Saturday, April 30, 2011

Janet Wong’s “Scute”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Mary Ann Hoberman


Setting the Stage: Write the word “scute” on a strip of paper, chalkboard, or note card. Challenge the kids to guess what the word means. Jot down their definitions. (It’s not important that they guess correctly, but that they have fun wondering.)

Poetry Performance: Wong’s poem, “Scutes,” nicely incorporates four concrete examples of her poem’s key concept in four independent stanzas. The format lends itself nicely to being read aloud by four small groups (or four volunteers), each reading one stanza.

Just for Fun:
Bring cinnamon rolls and a small pan or a butcher block or wooden cutting board to show the images mentioned in the poem. What other examples of “scutes” can the kids think of?

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:

If you haven’t gotten your own copy of PoetryTagTime yet, buy the book now for only 99 cents, so you can share each of the 30 poems along with the ideas and activities that are available here.

Now begin again: Janet’s poem opens with the moons on a turtle’s back. This connects us back with Jack Prelutsky’s first moon poem, “If the Moon” and PoetryTagTime has come full circle.

Image credit: PoetryTagTime

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. If you have an old round pan that can be coaxed into a slight oval (like a turtle shell), and then if you can bake some cinnamon rolls in it...that would be P-E-R-F-E-C-T!

    As for the cutting board, ask around and see if anyone has an old Chinese chopping block. These are basically just 4" thick slices of a tree trunk, and so you'll see tree rings (like scute rings). Or you can buy one in a Chinese supermarket--they're quite handy--but not everyone has a Chinese market nearby.

    (You probably don't want to bring in any toenails!)

    How to say the word: when I first consulted my online dictionary, I heard scute (rhymes with cute), and wrote the poem. Weeks after I'd finished the poem, I was mortified when I happened to consult another online dictionary and heard scute (like scoot). The last line doesn't work quite as well with that pronunciation, but I think it's OK either way you say it.

    Thank you, Sylvia, for these and all your amazing ideas for each of these poems!