Franco, Betsy, and Jessie Hartland. 2009. Messing around on the monkey bard and other school poems for two voices. Somerville, Mass: Candlewick Press. ISBN# 9780763631741.
This performance poetry book allows students to recite back and forth the poetry with each other. Messing Around on the Monkey Bars playfully assess the different areas that children experience while at school. Franco has used each poem to demonstrate a particular area of school that children can relate to.
These areas include the school bus, new students, school supplies, assignments, the library, classes, the playground, recess, lunchtime, teachers and more school themes. By having these easily relatable school topics, children will be able to recite them easier.
Messing Around the Monkey Bars also demonstrates how the children can both read from the poetry page. This is helpful is children want to later read a book together.
One of the topics involves an assignment and the student is trying to think of what to write about. With all the different ideas mentioned in the poem, a child's imagination will grow.
The entire performance poetry book is exciting, fun and full of great vivid illustrations. Children will have fun reciting the poems in Messing Around on the Monkey Bars. When children are having fun while learning, it helps to get them to learn in the future.
We're gobbled up
by a beast with wheels.
The beast shoots smoke.
It moans and howls.
Its big old belly
groans and grumbles.
It opens its mouth--
we scramble off.
The beast is gone
with a rumble, rumble.
Introducing the Poem:
I would have two children recite this poem. First, I would read the poem to the class and show them the illustrations. Next, I would see if there are two students that would like to recite the poem to the class. Once the children have decided, I would show them which areas to read.
Next, the children should be ready to read the poem out loud to the other children. I would gather the students around so that they can hear the poem. Once the children have finished the poem, I would see if there are any other volunteers that would like to participate.
If the children wish to read a different poem, there are many to choose from in this great performance poetry book. Using this technique with the students creates a learning atmosphere. The ones reciting the poetry have a better understanding of how to read and speak in front of others.
This exercise will be beneficial to all students because it teachers them another way to appreciate poetry.