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The Study of Poetry and Literature for Children & Young Adults

Poetry Break #5: A Poem that can be Sung


Introduction: This is an excellent poem for kindergartners and first graders to sing to a familiar tune. The children will enjoy the easy to sing humorous lyrics.


The Ostrich is a Silly Bird
By Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
The ostrich is a silly bird,
With scarcely any mind,
He often runs so very fast,
He leaves himself behind.
And when he gets there, has to stand
And hang about till night,
Without a blessed thing to do
Until he comes in sight.
Poetry Extension: Gather the children in a circle around you seated on the floor. Lead them in singing Mary had a Little Lamb.
Then, tell them that you have a poem about an ostrich you want to read to them. Read the poem to them and say, "I think this poem would be even better if we sing it. Let's try, using the tune from Mary had a Little Lamb!"
Sing it once through without the children and then invite them to join you. Print out the lyrics for the children to follow as they sing. The children will enjoy learning new words to well know music.
Hall, Donald. 1999. The Oxford Illustrated Book of American Children's Poems. Ill. by Charles R. Smith, Jr. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195123735

Click on the following link to proceed to the next poetry book review.

Module 3: Poetry Book Review