Runny Babbit: a cilly sassroom

I have to say I think that sometimes, due to my own faults, I get so caught up with trying to come up new and exciting activities and programs that I totally dismiss the classics. I have always been a HUGE Shel Silverstein fan but until coming to work at a school library I didn’t think he was still popular. The students love his work and A Light in the Attic is still one of my most checked out books (and Falling Up as well). What’s funny is that on Center Days, when the students have to do an activity at their tables, whoever is at the “Poetry” table always sigh. I already kind of touched on this before so moving on…

Today was the end of our grading period and, with other projects going on, I wasn’t prepared fully for our centers this week. So I grabbed Mary McLean and the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade for my first graders. Great, they liked it okay. But for my third graders I gave them the option (with spring coming and the weather finally turning nice) to read that or Runny Babbit. Of course there was an overwhelming amount who wanted the latter.

Not only were they good in class (and quiet for the most part) they all wanted to try and read the tongue twisters. I had to cut them off eventually because they needed time to look for books. Again this should have seemed like such an obvious class day to me but it didn’t! I guess I just wanted to add this post for those newer teachers like myself who are trying to reinvent the wheel, maybe you don’t always have to. Maybe somethings are classic for good reason and you just need to think back on what YOU liked when in school.

Here are some other activities I found after actually looking that include Shel Silverstein’s work as part of the lesson:

Teach Shel

This website is strictly for Shel Silverstein’s work and lessons to go with it. There’s two I am now planning on using in the future.

The Giving Tree Lesson Plans and Creative Writing Worksheets and Ideas

The Giving Tree alone provides so many opportunities for activities with students. I did use this book for an assignment with the older students where they had to do literary analysis on children’s books. This link above is another option for that particular book.


This is a really neat activity done with third graders about visualizing what they are being read.


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