This post was to be based on a poem by an NCTE Award for Poetry for Children recipient, so I chose a poem by Mary Ann Hoberman, who won that award in 2003. "New Jacket" appears in her book Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers: A Collection of Family Poems (see full citation at the end). A not-everyday jacket That's-not-for-play jacket Do-as-I-say jacket A must-keep-it-neat jacket Not-for-the-street jacket Don't-you-look-sweet jacket A don't-get-it-messed jacket Please-keep-it-pressed jacket That-is-your-best jacket
Setting the Stage: A copy of the poem (provided below) will be on chart paper in front of the class, who will be seated on the floor. A variety of nicer items of clothing will be placed appropriately as props.
Introduction: Ask students to share about a special dress or item of clothing they had to take really good care of. Older students can give a quote of something their mom or dad actually said about that item.
"New Jacket" by Mary Ann Hoberman
I've got a new jacket.
I don't even care.
What good is a jacket
You can't even wear?
It's yellow and red.
With a zigzag design.
They bought it for me
And they said it was mine.
I think that they bought it
Just so they could say
Go take off that jacket.
Don't wear it today.
(Hoberman, Mary Ann. 1991. New jacket. In Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers: A collection of family poems, illus. by Marylin Hafner, 12. New York: Puffin Books.)
Inviting Participation: This poem almost begs to be read by at least two people. For older students who are proficient readers, after reading the poem a couple of times aloud as a class, invite two individuals to read up front, one as the girl and one as the voice of the parent in italics.
For younger readers who aren't as proficient, I would invite a guest reader, such as their classroom teacher, to read the poem with me in the same way, one as the voice of the girl and the other as the voice of the parent. Prior to that during the initial run-throughs with the whole class, I'd teach them to all say "jacket" when I point to that word, so they can participate in the reading of the poem as well.
Extension: Ask students to share with a buddy a time when they disagreed about something with their parents.
A not-everyday jacket
Do-as-I-say jacketJust isn't fair.
A must-keep-it-neat jacket
Don't-you-look-sweet jacketIsn't that fine?
A don't-get-it-messed jacket
That-is-your-best jacketPut it away.