Friday, June 5, 2009

POETRY FRIDAY (OK, almost Saturday!)

Lucky gal that I am, I won Ann Whitford Paul's ALL BY HERSELF in a Miss Rumphius Effect book give away (thanks so much!) about six weeks ago. It's been sitting on the top of the pile, and today I finally got to give it a good read. 

ALL BY HERSELF consists of fourteen biographical poems about women. Some are women you know well- Amelia Earhart, Rachel Carson, Sacajawea, Wilma Rudolph, Pocahontas, author Wanda Gag, and politician Golda Meirs. Others, however, are much less familiar- Harriet Hanson, who worked in the fabric mills of Lowell, Massachusetts; Maria Mitchell, a professor of astronomy at Vassar College; and Violet Sheehy, Ida Lewis,  Kate Shelley, and Frances Ward, who all helped lead families, neighbors, and friends, out of dangerous situations. Each poem is presented on the left side of a two page spread, while the righthand side is devoted to a beautiful oil color painting by illustrator Michael Steirnagle.

I could see using this book in several different ways. First, I'd love to use the poems as mentor texts for kids during a multi-genre biography unit. Some of the poems rhyme, and those would probably be hard for kids to emulate, but lots of the poems would be really approachable for kids. Second, I'd love to use these poems as examples of character traits like curiosity, leadership, perseverance, and courage.  I'm always looking for real life heroes for kids to follow.

This is not a new book (it's actually about ten years old), but it is definitely worth checking out.

POETRY FRIDAY is at READ WRITE BELIEVE by Sara Lewis Holmes. Go check out her amazing original poem! 


Sara said...

Oh, this looks GOOD! I like the mix of well-known and not-so. And the oil paintings. Thanks for the heads up.

Tricia said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. I love finding older books that have been forgotten or not gotten much play at all. I use this one every fall when we talk about how to approach biography.

Mary Lee said...

Thanks for reminding me about this book. Now if I could just put my finger on my copy...