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The Study of Poetry and Literature for Children & Young Adults

Poetry Break #5: A Poem by Lee Bennett Hopkins


Introduction: What a great introduction to an end of the year field trip! Grades seven down through first will respond to the mystery and intrigue in this poem.

~Behind the Museum Door~
By Lee Bennett Hopkins
What's Behind the museum door?
Ancient necklaces,
African art,
Armor of knights,
A peasant cart;
Pioneer wagons,
Vintage cars,
A planetarium
                      with stars;
Priceles old coins,
A king's golden throne,
Mummies in linen,
A dinosaur bone.
Poetry Extension:  Read the poem to your class, let's pick third grade. Then ask, "Do you think museums will have any of the items mentioned? What do you want to see first?" Lead the discussion into, "What if you had a museum, what would you choose to include in your collection?" Have the children write poems about their own museum collections.
Then, field trip time! Have enough chaperones that the children aren't rushed through the exhibits. It is best to go before the massive field trips at the end of the year. Or kick the new year off with the poem and subsequent trip.
Make sure you follow up the next day in the classroom with discussions about what they saw and if it met their expectations. Time for them to write a new poem on their individual future museums.
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 1995. Good rhymes, good times. Ill. by Frane Lessac. U.S.A.: HarperCollins. ISBN 0060234997


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Module 2: Poetry Book Review