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Where the Sidewalk Ends

Last updated Thursday, February 27, 2014

Author: Shel Silverstein
Illustrator: Shel Silverstein
Date of Publication: 2004
ISBN: 0060572345
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Mar. 2014

Synopsis: If you are a dreamer, come in, If you are a dreamer, A wisher, a liar, A hope-er, a pray-er, A magic bean buyer … Come in … for where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein’s world begins. You’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist. Shel Silverstein’s masterful collection of poems and drawings is at once outrageously funny and profound.

Note to readers:
•  This is a series of poems which rhyme and are very entertaining. Try singing the poems! You may choose any of the poems, but a few we enjoyed are:
•  Smart pg. 35
•  For Sale pg. 52
•  My Rules pg. 74
•  Where the Sidewalk Ends pg. 64
•  The Dirtiest Man in the World pg. 96
•  Magical Eraser pg. 99
•  No Difference pg. 81
•  Mr. Grumpledump's Song pg. 170
•  The World is Crazy pg. 146
•  Sick pg. 59
•  Minnow Minnie pg.105
•  The Point of View pg. 98
•  Listen to the Lessons pg. 27

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What is a poem?
•  Do you like poems?
•  Do you know the words to any song? Do songs sometimes rhyme and tell a story? Many songs are just poems to music.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Can poems be about anything?
•  Do you think it's easier to write a poem instead of a story? Why or why not?
•  Do poems always have to rhyme? (NO!)

Craft ideas:
•  Make a musical poem
•  Draw a picture and then write a story about what is in your picture or about your picture.

Special activities:
•  Have everyone sing together one of the poems--chose a short and easy one which will make it easier for advanced or beginner readers to sing along.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!