Use Silver Seeds to plant poems

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012 in Early Learning, Nature Smart, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Range of Reading, Self Smart, Vocabulary | 0 comments

This is one of my go-to books I use every April to celebrate Poetry Month. Silver Seeds by Paul Paolilli and Dan Brewer with paintings by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher is simply beautiful. The poems are all about nature, and they’re all written in a form many kids recognize. When I show the first poem,
“Down goes the moon
And up comes the sun,
Welcoming the
New Day”
lots of hands wave in the air, “It’s an acrostic!” Yes, these poems have a word as the topic of the poem written from top to bottom on the page, and each letter starts a line of the poem. When we teach our kids to begin writing poetry, it’s an easy form to follow. I love that the poems  in this book aren’t just one word per letter, but you can show kids how to write acrostic poems using either one word to make a descriptive list, or several words per line to paint a broader picture.

Silver Seeds is a great poetry book to hit the Common Core State Standard of Range of Reading (RL. 10 if you’re keeping score) in the elementary grades, but it’s also a cool writing activity to get kids to use the dictionary. I model for the students how to write an acrostic poem about myself using my first name. I ask, “What could I put for K?” Krazy, Kool, Kitten, and Kid are usually suggested, but none of these really works for me. How can I find a K word that I think describes me? I open up the dictionary and begin to browse. Perhaps I am kaput (there are days when this is too accurate!), or keen, or kissable.  I decide that I am Kindly, and we can go on to brainstorming and looking for  R words. Using the dictionary to find words to describe themselves is a fun way to use the resource and you’ll be thrilled at some of the new adjectives your students learn. A love of language, a love of poetry, planted with Silver Seeds.

For more information, visit johnson&fancher.com

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