Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Dirty Laundry Pile: Poems in Different Voices

Sweet, Melissa (Illustrator)
HarperCollins 2001. 40 pages
First published: 2001
ISBN: 9780688162511 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 811
Book type: Anthology
Book genre: Poetry

Text Elements:

character, figurative language, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

“Hi, Hi! I’m scrubbing a sky!” proclaims a blue crayon. A world of imagination and empathy awaits in this special collection devoted to imagined perspectives, which are usually voiceless. Concrete topics and language are strikingly suited to young readers’ interest and comprehension. In “Grandpa Bear’s Lullaby” hibernation has begun: “The food is gone/but dreams are sweet/And they will be/Your winter meat.” “Ignore me now,” cautions the “Dirty Laundry Pile,” “But you’ll notice when I swell/By my smell.”

Artful illustrations use loose pencil line, watercolour and crayon to effect vivid images conjured up by the poetry. The humorous “Broom” spread manages to make floor sweeping look fun and appealing. Subtle hues and the pathos of a horse’s expression portray the sadness in “Plea of the Old Horse on Looking though the Kitchen Window.” Children huddle with bowls of soup, as gusts curlicue through window and door in “Winter Wind.”

This is an excellent book for beginning to appreciate the potency of poetic constructions. It may also be used to launch more advanced students in writing their own persona poems.

  •  

    Choose a favourite poem and present it to the class.

  •  

    Explain in writing why a particular poem is your favourite.

  •  

    Choose an object and write a poem in the voice you imagine it has, using the book as a model. Perform your poem for the class without telling them what object you are. See if they can figure it out.

  •  

    Act out one of the poems.

  •  

    Use resources to find the meanings of new words and organize the words into categories (e.g. nouns, adjectives, verbs).

  •  

    Write a poem from the point of view of an object or an animal. Use a poem from the book as a model.

  •  

    Act out your poem and see if the class can guess what you are.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Health and Well-Being