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The Study of Poetry and Literature for Children & Young Adults

Module #1--Poetry Break #3: A Less Familiar Mother Goose Poem

Flying Geese

A Weather Poem
By Mother Goose
When the wind is in the east,
'Tis good for neither man nor beast;
When the wind is in the north,
The skillful fisher goes not forth;
When the wind is in the south,
It blows the bait in the fishes' mouth;
When the wind is in the west,
Then 'tis at the very best.


Introduction: This was a new Mother Goose poem for me and what fascinated me was that it predicted the weather through the direction the wind was blowing. It reminded me of the "red sky at night, sailors delight...." poem I learned as a child.


Poetry Extension: This Mother Goose poem would be great fun to incorporate into a weather lesson. Actually for any grade right up through high school. For middle school aged children, begin with with learning the compass. Follow up with weather patterns that can be predicted with shifts in the wind direction. Perhaps have a meteorologist come in and speak to the class. Research other sayings or rhymes that forcast the weather. Most children love animals.  Have the students research changes in animal behavior that predict the weather. For example, turtles have been observed building their nests on higher ground farther from the water in years that have heavy hurricanes. After choosing different animals perhaps the children could attempt their own weather/animal poem.
Moses, Will. 2003. Mother Goose. New York: Philomel. ISBN 0399237445

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Module #1--Poetry Break #4