I know, it’s September, we should be discussing fall titles, but here in Lake Orion it’s a glorious sunny day, perfect for Lemonade and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word written by Bob Raczka and illustrated by Nancy Doniger. Using only the letters from a single word, Bob Raczka makes short, sweet poems. (In the book, Raczka and Doniger show the long word, the letters falling, and how the letters rearrange to make new words, but for the sake of brevity I’m tightening the line spaces here. Use your imagination.)
Spaghetti: papa has a pasta appetite he eats heaps
Earthworms: a short storm worms here worms there wear shoes
Share this book with your children and talk about how the poet played with letters. To show how Raczka "squeezed" poems from words, write one of the words he chose on a large sheet of paper. Use magnetic or paper letters to spell the word again below your written word, and then begin rearranging those letters. Encourage your children to arrange the letters themselves to make new words. Keep a running list on your paper of the words you formed. Now, can you make a sentence using just those words, or a short poem?
Experiment with other words like your names, places you've been, vocabulary from a science or social studies unit, etc. and see if your kids can form words, sentences and poems. If you have an iPad, you can download the Magnetic ABC iPad app (free for all capital letters, $1.99 for lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols). I like this app better than using real magnet letters because you always have as many of each letter as you need, and none of them get lost under the refrigerator. On the iPad, kids can arrange the letters to make words as well, keeping a list of words they’ve made on Notepad ( a free app that comes on the iPad) and using that list to write poems.
Any time of the year, Lemonade and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word invites readers in for a refreshing sip of poetry!
For more book recommendations and extension activities, please visit kristenremenar.com.