Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cool, Smart Poetry: Booktalk 1

[Before you booktalk, put bookmarks in your favorite poems in case you want to read a few instead of doing a traditional “booktalk.” More charming poems here.]

Did you know that 99% of all species that ever existed are now extinct? 99% -- that’s pretty much all species! So the species that are still sticking around today, like us, are pretty lucky and amazing. [Showcase cover of book]. This book is called Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors by Joyce Sidman and illustrator Beckie Prange. That’s a tricky word – ubiquitous. What does that mean? [Take answers or guesses.] The glossary at the back tells us this: “Something that is (or seems to be) everywhere at the same time.” So basically, ubiquitous means something that’s everywhere – and something we are used to: bacteria, beetles, ants, grass, squirrels, and humans. All of these things have ancient ancestors. Take squirrels, for example.

[If you want, skip the next part, and just read the poem “Tail Tale” and then give your readers a few pre-rehearsed facts from the squirrel info section.]

“Tail Tale” is a cool shaped poem [show the picture]: squirrels have more determination and perserverance than we’ll ever have, and their genetic family is 36 million years old. That’s older than us, good old homo sapiens. In the world of species, we are the new kids on the block. Our everyday world is full of ancient mysteries, and history lives through those ubiquitous plants and animals. Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors by Joyce Sidman.

Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors by Joyce Sidman, ill. by Becky Prange. Unpaged. Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2010. Booktalk to intermediate grades [3-5] and middle school.

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