Friday, October 18, 2013

Listen to this Apostrophe - Teaching in a Mask

Smiling and Flying
by Amy LV

Click the arrow to hear me read this poem to you.

Students - Apostrophes are often overused, placed next to every final 's'.  And today, I decided to let the apostrophe speak for itself (if you keep reading, you'll see that I've done this before) to straighten us out.  It's interesting to write mask poems, poems in the voices of animals or objects or even punctuation marks.  I like to imagine this tiny apostrophe shaking her finger and her head, reminding us of how to place her properly in a patch of letters.

Poems can teach us things and still make us smile a little.  What might you teach in a bit of a funny way?  What do you know about that could speak in its own voice, possibly even correcting us humans?

Today's poem is written in quatrains with lines 2 and 4 in each stanza rhyming.  Soon I will write a poem with lines 1 and 3 rhyming as well.

Teachers - If you are looking for great resources to help you teach about punctuation and editing, allow me to share two of my favorite books by Jeff Anderson: EVERYDAY EDITING and MECHANICALLY INCLINED.  These books have taught me so much, about usage and also about ways to make such instruction interesting and inquiry based.

To read more poems about punctuation here at The Poem Farm, visit Inky Flyers, : (Colon Poem), ' (Another Apostrophe Poem).

This week I am particularly grateful to Catherine Johnson for her charming and tons-of-fun painting of my dogs Sage and Cali...with me!  Catherine is painting a series of portraits of writers and dogs, so far including Margarita Engle, Charles Ghigna, and me.  I love her warm and expressive style, and Sage and Cali were very happy too...  

Amy, Sage (R), and Cali (L)
Portrait by Catherine Johnson

You can find Betsy Hubbard and her open notebooks at my other blog, Sharing Our Notebooks.  Enjoy your peek, and please enter the giveaway by leaving a comment (by October 25).

Today's Poetry Friday roundup is at Merely Day by Day with Cathy Mere and a lucky quarter. Everyone is welcome to visit, read the poems, and share your own poetry joys.

Happy Poetry Friday!

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  1. Love you're poem, Amy! Great way to teach kids' how to properly use apostrophe's.

    Should we expect and Ode to the Oxford Comma next week?

  2. A fun and funny poem--but I guess Matt needs a little more practice.

  3. Great poem! I'm always looking for new ways to teach these pesky mechanics.

  4. Fun to put the rules in a poem, Amy!

  5. Oh, Amy, you always make me smile. I loved this poem. We just drove to North Carolina today to visit our daughter. This puts me in a room with two other English teachers (she and my husband) so we had quite a fun time with your poem.

    The last two lines were perfect.


  6. Oh, thank G-d you wrote this poem, Amy! I love it! What a great teaching tool (for kids and adults alike). The misuse of the apostrophe s is one of my grammar pet peeves. I cannot wait to share this poem around!

  7. When I hang out with's often a mess: that's life in sixth grade, and they need to hear this!

  8. What a wonderful reminder of the use of apostrophe. :) Nice! I shall check out your other links, thanks for this Amy!

  9. Great way to teach about this dear, overused, apostrophe. I believe you might also send it to the newspapers! Thanks, Amy!

  10. HA! Thanks for a snort of a laugh this morning!

  11. Very drole matt. Cute poem, Amy. That's a great way to teach kids without being preachy.

  12. What a great poem. An apostrophe seems so boring and yet you make it precious!
    Love Catherine's painting. I have been seeing a lot of her art on her blog. She is quite the artist!

  13. This poem is very needed, Amy! I am tucking it away for future use :-) Thanks!

  14. Amy,

    This is such a clever and informative mask poem. I have a couple of students that love the apostrophe. We will be reading this poem for sure especially since we are just finishing up some mask poems of our own.

    ~ Theresa

  15. That poem (as most of yours could) belongs in a textbook, anthology or your own collection.

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