Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"Biscuit Brown" by Joyce Carol Thomas

Poetry Break for poem published in 2008-09.

"Biscuit Brown" by Joyce Carol Thomas from The Blacker the Berry, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 2008.

Intro: Ask students to name various types of berries. If possible, display several jars of various jams and jellies. Show students the book with the poem and the illustrations. Explain that the author is describing all the skin tones of African-American children and comparing them to various color shades in our world.
Tell students to compare their skin tones with the friends around them and pick the ones they feel are the color of a baked biscuit.

Read the poem and have students listen to how the speaker compares his/her skin to the color of a biscuit.

Biscuit Brown

I gather loganberries
From the trailing bush
Dancing prickly sweet
In my sunny backyard

I am biscuit brown
Brown as a biscuit
All warm and waiting
For berries
That I carry
To the kitchen and can

When the berries in the jar
Are biscuit ready
I fix a cup of tea
Then spoon out biscuit jelly
For biscuit brown me

Set up a taste testing table with biscuits and jam and jellies to try. Let students compare their biscuit to their skin tones. Also let students vote on their favorite jam or jelly.

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