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Younger Readers: Poems for Fun
 
Older Readers: Poems about Relationships DISCUSSION GUIDE
 
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  The discussion guide below is divided into two parts: (1) IMITATION and (2) DISCUSSION exercises. Teachers can use the imitation exercises to encourage students to write their own poems or stories. The discussion exercises are intended to spark students to think about applying the ideas in the poems to their own lives.  
  # POEM BOOK  
  37. I Thought You Knew Rhythm & Dues  
  IMITATION EXERCISE
Write about something you thought was true that turned out not to be true. Think about a saying like “I thought you knew” that signifies such an idea.

DISCUSSION EXERCISE
This poem is about a common expectation friends and lovers have about each other, which turns out to be untrue. Can you read others’ thoughts? Why not? Talk about experiences people have had of thinking the other person could read their minds and feelings, and having it turn out to be untrue. What is the best replacement for such illusory “mind reading”?

 
  67. The Rap Rhythm & Dues  
  IMITATION EXERCISE
Write a poem mocking the words people use while courting. Make a list of the phrases people use — the longer the list, the better. Arrange them so they make sense. Then arrange them so that they make no sense.

DISCUSSION EXERCISE
Have a discussion about the most annoying courtship lines. Why are they annoying? What kinds of talk would students prefer to make or hear in such situations?

 
  61. Peek-a-Boo Rhythm & Dues  
  IMITATION EXERCISE
“Peek-a-Boo” uses the names of children’s games to make a point about love. Write a similar poem using another set of names of games.

DISCUSSION EXERCISE
What does “Peek-a-Boo” say about the importance of honesty in love relationships? Discuss the ways that dishonesty can erode trust.

 
  40. Ignorance Rhythm & Dues  
  IMITATION EXERCISE
Pick another trait that’s similar to ignorance, and make a rhyme out of it.

DISCUSSION EXERCISE
What does the word “ignorance” mean in this poem? Discuss examples of how “ignorance” can come to dominate a relationship.