Friday, October 7, 2011
picking the apple of analysis
There is certainly no doubt that kindergarteners can begin to understand Big Ideas such as analysis and collaboration, but I'm not sure it's very productive, in the third week of school, to ask 5-year-olds a Unifying Question such as "How do identifying and describing attributes help you understand your world and organize your ideas?" More mystifying to me is that we the teachers seem to be DIScouraged from developing these eleven Thinking and Academic Skills through projects or topics that are thematically integrated and relevant to children's experience of what's happening outside school--you know, such as apples. Why not do both?
But it's Poetry Friday and I must step down off my apple crate to allow Robert Frost to speak, literally. The poem below (which is nearly suitable for kindergarten, but not quite) can be heard in Frost's own growly tones at The Poetry Foundation website. Robert Frost knew how to keep it concrete for sure.
My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.
~ Robert Frost
More "keeping it real through poetry" at Great Kid Books with Mary Ann today, where she highlights April's Poetry Tag collection and sets the stage for the new and thrilling p*tag collection for teen readers, now available here! Download the divine!