Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Meal-Time Activities: Poetry Placemat - The Magic Box

by Deborah Pace Rowley
Print out a copy of the poetry placemat for each member of your family and set it under each place at the dinner table. During dinner read the poem aloud and discuss it together. Below the poem are some questions you can use to help the discussion. Put some crayons in the middle of the table and the family can illustrate the poem on the margins of the placemat as they wait for dinner to be served or at the end of the meal. You can even create your own family magic box. Turn a placemat over and write your own poem by describing what your family box would look like and what it would contain. You could even put a special box on the table and let each family member write a line or two for the poem on a piece of paper and slip them in the box. You can then draw out the strips one at a time and read your family poem together.

THE MAGIC BOX by Kit Wright
I will put in the box …
the swish of a silk sari on a summer night,
fire from the nostrils of a Chinese dragon,
the tip of a tongue touching a tooth.
I will put in the box …
a snowman with a rumbling belly,
a sip of the bluest water from Lake Lucerene,
a leaping spark from an electric fish.
I will put into the box …
three violet wishes spoken in Gujarati,
the last joke of an ancient uncle,
and the first smile of a baby.
I will put into the box …
a fifth season and a black sun,
a cowboy on a broomstick
and a witch on a white horse.
My box is fashioned from ice and gold and steel,
with stars on the lid and secrets in the corners.
Its hinges are the toe joints of dinosaurs.
I shall surf in my box
on the great high-rolling breakers of the wild
then wash ashore on a yellow beach
the colour of the sun.
‘The Magic Box’ from CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS by Kit Wright (Viking Kestrel, 1987) Copyright  1987.
Discussion Questions:   What special things did Kit put in the box? What is the box made of? How is the box used? Are the things in the box ordinary objects? If we had a magic box, what would we put in it? What kind of sights would we include? What kind of smells would go in? What about favorite foods? What about dreams or wishes? What would the box look like? What could we do with the box?

Click HERE to download a free copy of this Poetry Placemat

*If the item does not automatically download, click on the gray box that says, "Download This File"
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