September Iris (A Golden Shovel Poem)

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Autumn approaches, kind and Just
Throwing hints of its arrival— aloof, cat-like

Prowling and batting frost through the passing moons,
But by day, hiding, napping, and

Basking in brightness, allowing heat like
a season of summer suns.

Leaves shed their green With
Emerald subsiding to olive before the
Tawny, coppery shades show with certainty.
Dried and crumbled memories fall off of  
Branches, covering the earth with umber tides.

Though the equinox expresses endings, you, Iris, are Just
Standing there, a September bloom, proud-like.
You remind me to harbor my hopes
Inward singing for eventual springing
Iris, surrounded by delicate falls, your standards held high.

The world tries to remind you that summer is settled, but Still
Here you are, Iris, regal and resplendent. I’ll
Remember watching you, Iris—brave, beautiful rebel—rise.

This a Golden Shovel Poem, which I learned about in Nikki Grime’s amazing book called
One Last Word.   

My Golden Shovel poem is written based on the 3rd stanza of “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou.
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Stay Gold (texts to accompany The Outsiders)

Thank you, Mary Stassen, for inspiring this text list!  As requested, you will find books, videos, and a Newsela text set to serve as additional resources when you read The Outsiders with your class.  When you can, buy your books at an independent bookstore.  Anderson’s Bookshop is one of my favorites!

 

Newsela.Com text Set “Stay Gold!

BOOKS WITH SIMILAR THEMES AND/OR DISCUSSION POINTS

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander      

Josh Bell is a baller and a twin brother.  He needs to sort out what he has in common with his brother and how he is different.  He also needs to face the medical issue going on with his dad.

 

Solo by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess  

This novel-in-verse tells the story of Blade and his broken rock-n-roll family.  Blade grieves the loss of his mom and the shame of  his drug-addicted father by writing his own songs.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson 

Melinda is miserable at school.  Kids laugh at her and make it obvious that they are doing so.  They are still mad at her about something that happened over the summer.  As she struggles through each day, she is trying to heal.  She was the one who was hurt, but nobody will know until she finds her voice.

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous 

This book is the diary of a high-school girl who Runs away from home, and gets mixed up with drugs.  At some points she seems like she has the world ahead of her.  Other times, she seems so lost . . .

 

Tyrell by Coe Booth  

Tyrell can’t get a break.  His mom is useless.  His dad is in jail.  He’s got a kid brother that needs too much from him, and a girlfriend that wants too much from him. All he wants is a place to live, and a new start.

Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes   

Wesley doesn’t write the required essay for Mr. Ward’s class, but he writes a poem. This leads to an open mic poetry event every week in Mr. Ward’s class.  Girls and boys from different races, cultures, and circumstances open up to each other through their shared words.


Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes (Available February 2018)
In this companion/sequel to Bronx Masquerade, Darrin is a  budding news reporter.  He and Mr. Ward bring back open mic poetry and a new group of students learn about each other through shared vulnerability.

 

Joseph: A Novel by Sheila P. Moses  

Joseph is about to start at a new school.  The problem is, it’s hard to get to know anyone when you can’t talk about your life.  Joseph and his mom live in a homeless shelter, because she can’t keep a steady job with her drug and alcohol addictions.  Joseph is trying to figure out how to help her while he also tries to deal with his own life.

Bottled Up by Jaye Murray  

Pip is desperate to escape his life – he skips school, drinks, and gets high trying to escape.  When Pip gets in trouble at school,  the principal gives him an ultimatum:  See a counselor, or his dad will be called.  Pip will do ANYTHING to avoid his father, so he sees the counselor, who wants him to see what he’s doing to himself and to his little brother.

Handbook for Boys by Walter Dean Myers   

Jimmy and Kevin could really use a guide to life.

Their activities almost land them in juvenile detention until Duke employs them in his Harlem barbershop. Duke has rules for everything. But is he offering good advice or just more aggravation?

Scorpions by Walter Dean Myers    

Lately everybody’s messing with Jamal. His teachers, the kids at school, even his dad. And now that Jamal’s brother Randy’s in the slam, Crazy Mack has a crazy idea. He wants Jamal to take control of the Scorpions and run crack.

All the gang jive–Jamal has no use for it. Unless, like some say, it’s the only way to “get money” for Randy’s appeal…

The story of twelve-year-old Jamal, whose life changes drastically when he acquires a gun.

 

I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets:
Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous & Obscure
by Larry Smith

Based on Earnest Hemingway’s six-word-story, teens wrote their own six-word-memoirs—powerful, vulnerable, truth-telling memoirs.

 

Boot Camp by Todd Strasser   

After getting caught with drugs, fifteen year-old Garrett is sent to Lake Harmony, a disciplinary boot camp for troubled teens.  At the boot camp, Garrett is abused and controlled until he “obeys all orders immediately and without hesitation.”  Part of him wants to escape, and part of him is terrified to break any more rules.  Can he escape while he still has his own personality?

