Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

When Green Becomes Tomatoes

Fogliano, Julie (Author)
Morstad, Julie (Illustrator)
Macmillan 2016. 56 pages
First published: 2016
ISBN: 9781596438521 (hardcover)
9781626727045 (e-book)
Original language: English
Dewey: 811
Book type: Anthology
Book genre: Poetry

Text Elements:

figurative language, language conventions, recurring patterns, setting

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:

From spring to summer to fall to winter and back again to spring, there is so much to take in and experience. Beginning with “the tip of spring” in the reticent snow and the muddiness of March, these poems, dated throughout the year, develop themes of natural rebirth, and the presence and participation of humans in the annual cycle of the seasons until the year of poems ends where it began. The free verse uses a variety of perspectives and literary techniques, including dialogue, and features a young voice. When late May remains cloudy, the speaker whispers (“just loud enough/for the sun to overhear/but not enough to wake the rain”), “the strawberries are furious/and i think i just heard/even the roses sigh.” A number of the poetic ruminations wax introspective, as the natural world is wont to make us do: in a September sky, “a star is someone else’s sun/more flicker glow than blinding/a speck of light too far for bright/and too small to make a morning.”

That September sky is visually rendered with two children in a field, silhouetted against the shaded dark-blue sky, while a November poem that plays on internal rhyme (“white duck/hears a rustle crunch-le/gray cat creeping”) is depicted by a child following a cat following a duck, autumn leaves tumbling in their wake.

The representative simplicity of the bright gouache and pencil illustrations leaves plenty of space for dreaming, echoing the spaces between words left open by the poetry.

  •  

    Discuss the title and cover image. What do you know about poetry? What does this page tell you about the contents?

  •  

    Read the poems from the book: how do they match your vision of poetry? How do they make you feel? Choose some that are particularly evocative for you and write in your reader-writer’s notebook about these feelings.

  •  

    Research and discuss how haiku are constructed. Find some in the book and identify those structures. Create your own haiku.

  •  

    Choose a poem that inspires you. In your reader-writer’s notebook, describe what you like about this particular piece. Create a poem in the same style. Compile a class anthology of poetry.

  •  

    Discuss what you like and dislike about different seasons. Complete a mind map of your ideas.

  •  

    Look at the poem closest to your birthday. What do you like about it? Practise reading it. Hold a poetry reading for another group.

  •  

    Choose a poem that inspires you. In your reader-writer’s notebook, describe what you like about this particular piece. Make a poem in the same style.

  •  

    Choose a season and create a poem about the features you like best.

  •  

    Divide your page into four equal sections and title them Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. With a partner, add words or phrases that relate to each season. Enrich your list by sharing ideas with others.

  •  

    Listen to a reading of the spring poetry. Detect new vocabulary and add them to your spring collection. Repeat this process for the other three seasons.

  •  

    In teams (of four), create your own Seasonal Poetry book, with your vocabulary sheet to assist you. Practise reading your poems to each other. Read them in random order to the rest of your class. Ask your classmates to identify the featured seasons.

  • To cooperate with others
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Science and Technology