WallowInWonder Two-For Sunday: Poems 9 and 10

Apr 10, 2016

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Paul W. Hankins

Feeling a little under the weather and I did not get a post in on Saturday. So, if you are following the blog during the month of April, you are getting--for better or worse--a two-for this Sunday as we take on two wonder-inspired pieces.

Friday's Wonder, #1665, had us wondering "What is a Sun Dog?" You may be familiar with the term, "anticipatory set." This is an approach wherein you might give young readers and writers a group of words that will be encountered within a piece of text and asking the students to predict what they think the text might be about. This is a good time to introduce you to the Wonder Words which appear with each wonder.

Have you considered collecting the words from each day's wonders as your potential vocabulary list? As a secondary educator facilitating the hashtag, #WonderopolisHS, I have remarked now and then that I can actually glean from the daily wonders a list of at least ten appropriate for secondary content and curriculum. This is the same number of words I often see in the leveled vocabulary lists I see in classrooms. And, here at Wonderopolis, the words are offered each day--for free and in context within the non-fiction text we want our young readers and writers to be reading.

I mention the Wonder Words in conjunction with this particular wonder because it is such an interesting grouping. "Mock" and "bark" appear alongside "celestial" and "prism." I thought to take on today's piece--into the two-for deal I've made with you, by counting by two and making a word set that I will incorporate into a poem. Here is my word set:

orb, bark, wag, colorful, phantom, prism, celestial, curious, onlooker


"Red Hot ORB"

as the dog days of summer lag.

when feet BARK and sparklers WAG,

in colorful attempts to light up the night,

you wait like a PHANTOM out of sight,

to send PRISMS like a CELESTIAL call

to we, the CURIOUS ONLOOKERs, all.


Now, Wonder #128 took us back to the heavens again to consider how much we might weigh upon the moon. This is an interesting Wonder for me as I have successfully dropped almost 65 pounds since the beginning of the year. This wonder has me realizing that all of this would be for naught should I move to the moon.

Again, thinking about anticipatory sets and text sets, I'll go back to the Wonder Words, this time starting with the second word and moving through the list (and I note that I once again looking at "celestial" to work within a piece of verse--a good note for teachers here is that the word has come up twice in as many days with as many wonders. I wonder if "celestial" would be a take-away word just that much more quickly for the two-time exposure in context).

As you do this with your young readers and writers, think about allowing them to choose their own words from the list, experimenting as they go and not thinking too much about whether or not they use three words or five words or all of the words that they choose from the list.

Here is my word list from Wonder #128:

fraction, gravity, attracts, celestial, weight, planet, pull, natural, measurement


"A FRACTION of Me"

Susceptibility,

to a force known as GRAVITY,

a measure of my ATTRACTION to the ground,

or could I just be growing more round?


But CELESTIAL bodies offer some hope,

My WEIGHT could be on downward slope.

But could my number be lower? I mean, can it?

If I were to take a rocket ship to another PLANET?


Without a gravitational PULL,

I might not feel so NATURAL,

If a bigger man were heaven sent

to find he had no MEASUREMENT.


That was fun. Two poems. Inspired by the Wonders. And, now, we are even as we get ready for Monday. Tomorrow, we will be writing about Debit and Charge Cards

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