Problem: My kids need some poetry mentor texts and it’s hard  to find something (other than expensive anthologies) at the bookstore.

Solution: Pick up Love That Dog by Sharon Creech. 

                                                                    So much depends
                                                                    a blue car
                                                                    splattered with mud
                                                                    speeding down the road
These are the first few cryptic lines of a poem written by Jack, the book’s main character.  Jack didn’t always enjoy poetry. At the beginning of the book he is being dragged along as his teacher exposes the class to classic  and modern poets.  Love That Dog is written from the perspective of a boy who really doesn’t “get” poetry but has to study it at school.  Over time Jack begins to play with some of the poetic devices he is exposed to (just what we encourage our own students to do!).  He gains confidence as a writer and begins to tell his own story through poetry.

The book is written as free verse poetry and refers to other famous poems (which are included at the back of the book) so it’s like mentor text within mentor text!  I would highly suggest exposing your students to the famous poems at the back of the book FIRST.  Then they can relate to Jack as he ponders why “so much depends upon a red wheelbarrow” in the poetry of William Carlos Williams.  Your students will be encouraged when they see that the small moments of their lives can become the seeds for powerful poems.

Must-Read Monday Linky
Hannah Braun on FacebookHannah Braun on InstagramHannah Braun on PinterestHannah Braun on Youtube
Hannah Braun
Hannah Braun
Hannah Braun is a former teacher with 8 years of experience in the classroom and a master's degree in early childhood education. She designs engaging, organized classroom resources for 1st-3rd grade teachers.