Thursday, February 19, 2009

Poetry Break with Mary Ann Hoberman

Poetry Break with “Raccoon” by Mary Ann Hoberman

Hoberman, Mary Ann. 1998. The Llama Who Had No Pajama: 100 Favorite Poems. Ill. by Betty Fraser. San Diego, CA: Browndeer Press.

Age Group: Late Elementary

Introduction: Bring enough colored plastic eggs for each student in the class, small dried peas/beans, and electrical tape (or any other strong flexible tape). Give an egg to each student and have him/her put a small amount of peas/beans inside to make a shaker egg rhythm instrument. Seal with electrical tape. Pass out a copy of “Raccoon” to each student and read it to them in an upbeat rhythmic fashion.


Crash goes the trash can! Clatter and clacket!
What in the world can be making that racket?
I hurry to look by the light of the moon,
And what do I find? Why, a fine fat raccoon!
All through the garden the garbage he’s strewn,
And he’s eating his supper, that robber raccoon,
Eating so nicely without fork or spoon,
Why, his manners are perfect, that thieving raccoon!
And wasn’t he smart to discover that pail?
And wasn’t he smart to uncover that pail?
And isn’t he lucky he won’t go to jail
For stealing his dinner and making a mess
For me to clean up in the morning, I guess,
While he, the old pirate, abundantly fed,
Curls up in a ball fast asleep in his bed?

Extension: Have the students read the poem with you, shaking the eggs on the beat. Then, after the class is comfortable with the words and rhythm, divide into two groups and have each group read alternating lines. Encourage the children to slap their legs, a desk, etc., in addition to shaking the eggs to feel the rhythm of the poem.

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