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Younger Readers: Poems for Fun
Younger Readers: Poems about Love 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.  
  27. Growing Like a Weed Click on left sunflower The Sun Is On  
This poem operates through the use of negative and positive exclamations in an ironic and humorous manner, where the positive exclamation “cancels out” the negative ones. You can ask students to write similar poems, using the same form: “I don’t,” “I’m not,” “She’s not,” etc., followed by a positive exclamation.

This poem uses irony to poke fun at a common type of negative injunction, which often hides a deeper truth. Remember that irony is a figure of speech in which that which is stated is the opposite of what is intended. You can use this poem to help students see examples of irony (especially ironic humor) in their daily lives. The use of both print and television advertisements as examples will be especially productive for this exercise.

  26. Growing Equation The Sun Is On  
This poem uses the form of an equation to articulate an idea. Ask students to use this form to articulate an idea of their own. You can start with prompt words, such as those on the facing page in the book, to get students going: i.e.

Kindness + X does not = Y.

You can then urge students to make their own poems, on the model of Growing Equation.

Students can discuss what it means for them to be grown up. Try to get the discussion to focus on both true and illusory ideas about what it means to be a grown up. You might also guide the discussion along the following lines: construct a model of a “good,” “model” grown up out of the students suggestions, then ask if they know any “good” or “model” grown up who possesses none of these qualities.