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Teacher's Guide
Pocketful of PoemsAPocketful of Poems
illustrated by Javaka Steptoe
Clarion Books, 2001
ISBN:0-8027-5108-8

Pre-reading
Explain to young readers the traditional structure of Haiku (5-7-5 syllables). In fact, you may want to read author’s note on the last page to the students as a jumping off point.
Knowledge 1. Describe the narrator of Pocketful of Poems.
2. Describe the setting, too.
Comprehend 1. What are some of the things that Tiana notices?
2. Retell, in your own words, the scene from your favorite poem.
Application 1. Write another haiku poem that could appear on the same page as your favorite.
2. What did you learn about writing haiku in that process? Is it as easy as it appears? Are you surprised?
Analysis 1.

All the poems are written through Tiana’s eyes. How would the book be different if told by the objects themselves?

2. Find the verbs in each haiku and list them.
Synthesize 1. Make a list of words you would write poems about in your own Pocketful of Poems collection.
2. Pretend you have to write four haiku about the room you are sitting in right now. What would you pick? Why?
Evaluate 1. Which poem is your favorite? Why? Is it haiku or free verse?
2.

Evaluate the illustrations. Which one is your favorite? Why?

Teacher's Guide provided by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer. Visit her website by clicking here.

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