Where the Sidewalk Ends
Poems and Drawings by Shel Silverstein
Shel Silverstein is one of the most creative writers I have ever read. Often times when kids think of poetry, they think of long, boring, song-like romance poems full of intense vocabulary. I think Shel Silverstein's poetry would be perfect to read to students when they are first learning about poetry. Some of his poems contain rhyme, but not all of them. He uses such a variety of topics, lengths, formats, that he is sure to inspire many students.
Using Shel Silverstein poems with kids who aren't confident readers could be one way to intrigue them or to spark some interest in reading, because his poems are so funny and witty. Many of Silverstein's poems are straight forward, yet another reason to use them with beginning poets and writers. As a teacher, having the students create artwork for a poem or some type of visual representation would be great, because his poems create such vivid and creative images. There are so many ways his poems can be used in the classroom, and yet they can be great to just read for fun :)