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Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems

Last updated Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Author: Joyce Sidman
Illustrator: Beckie Prange
Date of Publication: 2005
ISBN: 0618135472
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Mar. 2015

Synopsis: From spring’s first thaw to autumn’s chill, the world of the pond is a dramatic place. Though seemingly quiet, ponds are teeming with life and full of surprises. Their denizens—from peepers to painted turtles, duckweed to diving beetles—lead secret and fascinating lives. A unique blend of whimsy, science, poetry, and hand-colored woodcuts, this Caldecott Honor-winning collection invites us to take a closer look at our hidden ponds and wetlands. Here is a celebration of their beauty and their mystery.

Note to readers:
•  Every page is a different poem about a different animal. Therefore, book does not need to be read in order and you can choose which poems to read.
•  Glossary located in back of book.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What kinds of animals might you find in and around a pond?
•  What kinds of noises would these animals make?
•  Have you ever been to a pond? What did you do there? Did you see any animals?

•  thaw - to return to a normal temperature after being very cold or frozen
•  reed - a tall, thin grass that grows in wet areas
•  trill - to make a series of quick, high-pitched sounds
•  cavity - a hole or space inside something
•  lumbering - moving in a slow or awkward way
•  manufacture - to make from raw materials by hand or by machinery
•  marooned - abandoned on a lonely island or coast
•  jauntily - acting lively or confidently

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Have you ever seen the animal from poem "x"? (Question depends on what poem was/is being read.)
•  Where have you seen these animals? Were you near them, above them, or far away?
•  What is your favorite animal from the book? Why?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw a pond scene, including cut-outs of the various animals from the poems. You can make your scene flat or 3-D.
•  Create jumping origami frogs. For directions, see: http://mylittle3andme.co.uk/paper-plate-frog-mask-animal-mask.
•  St. Patrick's Day crafts: http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/49728/st-patricks-day-crafts-activities-add/.


*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!