Topic Choice Mentors

Sometimes, when we offer students choice during a poetry unit of study, they get come up empty.  One topic that all kids have something to say about is school.  Whether they love it or hate it, enjoy writing or shy away from it, all children have opinions and unique experiences about school.  Reading, Rhyming, and ‘Rithmetic is a new book of poems written by Dave Crawley and illustrated by Liz Callen.

Hand Reading, Rhyming, and ‘Rithmetic to any student who needs a little inspiration when they get stuck looking for a topic to write about.  I’m certain their mind will be jumping with things they can write about their own school experience after reading through the pages of this book of school poems.

Here are two of the rhyming poems from Crawley and Callen’s book, which I particularly enjoyed:

I once had a student whose dog literally ate their writer's notebook. Fortunately, the parent worked in my school to confirm it. However, most of the time, as we all know, pet excuses don't work. But reasons homework didn't get done are sure fun to write about!

I'll never forget the time one of my students ran into me on 86th St., on a Sunday morning, when I wasn't wearing any makeup. That was all around the class by the time I brought my kids up from the Pledge of Allegiance. Teacher sightings can make funny poems.

Permission to reprint the poems and artwork in this forum was granted by Boyds Mills Press, Inc., who also provided a review copy of this text.