I want to talk about my books for teachers, #2

Hi everyone,

After my first book for teachers, co-written with Bee Cullinan, in 2003 I partnered with Kathy Holderith a masterful 3rd grade teacher in the Denver area, and together we wrote the book with the longest title ever. Take a breath before you start. USING THE POWER OF POETRY TO TEACH LANGUAGE ARTS, SOCIAL STUDIES, MATH, AND MORE, ENGAGING POETRY LESSONS, MODEL POEMS, AND WRITING ACTIVITIES THAT HELP STUDENTS LEARN IMPORTANT CONTENT. Whew. Scholastic does like titles that tell you exactly what to expect between the covers.

In case there was still any doubt, Scholastic described our effort: “A gifted poet and a talented teacher share their insights and practical strategies for using poetry to enrich language arts, science, social studies, and math. With dozens of model lessons and poems, writing prompts, reproducible activities, and extension ideas, this delightful and inspiring book will help teachers weave poetry into their curriculum . . . and help their students express what they’ve learned, what they’re thinking, and what they’re dreaming through the magic of poetry. For use with Grades 3-6.”

When I visited Kathy’s classroom, I was impressed not only by how gently but surely she guided her students to make new discoveries and love the journey, but also how passionate she was about her kids, and they, in turn, adored her. At one point I was sitting in the “reading” chair while Kathy and her students gathered around on the carpet. Kathy teared up about something I said and one of her kids nonchalantly reached for a box of tissues and passed it to her teacher without missing a word. I don’t remember what I was reading but it was from our book. Could have been this.

The Sounds of Memory

She sit alone
listening to sounds
of memory

of birds eagerly
trading sweet songs
for seeds that drip
like musical notes
from slender fingers

gone all gone
the notes
the seeds
the songs

she shuts her eyes
and listens to
the fading sounds
of memory

(c) 2003 David L. Harrison, all rights reserved

My weather poem

Hi everyone,

Speaking of weather, here’s a previously published poem of mine on the subject (Using the Power of Poetry). I intend to do an original this month, too, but for now I want to be counted in.

Night Storm

(2 voices)
David L. Harrison

(1st voice)
Growling cloudy beasts to prowling,
Stalking through the night,
With fiery eyes they roam the skies
Spoiling for a fight.

(2nd voice)
Thunderous roars
And lightning breath
Scare the timid
Half to death!

(1st voice)
With tooth and claw they gnash and gnaw
And clash with roars of pain
Till fangs and scales and tips of tails
Rattle down like rain.

(2nd voice)
Lightning breath
And thunderous roars
Keep the timid
Scared indoors!

(1st voice)
Flashing scowls they shriek and howl
Till every beast lies dead.
Their roisterous fight all through the night
Paints the morning red.

(2nd voice)
No one’s frightened
Of lightning breath
Or thunderous roar.