Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems

Sweet, Melissa (Illustrator)
Candlewick Press 2014. 48 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9780763648428 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 811
Book type: Anthology
Book genre: Poetry

Text Elements:

evocative language, figurative language, language conventions, point of view

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:

Selected by an acclaimed poet and anthologist, the 36 short poems appearing in this volume are meant to be read aloud, reread and savoured. Nature-themed works by William Carlos Williams, Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost and more ¬– arranged and categorized according to the four seasons ¬– explore subjects such as fog, rain, snow, birds, flowers, animals and insects.

Powerful, relatable imagery lifts up the poetry, making it pop off the page for readers. In one, moonlight is a welcome mat on the floor. In another, mud is a marriage of rain and dust. From a rail car window, night is a “great, dark soft thing/Broken across with slashes of light.”

Large-scale collage-watercolour-gouache artwork is bold and whimsical, and dovetails seamlessly with the text. Seasonal titles for each section incorporate playful font. “FALL”, in large caps, literally falls down the side of the page; spring flowers and stems make up the letters of “SPRING.”

Whether read aloud or silently, these short poems remind readers of all ages that a perfect line or image can make the world come alive.

  •  Listen to a partner read a poem while you sketch an image that comes to mind. Compare your mental images with the illustrations in the book.
  •  

    As you read, add favourite words and phrases to your writer’s notebook for later reference.

  •  Memorize one of the short poems to present to a group or class.
  •  Write your own short poem inspired by a season and illustrate it. Assemble your poems into a class book.
  •  Explore the book in a picture walk. Discuss how the pictures make you feel.
  •  Sort out words that refer to the different characteristics of each season. Write them on a list or graphic organizer.
  •  

    Note the way different poems are written. Can you spot similar poetic forms? Research what these poems are called.

  •  

    Practise reading poems out loud with a partner. Let your voice be expressive. Share with a group or with the class.

  •  

    As you read, add favourite words and phrases to your writer’s notebook for later reference. Write a short poem about a moment in the year that you enjoy.

  •  

    Before reading, research different kinds of short poems (haikus, list poems, cinquain, limerick, etc.) and present them to the class.

  •  

    Choose a favourite poem and practise reading it out loud with a partner. Discuss why you chose it.

  •  

    Write your own poem, using one of the illustrations as inspiration. Choose a season, write a new title and integrate three words from the original poem. Compile a class anthology.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To cooperate with others
  • To use creativity
  • Personal and Career Planning