Make Poetry Delicious with “Toasting Marshmallows”

Posted by on Apr 18, 2012 in Early Learning, Nature Smart, Poetry, Print Motivation, Rhyming, Vocabulary | 0 comments

I’ve had the pleasure of teaching poetry lessons to more than 175 students this week, and one sure-fire hit book I shared was Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems written by Kristine O’Connell George and illustrated by Kate Kiesler. Before I shared the title poem with the students, I told them how eager I am to go camping this summer. Amidst waving hands and shouts of “Me, too!” I talked about my memories of campfires – the smoky smell of burning wood, the welcome warmth after the sun goes down, and, of course, the requisite toasting of the marshmallows. I read aloud Kristine George’s poem in which we hear about two kinds of marshmallow toasters – those who like to patiently roast the marshmallow until the “pillowed confection” becomes “golden perfection” and those who shove ’em on a stick, burn ’em, flick off the soot, and eat ’em, char and all. The only thing that could’ve made the kids more eager to get their hands on this book when I was done with the lesson would’ve been to bring in marshmallows and build a campfire on the playground (a librarian can dream, can’t she?)

Kristine George has a teacher’s guide full of cool extension ideas for Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems on her website: I love the idea of bringing in flashlights to use while writing poems like the four haiku about flashlights George included in her book, or working with metaphor in a writing-skills lesson. George compares the flashlight beam in the dark to a round stepping stone. What else might a flashlight beam be like? Turn off the lights, turn on the flashlights, and let the brainstorming begin! After sharing this book of poetry with your kids, you’ll hear lots of “S’more! Read s’more!”

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