Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Staircase to the Moon - A Poetry Break

I had the great misfortune to overhear a staff member tell a mother and daughter that if they cannot find a poem for a middle school project they could try downstairs in the adult nonfiction collection! :: Stop aching my heart! :: What made it worse was the shelver knew I (the Children's Librarian) was there and had never refer the transaction to me; but that is beside the point here. There are many, many, MANY children's poets out there and many of their poems can be perfect for a school project!

This poem, by the great Marilyn Singer, is from a collection of poems about the great orb in the night sky - the moon - as seen from around the world. Amazing work. This poem, and book, would be great for those in a Geography course or Multicultural course.

Staircase to the Moon 
Broome, Australia
by Marilyn Singer

Under the sea, divers find pearls,
though non as big and round that jewel up high.
Its glow builds a magic staircase
....from the mudflats to the sky.
Can someone climb and pluck that gem?
Our silly little cousins
....dare themselves to try. 

  • In the back of the book there is an explanation for each poem. Share the story behind the poem above.
  • For those learning about Australia share this poem and its story then explore more about the pearls that comes from this little town.
  • Have the children find something that makes their town/city/community unique and have them write a poem about the characteristic they picked.

Singer, Marilyn. 2011. A Full Moon is Rising. Illus. by Julia Cairns. NY: Lee & Low Books Inc. ISBN: 9781600603648.

Here's an great extra tidbit for you folks! It's the story behind the poem. I thought it was so nifty cool that I had to share it! I really want to see this phenomenon now!

Broome, in the northwestern region of Australia, is a small town famous for its pearls and for a natural phenomenon called the Staircase to the Moon. Along Broome's coast are mudflats, lands that are left bare at low tides. When a full moon shines on the exposed mudflats, it creates the image of a staircase leading up to the moon through the sky. People from all over the world visit the town to view the "staircase," which can be seen for three nights each month from March to October.  ~ Marilyn Singer, A Full Moon is Rising.

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