by Jim Aylesworth
Illustrated by Stephen Gammell
Read other poems about food - -these books might be helpful:
Bennett, Jill, editor. Tasty Poems. Illustrated by Nick Sharratt. Oxford University Press, 1998.
Goldstein, Bobbye, compiler. Sweets and Treats - Dessert Poems. Illustrated by Kathy Couri. Hyperion Books for Children, 1998.
Hoban, Russell. Egg Thoughts and Other Frances Songs. Illustrated by Lillian Hoban. HarperCollins, 1994.
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Yummy!: Eating through a Day. Illustrated by Renee Flower. Simon & Schuster, 2000.
Morrison, Lillian. I Scream, You Scream: A Feast of Food Rhymes. Illustrated by Nancy Dunaway. August House, 1997.
Munsterberg, Peggy. Beastly Banquet: Tasty Treats for Animal Appetites, Poems. Illustrated by Tracy Gallulp, photographer. Dial Books for Young Readers, 1996.
Westcott, Nadine Bernard. Never Take a Pig to Lunch: And Other Poems About the Fun of Eating. Orchard, 1998.
Write prose or poetry about YOUR favorite food.
Often humor in a poem or piece of writing is created by using a homonym (or homophone) to create a double meaning and producing a smile as the phrase is read or heard. Homonyms -- most are more technically called "Homophones,"
Here are common definitions of homonyms, homophones, homographs:
Homonym: One of two or more words spelled and pronounced alike but different in meaning. An example is cleave meaning "to cut" and cleave meaning "to adhere." :
Homophone: One of two or more words pronounced alike but different in meaning or spelling (as the words to, too, and two) :
Homograph:One of two or more words spelled alike but different in meaning or pronunciation (as the bow of a ship, a bow and arrow)
Enjoy the poems and read them over a period of days. Then revisit the poems from time to time and discuss the author's use of homonyms, homophones, or homographs and other word play antics.
After reading each poem discuss what word play makes the poem humorous.
Read "Veggie Soup" aloud without showing the illustrations. Ask listeners to listen carefully and then draw an illustration of the band. : After the illustrations are drawn , post them on a large bulletin board along with the poem's text.
Find these homonyms or phrases with variant meeting in the poems in this book: For example: "beet" on the sign illustrating the poem "Veggie Soup."
With "Bums" -- make sure listeners have a knowledge of how cookies crumble and what a bagel is. Children in some communities may not have a schema for bagels -- or for cookie crumbs.
Pass out sticks of chewing gum and then read "How Bleak" -- ask students where they will be putting their chewed gum when they are finished chewing?
Look at the pattern of consonants in "Yack and Yimmy" and figure out what the two characters' names would be if all words were conventional? (Jack and Jimmy and they were very jolly guys, and kept the party jumping because they are full of jokes.) Discuss why the author substituted the "Y" consonant in this poem?
In the poem "Too Shy" discuss what is the literal and the figurative meaning of the phrase "comes out of her shell?"
Make a list of other plays on words that the author uses.
Make some sticky buns and share them as you read "Sticky Buns." The objective: Provide an opportunity for children to follow written directions and to work together as a group. A simple recipe:
Thaw a loaf of frozen bread dough.
.Roll the dough out very thin and spread softened butter over the dough.
Mix up a brown sugar, cinnamon mixture and spread or sprinkle over dough.
Roll up like a jelly roll and slice about 1" thick.
Place in a greased pan and let rise.
Melt a stick of butter in a 9 x 13" pan.
Add brown sugar and stir to melt.
Add some Karo® syrup to make a nice sticky mess.
Sprinkle pecans all over the bottom.
Place the cinnamon rolls on top, let rise and then bake
Bake 350 about 20 minutes.
Reread the poem and enjoy the sticky buns.
To make sure children who hear the poem "Nellie and Bill, " have the background to comprehend the humor in the poem, bring samples of dill pickle slices (sour) and gherkins (sweet) to taste prior to the reading. Discuss the difference in taste of the two types of pickles and then read "Nellie and Bill."
After reading "The Perfect Couple" hold a cheese tasting session -- what kinds of cheese are "stinky" and then research to determine why some cheeses are stinky smelling and which are more pleasant smelling.
Using cardboard pizza circles from a local pizzeria create collages depicting various types of pizzas: just plain cheese, and those with various toppings. Read "Floozies" and then arrange the pizza collages from the least dressed to the one that is the most "overdressed."
Discuss what is funny about the fish stick being a "school teacher." What meanings for "school" are involved in making this poem (and the accompanying illustration) humorous.
The final page of this book says that "If you want more poems, then the rhyming is up to you." Encourage children to take up the challenge to create poems filled with poems.
Aylesworth, Jim. The Burger and the Hot Dog. Illustrated by Stephen Gammell. Atheneum, 2001. 32 pages. ISBN: 0689838972.