A Light in the Attic.  Shel Silverstein

Harper & Row, 1981; Awarded 1984.

Synopsis:  A collection of humorous poems and drawings.  This collection includes satires, limericks, ballads, questions, tall stories, ridiculous situations, and a unique way with the language.

Author:

Discussion questions:  Standard 3, Benchmark 3
1. What is it about Silverstein's poetry that makes you like it so much?
2. Silverstein did not go to schools and visit with children very much.  How do you think he was able to write poems that fit children so well?
3. Silverstein gave this bit of advice for when you are discouraged or can’t do anything right.  What does it mean to you or how could you apply to a personal situation:
Then listen close to me Anything can happen, child; ANYTHING can be.

Activities:
1. Students choose a them and find poems to fit that theme, i.e. excuses for not doing something (not doing homeworkHomework Machine, p. 57; not cleaning your room Messy Room, p. 35).  Standard 3, Benchmark 1
2. Use poems as an introduction to a science or literature unit.  Introduce unit briefly, then have students locate appropriate poems a an anticipatory set.  (The Toad and the Kangaroo with The Wingdingdilly by Peet or The Mixed-up Chameleon by Carle as a pre-writing activity for creating their own mixed-up animal.) Standard 2, Benchmark 4
3. Students share poems at an open house or parents' night.  Poems could be illustrated and shared orally, either memorized or well-read.  Illustrations could be put in a power point presentation for sharing while students recite poems.  Standard 3, Benchmark 4