Saturday, February 27, 2021

Winter Reading 2021 Spi-ku: A Clutter of Short Verses on Eight Legs

Perfect for spider enthusiasts and teachers looking for mentor texts to encourage students to respond to science units in creative ways. Each spread includes a block of text about a topic (mealtime,  movement, senses, etc.), one or more poems about the topic, and illustrations that showcase spiders carrying out the actions described. Readers will see spiders peeking from beneath a chef's hat, diving underwater, and building trapdoors among a variety of other activities. Nonfiction features include a table of contents,  glossary, spider identification guide, suggestions for further study, a size comparison chart, and a guide to poetic forms used in the book. There is also an explanation of how to go on a spider hunt to find and observe spiders.

Whether readers are looking for details about spider anatomy (there is a full-page diagram), or which creatures in the arachnid family are true spiders, there are plenty of facts to be explored. Each spread has a heading referenced in the table of contents and some of them are quite funny, such as "Worldwide Webbers" for the spread about spider web creation. The variety of poetic forms is also excellent for classroom use - with examples of haiku, tanka, cinquain, dodoitsu, concrete, and other forms. 

Recommended for upper elementary/middle grade classes or spider enthusiasts.

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