Sunday, February 1, 2009

Poetry Break: "There is a Land" by Leland B. Jacobs

"There is a Land" by Leland B. Jacobs from Good Books, Good Times, an anthology of poems compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Harvey Stevenson, from Harper Collins Publishers, NY, 1990.

Intro: Create a poster for Fantasy books, indicating the location on the stacks with call numbers for popular titles. Pull several examples of titles such as The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baun, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Ask students if they can tell what elements makes a book a fantasy and list on chart paper.

Read the poem "There is a Land" by Leland B. Jacobs and ask students what parts of the poem demonstrate the fantasy elements they listed on the chart.
Discuss if any lines of the poem show up in the fantasy books on display.

There Is A Land
There is a land--
A marvelous land--
Where trolls and giants dwell;
Where witches
With their bitter brew
Can cast a magic spell;
Where mermaids sing,
Where carpets fly,
Where, in the midst of night,
Brownies dance
To cricket tunes;
And ghosts, all shivery white,
Prowl and moan.
There is a land
Of magic folks and deeds,
And anyone
Can visit there
Who reads and reads and reads.

Extension: Encourage children to find another fantasy book from the shelves that has an element in it that matches the poem. Some examples might be "...where carpets fly..." could be matched with a retelling of Aladdin and the Magic Lamp. ".....where trolls and giants dwell..." could be located in The Hobbitt by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Divide up the lines of the poem to allow students to illustrate the lines and post on a wall in sequence.

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