Monday, February 22, 2016

Dog Days Part 2: Poetry & Figurative Language

Add Photo by Z is for Zebra; Digital Papers by Connie Prince & Trixie Scraps.

Welcome back for part two of Dog Days Literacy. If you missed my previous post full of nonfiction resources, you can see it here.

Today's focus? Poetry and figurative language

First, I'm sharing bits of some of my favorite dog poems!  

My Dog, He Is An Ugly Dog by Jack Prelutsky (from his book The New Kid On The Block).

An excerpt:
"My Dog, He Is An Ugly Dog"
By: Jack Prelutsky

My dog, he is an ugly dog,
he's put together wrong,
his legs are much too short for him,
his ears are much too long.
My dog, he is a scruffy dog,
he's missing clumps of hair,
his face is quite ridiculous,
his tail is scarcely there.

The twist at the end is that the dog owner loves the dog despite its many flaws! The last line states, "He is the dog for me."
Prelutsky, J. (1984). The New Kid on the Block (pp. 62-63). New York, NY: Greenwillow Books

Mother Doesn't Want a Dog! by Judith Viorst (from her book If I Were in Charge of the World and Other Worries). Click here to find the poem at
An excerpt:
"Mother Doesn't Want a Dog"
By: Judith Viorst

Mother doesn't want a dog.
Mother says they shed,
And always let the strangers in
And bark at friends instead,
And do disgraceful things on rugs,
And track mud on the floor,
And flop upon your bed at night
And snore their doggy snore.

Poetry can be used in many ways in the classroom.

I use the poems by Prelutsky and Viorst to review point of view. You can grab the sheets I created for this here

Every time I introduce a poem, I start by reading it aloud while students make a mind movie (mental image).  I read it aloud again as students follow along. Then, we search for new vocabulary and annotate the poem with kid-friendly definitions. You can also have students color code parts of speech or highlight phonics patterns and prefixes.

To review figurative language, the students choose a dog idiom or saying and illustrate it's true meaning. You can grab a free list of dog phrases and a recording sheet by clicking here

For even MORE fun, students can illustrate the true meaning along with what the saying would look like if it literally meant what it said!

One Last Resource

I've never actually used this book with my class, but I've read it more than once for pleasure! This book is written as a series of free verse poems. Classic dog poems are included as well. Click here or on the cover to find it.
My next Dog Days Literacy post will focus on literature. Thanks for stopping by!

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