November 17, 2006

Poetry Friday II: the Cybils' selection of the day

My second Poetry Friday selection today is an excerpt from one of the poems from the Cybils-nominated Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow, written by the prolific, lyrical, and award-winning Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beth Krommes.

All of the poems in Butterfly Eyes are riddles, which is a wonderful way to engage children in both the reading of, and listening to, poetry. My three, who've had some of the local white-tail deer families come up to edge the ice skating pond to investigate the new winter activities, didn't get past the first line of this one before calling out the answer:

excerpt from The Gray Ones
by Joyce Sidman

We are the tall ones with crowns of velvet
the high-steppers
the flag-wavers
We are the silent ones that browse at dusk
the bud-nibblers
the ear-flickers
The gray ones that linger at woods' edge
Swift Still
Here Gone ...


A Teacher's Guide for Butterfly Eyes, to use with students from around grades 2 to 5, is here. In addition to several writing and science activities, there's also an art activity -- how to make your own "scratch-art animals" based on the book's scratchboard art (similar to wood engraving) by Beth Krommes. For more writing ideas, try Joyce Sidman's Poetry Now and Poem Starters pages.

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