Wednesday, October 15, 2014

science series II

The leaves are falling in earnest now where we are.  I have used this poem with children as young as first grade, emphasizing the cyclical journey of the leaves, the ecological concept of decay. This is a poem that begins in the realm of the obvious and then teaches readers to look beyond, to follow the trail of a thing.

The language is at once simple and exquisitely textured, helping younger readers to access a complex concept and probably some new vocabulary.  I like it also because the last two lines insist on metacognition:  consider the reality of our nature but also the possibility of another.  We see how it is in our world, but how might it be in some other world?

In Hardwood Groves || Robert Frost

The same leaves over and over again!
They fall from giving shade above
To make one texture of faded brown
And fit the earth like a leather glove.

Before the leaves can mount again
To fill the trees with another shade,
They must go down past things coming up,
They must go down into the dark decayed.

They must be pierced by flowers and put
Beneath the feet of dancing flowers.
However it is in some other world,
I know that this is the way in ours.

4 comments:

  1. You can always count on Frost for mentor texts, right? This is lovely. It reminds me of Irene's post today-- a poem by Lillian Moore, "Letter to a Friend."

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  2. Love this Frost poem. It takes kids awhile to "get" it, but when they do, they are so proud of themselves!

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  3. "They must go down past things coming up,
    They must go down into the dark decayed."
    Thanks for sharing this Frost poem, Heidi. =)

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  4. Love the image of leaves that "fit the earth like a leather glove." And pierced is such a great word to describe what happens to fallen leaves (so cool to find new leaves piercing their way up through old ones in spring.)

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