Guest Author - Mary Ann Graziani
Treasure-Hunt Poems by John Frank is a wonderful book of poetry for children that focuses on different treasures that a child may find at the beach, attic, mountains, desert, flea market, and below the ground. The poems describe objects that are found in an interesting and exciting way that will appeal to a child’s sense of adventure. Most of the poems have beautiful full-color photographs to go with them that perfectly reflect the mood of the poems. Interest level is grades 3-6 and reading level grades 4.2.
The poems in this book use all kinds of natural sounding rhyming forms and word patterns to give meaning and life to treasures that can be found such as a driftwood bird, sea glass, a porcelain doll, baseball cards, a bronze star, a fossil, a sand rose, die-cast cars, comic books, puppets, spear points, and pottery jars. The meaning behind the poems is that a treasure can be anything and what makes it special is that you found it.
The poetry in this book shows the reader that a treasure can be anything from arrowheads to old coins, and comic books. There is adventure, excitement, and humor that can be heard in verses of the poetry.
This is a poem from the book about a Willie Mays baseball card:
There was no fly he couldn't field,
no base he couldn't snatch
no juicy pitch he couldn't clout
no runner he could not throw out
The poems create sensory images of sight, touch, smell, and taste that are further enhanced by the full-color photographs. All the photographs increase the reader’s appreciation of the object and make it a treasure. The poems relate perfectly to a child’s sense of adventure. Children will be excited to search for a shell at the beach or dig for a fossil. Searching for that special something is something that naturally delights a child’s senses.
The poems spark the imagination because they make an ordinary object something very special. Searching for objects reveals all kinds of fascinating things from the past such as old hat and an old doll that makes the reader use their imagination about who had that object in the past what they did with it. These poems make the reader see things in a fresh new way. They make an ordinary object quite extraordinary.
The metaphors used in the poems can be appreciated and understood by a child. The metaphors are used in the poems to bring ordinary objects to life. A perfect example of this is an "Abalone Shell" depicted as "a melted rainbow cupped in pearl.
(Note: This copy of Treasure-Hunt Poems was purchased by me with my own funds and is part of my personal library)
Here is a lesson to go with this book of poems. This lesson will provide students with an interesting writing task using metaphors. In this lesson, students will brainstorm metaphors for words pertaining to a topic they want to write about. They will gain experience in using metaphors as a poetic device in their own work.
Keepers: Treasure Hunt Poems by John Frank
•Gain knowledge by defining the term metaphor.
•Identify examples of metaphors in poetry.
•Create their own metaphors to be used in their own writing.
Discuss with students how a poet wwould write about one object as if it were another and how it makes the writing more interesting to use metaphors to compare things in unusual ways.
Using the poem Geode by John Frank, discuss with students how the author uses metaphors to compare things. Use examples from the poem to open discussion such as:
In this verse Frank compares the inside of a stone to an everyday breakfast dish:
"I cracked a stone egg dark as smoke, and found, inside, a crystal yolk as purple as a sheet of sky pulled over twilight’s closing eye.:
Students will choose a topic for a poem they want to write about. They will brainstorm and make a list of words they want to use in their poem and next to the word write a metaphor for that word.
When they have compiled a list of words with metaphors, students will use these to write their own poem.
Assess students poems by looking to see if they correctly use metaphors in their poem.