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The Study of Poetry and Literature for Children & Young Adults

Poetry Break #2: Poem accompanied by movement

perfectharmony.jpg

Introduction: This is perfect for middle school students. Use in the winter on a dull day when you want to wake them up and get their blood moving.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rhythm Is
By Charles R. Smith, Jr.
 
Drumstickss tick
tick tick tick
rhythmic licks
with a flick of the wrist.
Like the thump
of a drum
rhythm hums
a track
for voices
to glide
slide and
ride
upon.
Creating constant sound
with a background
beat,
rhythm is the
clock
that keeps
vocal cords
on their feet.
Setting lyrics
in motion,
rhythm is
an ocean
filled with
the
pump-pump
pump-pump
sounds of
heartbeats
the
jump-jump
jump-jump
of double-Dutch
feet
keeping time
with rope
skip
skip
skipping on concrete
the
dribble-dribble
stop
that makes jumpshots
drop
the
pop-pop
pop-pop-pop
sound of kernals
getting hot.
From a nod
of the head
to a
shake
shake           
shake
of                  
the feet
rhythm lives in you
rhythm lives in me
rhythm in the song of life
breaks
down
to one
simple key;
marching your own
voice
to your own
rhythmic
beat.
 
 
Poetry Extension: Read the poem through once. Stop and ask the students to think of movement as you read it a second time. The areas in blue type are excellent sections of the poem to add accompanying movement.
 
If necessary, lead the discussion toward using the tick and the thump as movements by having the students drum and tap on their desks. The pump-pump can be used as movement by slapping flat hands on the desktop. The jump can be the children jumping in place. Then, follow with nodding heads, shaking feet and then marching.
 
After this, have children create their own motion poem. Let each student decide which mood, movements and motions he or she wants to create.
 
 
 
 
Smith, Jr, Charles R. 2002. Perfect harmony. Ill. by Charles R. Smith, Jr. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 078680758X

Click on the following link to proceed to the next poetry break

Module 3: Poetry Break #3