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This curriculum unit has been developed to use the poetry of Shel Silverstein to motivate students to write poems, create narrative pieces, and develop expository essays. Along with his works of prose, which are praised by many, Silverstein has written a number of books containing his poetry. These books include Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up. His collections are quite popular with young readers. He creates his own illustrations to accompany most poems. These intriguing sketches serve to attract and delight the reader while giving additional insight into the poem's content and message.
The unit is designed for fourth through sixth grade, with the possibility of modifying it for older students. Its primary objectives aim at developing language arts skills, but they also focus on social development topics. Although the unit stands independently, it will be taught as part of a team involving two other teachers who have taken the same seminar.
(Recommended for Reading, Writing, and Speaking, grades 3-6.)