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The Study of Poetry and Literature for Children & Young Adults

Poetry Break #2: A Free Verse Poem

Introduction: Use this poem for first through third grades. Because of the subject (Sunday School, Bible characters), I don't know if it can be used in a public school setting. It would be excellent for a Sunday School class or in a private school setting.

By Nikki Grimes
In Sunday School sometimes,
our teacher asks us kids
who our favorite person in the Bible is
and why. Once I raised my hand and said,
"That's easy. I like Esther,
because she's brave
and she's smart
and she's a girl---
and I'm all of that, too.
Just ask God.
He'll tell you."
Poetry Extension: Read this poem through to your class. Then, explain who Esther was, why she was brave, what she did. Ask for a volunteer to read the poem next. I guarantee there will be a flurry of little girls' arms waving in the air, especially if there is one named Esther.
Then, pull out a stack of Bible story books. Ask the children to look through and find someone who is brave and wonderful, someone that they want to be like. When this is accomplished ask them to draw a picture, write a poem or short story about the person that they chose. Post these on the school or church bulletin board.
Grimes, Nikki. 1996. Come Sunday. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eeardmans Publishing Company. ISBN 0802851088


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Poetry Break #3