
He croaked, “No crow or crane
To crunch and crack?”

(Cricket)
“Not even,” she said, “a crispy
Crawfish snack.”

(Croc)
To give the croc credit,
He didn’t fight,

(Cricket)
But he did insist on ice cream
Every night.

© 2013 Shell Education Publishing, Inc.
Reprinted with permission of David L. Harrison

Learning through Poetry

Webinar finished

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your encouragement yesterday. Once that Mary Jo Fresch and I got warmed up, with Kim Bernard’s able guidance we flew straight through the webinar. I think the final time was eighteen minutes so we were about where we wanted to be. I believe that the finished result will be posted today on the Shell Education site.

Learning through PoetryLEARNING THROUGH POETRY is the series of books that we wrote for PreK-2 students to help them develop the connection between the sounds they hear and the words they see. Phonemic awareness is an important indicator of a child’s readiness to read.

For each of the 96 poems in the series I began with a basic sound (phoneme), such as a short vowel, a blended sound, long vowel, digraph, or consonant. I made a list of words that contained the same sound that I wanted to write about. Then I worked them around in various ways until the thread of an idea became apparent.

The final poem, in each case, features as many of the subject sounds as I could work in while also writing a legitimate poem in the process. It was a challenge but one that I rather enjoyed.

Here’s an example. The sound was the blend GR.

Grandmas
David L. Harrison

Gruff old grandpa grizzlies growl
Grimly when they eat.
With grabby claws
They fill their paws
With veggies, fruit, and meat.

Grandma grizzlies’ “grrrs” are sweet,
Their love to spoil their cubs
With grasshopper grits,
Cherry pits,
And gruel with greasy grubs.

We think gruel with grubs is gross
But grand-cub grizzlies slurp it,
They grin and groan,
Grunt and moan,
And roll their eyes and burp it.

Mary Jo used her special skills and talents to create classroom activities that teachers can follow to reinforce the subject sound in fun, useful ways. She managed to find all sorts of connections to common core standards and core subjects. What originally began as an idea for one book grew over time into the series of five titles.

Our publisher flew us to California where we spent a laughter-filled day recording all the poems so that each of the books contains a CD of our voices reading the poems in that volume.

If you know someone who should know about this series, I hope you’ll pass along the information, you can open http://shelleducation.com and search for LEARNING THROUGH POETRY.

New webinar

Hi, everyone,

A new experience for me. Three hours from the time of this posting I’ll join Mary Jo Fresch in recording a 20-minute webinar about our new 5-book series — LEARNING THROUGH POETRY.The leader of the program is Kim Bernard with Shell Education. Kim will speak from California. Mary Jo from Ohio, and I’ll pitch in from Florida.
DHL and MJF
Yesterday we had a practice session that went well so today is the real deal. We’ve been reminded to turn everything off that might make a noise and even to watch the sound of paper being shuffled.

After the webinar has been shown at sales meetings I believe it will be available to other viewers, perhaps through the Shell/TCM websites. Fingers crossed.

David