Love That Poem
Introduction to Poetry


I donít want to
because boys
donít write poetry.

Girls do.


I tried.
Canít do it.
Brainís empty.

~ Jackís first poetry journal entries from the book, "Love That Dog" by Sharon Creech.

You never know from where ideas are going to come.  The inspiration for our class poems are from the book, "Love That Dog" by Sharon Creech.  It tells the story of Jack, a boy who does not want to write poems.  Through his journaling, we learn that soon he comes to love writing poems and gets quite good at it.  Itís a delightful book for teachers and students.  We used the poems Jackís teacher, Miss Stretchberry read to Jack and his class, such as, "The Tyger" by William Blake, and the following poem as inspirations for our first poems. 

The Red Wheelbarrow

by William Carlos Williams

so much depends


a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

Sharon Creech found inspiration for the book in a poem she loved by Walter Dean Myers that she had hanging on her bulletin board for three or four years.  The poem, "Love That Boy" sparked a story when she began to wonder what the boy in the poem might love. 

Love That Boy
By Walter Dean Myers
Love that boy,
like a rabbit loves to run
I said I love that boy
like a rabbit loves to run
Love to call him in the morning
love to call him
ďHey there, son!Ē

He walk like his Grandpa,
Grins like his Uncle Ben.
I said he walk like his Grandpa,
And grins like his Uncle Ben.
Grins when heís happy,
When he sad, he grins again.

His mama like to hold him,
Like to feed him cherry pie.
I said his mama like to hold him.
Like to feed him that cherry pie.
She can have him now,
Iíll get him by and by

He got long roads to walk down
Before the setting sun.
I said he got a long, long road to walk down
Before the setting sun.
Heíll be a long stride walker,
And a good man before he done


    Knowing that I was going to be creating a poetry unit for my students, it was sheer coincidence while watching television one night a show came on about a United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004 - 2006.  His name was Ted Kooser.  The show was a poetry reading and as Mr. Kooser began to read his poems, I became enthralled with the imagery of his words.  I began to wonder how I could present the same experience to my students.  I wanted them to visualize, experience and enjoy, someone elseís words and even try to write their own poems. 
    Sometimes things just fall into place because it wasnít long after this that I was in a bookstore and walked by a table and saw the book, "Poetry Speaks to Children."  This book includes beautifully illustrated poems along with a cd of the poets reciting their poems. What a treat to hear a poem read by the person who wrote it!  Only Robert Frost can read, "Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening" the way itís intended to be read.  My personal favorite of Robert Frostís work is "The Road Not Taken", which I shared with my students.
    So this is the journey weíve taken toward learning about poetry.  We hope itís a treat to listen to our class as we read our poems. This is only the beginning... thereís more to come!


Focus Content Area:
Fine Arts

Secondary Content Area:
English/Language Arts
Grade Level: