Sunday, January 22, 2006
Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems
Sidman, Joyce. 2005. SONG OF THE WATER BOATMAN AND OTHER POND POEMS. Ill. by Beckie Prange. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0618135472 [Suggested Grade Levels K-10]
Ponds and wetlands are teeming with wildlife that is important to the ecosystem. This beautiful picture book with woodblock, hand-colored, watercolor illustrations alternates between poetry and factual information about the everyday animals that live in ponds. Reluctant biology students will find the fast facts about wood ducks, green darners, and painted turtles a painless way to dive into other resources that will help them expand their knowledge of biomes. Younger readers will enjoy the juicy words about the food chain and organisms: “Here hunts the heron, queen of the pond, that spears the fish that swallows the frog that gulps the bug that nabs the nymph that drinks the flea that eats the algae, green and small, in the depths of the summer pond.” The glossary on the last page helps readers decipher the scientific language.
After reading the poetry aloud to children, teachers can use the glossary on the last page to help students explore and define unusual words.
Have high school or middle school biology students write a poem about a pond animal that they have researched and studied after a field trip to a local pond.
Other poetry and nonfiction picture books about nature:
Prelutsky, Jack. THE BEAUTY OF THE BEAST: POEMS FROM THE ANIMAL KINGDOM. ISBN 067987058X
Pringle, Laurence P. A DRAGON IN THE SKY: THE STORY OF A GREEN DARNER DRAGONFLY. ISBN 0531303152
By Judy Brown McKenna