Teen Angst? Naaah… by Ted Vizzini  

Ned’s angsty teen memoirs can be read in order, or not.  Each chapter is complete and can  stand alone.

YOUTUBE VIDEOS 

Thug Notes: The Outsiders (Warning: Explicit Language)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJl3cEOpFH4

Gone With the Wind in 60 Seconds
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIpNvvVN13Y

Bunnies: Gone With the Wind
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsOIn0IBAdA

Interview with S.E. Hinton
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJnfleLeOZg

Robert Frost recites “Nothing Gold Can Stay”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDPUdK2tcdA

Stop-Action Animation “Nothing Gold Can Stay” (Good For CCSS RL7)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLYj1A5Z_t8

 

Bye-Bye Binaries (for Annika)

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We are coming up to the crossroads,
But they look like borders.

What should we do when we get to the crossroads?
They can’t separate us if we’re holding hands!

I know your life ain’t been no crystal stair,
And mine has had tacks in it.

What should we do when we get to the crossroads?
They can’t separate us if we’re holding hands!

We came through,
Seeing past
My privileged poverty
and
Your oppressed opulence.

What should we do when we get to the crossroads?
They can’t separate us if we’re holding hands!

The two of us?
We are:
Clover and Anna
Marlee and Liz
T.J.  and Andy
Ella and Z
Wren and Darra
Gabby and David

What should we do when we get to the crossroads?
They can’t separate us if we’re holding hands!

They directed you into a police state,
Leaving me devastated, needing to make a statement.

What should we do when we get to the crossroads?
They can’t separate us if we’re holding hands!

We are coming up to the crossroads,
But they look like borders.

What should we do when we get to the crossroads?
They can’t separate us if we’re holding hands!

We will stand up tall
State our case
Hold our heads up high
Lift our voices
Raise our fists

What should we do when we get to the crossroads?
They can’t separate us if we’re holding hands!

Now they understand
Just why our head’s are not bowed.

What should we do when we get to the crossroads?
They can’t separate us if we’re holding hands!

 

Into a daybreak that is wondrously clear,
We rise!

What should we do when we get to the crossroads?
They can’t separate us if we’re holding hands!

We have come to realize that my destiny is tied up with your destiny.
My freedom is inextricably bound to your freedom.
We cannot walk alone.

What should we do when we get to the crossroads?
They can’t separate us if we’re holding hands!

We are friends, comrades,
Unapologetically.

What should we do when we get to the crossroads?
They can’t separate us if we’re holding hands!

We rise!

 

NaPoWriMo – Day 26 prompt

“Write a poem that incorporates a call and response. Calls-and-responses are used in many sermons and hymns (and also in sea chanties!), in which the preacher or singer asks a question or makes an exclamation, and the audience responds with a specific, pre-determined response.”

 

 

 

A Few More Words

You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You by Mary Ann Hoberman

This book of “very short stories to read together”, illustrated by Michael Emberley, is really a book of poems.  They are color-coded to show which parts I read, which parts you read, and which parts we read together.  “I Hate My Hat” is one of my favorites!

 

 

A Pocketful of Poems by Nikki Grimes

This poetry book alternates  between free-verse and haiku.  Each new topic is illustrated and has one of each type of poem.  The illustrations by Javaka Steptoe combine paper cut-outs and three-dimensional objects.

 

 

Science Verse by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

Scieszka and Smith explore (exploit?) various poems through scientific parodies.  They cover the digestive system, evolution, black holes, food chains, matter and more.  You will recognize the framework from many of the poems!  Read “‘Twas the Night Before Anything” for their interpretation of the Big Bang theory and “Astronaut Stopping By a Planet on a Snowy Evening.”  Fun stuff!

 

And Now for Something Completely Different… Poetry

My man Blue by Nikki Grimes

This picture book by Nikki Grimes, was illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue in acrylics.   While it is written in poetry form, and each poem can stand alone, the book really tells a story about a boy, Damon, who eventually accepts his mom’s “old friend.”  Together, they face a class bully, anger, fear, and trust.

 

Here in Harlem:  poems in many voices by Walter Dean Myers

In this tribute to W. B. Yeats, Walter Dean Myers captures a vignette of Harlem.  Through 54 poems, Myers introduces the different people that made up the community of his childhood home, and gives voice to each of them.  Some of the people represented through poem include:  a retiree, a nanny, some students, a janitor, a hairdresser, and a street vendor.

 

Dark emperor & other poems of the night  by Joyce Sidman

This picture book by Joyce Sidman, and illustrated by Rick Allen is a picture book, a non-fiction book, and a poetry book all in one.  Allen illustrated using “relief printing” which involves blocks of linoleum, ink, and in this case gouache (an intense watercolor).  Sidman alternated between poetry that focuses on nature and a non-fiction explanation of the living things mentioned in the poem.

 

Snow, snow:  winter poems for children  by Jane Yolen

Photography by Jane Yolen’s son, Jason Stemple, is highlighted in this book.  Yolen wrote 13 poems to go along with, and inspired by, the photography.  The style of each poem varies, but the topic is the same: they are all about snow.