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					           The Wonderful World Inside Jack Prelutsky’s Mind
                            An Author Study by: Alexis Barth




Introduction: I decided to do my Author Study Unit on Jack Prelutsky, because I read his book Behold
the Bold Umprellaphat for my bibliography by being drawn to the title from our Children’s Literature
book. I really loved the book and decided to see if Mr. Prelutsky had anymore great titles, and he does
indeed! I intend for this unit to be geared toward third grade over the course of a week in the reading
block.

Guiding Questions:
       How many books has Jack Prelutsky written?
       How long has Jack Prelutsky been a poet?
       Where does Jack Prelutsky get all his wacky ideas?
       Does Jack Prelutsky write in any other genres?

Who is Jack Prelutsky? Jack Prelutsky was born September 8, 1940 and grew up in the Bronx. Jack now
lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife of 31 years. Jack has been writing outrageously silly poems
since he was 24. This all started when he spent a few months drawing imaginary animals and began
writing short poems for his own enjoyment. A friend encouraged him to show his work to a publisher
who thought that the wonderful world inside Jack Prelutsky’s mind must be shared.
          Jack now works out of a studio in his home, and tries to write every day gathering inspiration
from everything! Anything is his life can serve as a starting point for a poem; things like childhood
memories or eating at a bad diner.
          In 2006, Mr. Prelutsky was named the first Children’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation.
In 2007, Jack won the Scandiuzzi Children’s Book Award of Washington State Book Awards for Behold
the Bold Umbrellaphant. Other award winning books include Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast received the
Mulberry Award, It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles received the Parent’s Choice Gold Award. School Library
Journal Best Book of the Year for The New Kid on the Block, Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep,
The Queen of Eene, Something Big Has Been Here, and The Wild Baby. American Library Association
Booklist Children’s Editors’ Choice for The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight, A Pizza the Size
of the Sun, The New Kid on the Block, Rolling Harvey Down the Hill, Something Big Has Been
Here, and The Wild Baby. IRA/CBC Children’s Choice for The Mean Old Mean Hyena, New York
Times Notable Book of the Year for The Dragons Are Singing Tonight.
        Jack’s advice for young writers is “READ! READ! READ! and WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! Keep a
journal and write down things you see, hear and think about. Practice writing stories and poems. Keep
your eyes and ears open and PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!”


Jack’s Great Work:

                     The New Kid on the Block
                     This is a collection of more than 100 silly poems about strange people and creatures
                     made up from the imagination of Mr. Prelutsky. Some of the poems included in this
                     collection follows: Jellyfish Stew, Alligators are Unfriendly, Cuckoo, Granny Grizer,
                     Homework! Oh, Homework!, and many more that will have you giggling and
                     chuckling all night.



                                                             The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders
     This book is comprised of 28 tongue twister poems about real places. The places in this
collection are highlighted in great verses with new partner in rhyme. This is book even has a
                                                                      poem about Ft. Myers!

                      A Pizza the Size of the Sun
                      This is another rich, clever, and hilarious collection of Jack’s poems. The pages are
                      filled with crazy characters, a backwards poem, and even a poem that never ends.
                      A Pizza the Size of the Sun shows yet again the brilliance of Jack Prelutsky.




                                                                    It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles
Yet again Jack Prelutsky brings a collection of fun poems into our homes and classrooms. This
   collection brings great humor and excitement that everyone loves to everyday things; like
                                the flu, food in the refrigerator, and my overweight underdog!


                 My Parents Think I am Sleeping
                 This book invites you into the adventures that really take place at bedtime. Jack
                 Prelutsky does a fabulous job of inviting his reader into the mischief children get into
                 when “parents think (they) are sleeping!” Of course, this poem has all the humor Jack is
                 known for!



                                                               Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant
          This fun and uniquely imaginative book is comprised of 17 poems all exploring the
combination of animal and inanimate objects. This book is silly, but wonderfully creative too.
                      This is my favorite of the all the Jack Prelutsky books I am highlighting.
                      The Wizard
                      This book tells the story of a wizard who turns a frog into many different things.
                      Jack tells this short story with beautiful rhyme and rhythm. You never know that
                      frog you see could be the wizards doing.




                                                                         If Not for the Cat
   This book has great haikus about different animals that will leave you puzzled while
         looking at these animals with a new view. Jack Prelutsky gives his read a great
                   illustration of a mouse, a skunk, a beaver, ants, jellyfish, and others.




                    Awful Ogre’s Awful Day
                    This book of poems is fantastic. It tells of ordinary things we all do throughout the
                    day, but in the ogre way. Jack is creative and gross in this collection about Awful
                    Ogre’s strange and comical day. These poems are a blast to read while imagining all
                    the yucky things an ogre might do.




                                                                          What a Day It was at School
 This is another great and lovable book of poems about all the things kids deal with during a day at
school. Jack Prelutsky explores the day in the life of a child at school with perfection and incredible
 humor. We can all relate to the poems in this book making it even more humorous and enjoyable.




                    Lesson 1: What is a Biography and who is Jack Prelutsky Anyway?

            Sunshine State Standards:                                    Goal 3 Standards:

    LA.3.2.1.1: The student will understand the          Standard 2: Effective Communicators - in English
distinguishing features among the common forms                         and other languages
 of literature (e.g., poetry, prose, fiction, drama);
                                                        Standard 4: Creative and Critical Thinkers - capable
                                                             of analyzing, interpreting, summarizing,
                                                        and making appropriate connections to complete a
                                                                      task or solve problems.

                                                        Standard 8: Cooperative Workers - who work with
                                                            other people with various backgrounds in an
                                                                   effective, productive manner.
                                                  Objectives:

During the lesson the learner will identify the different parts of a Biography by writing their own with no
                                                   errors.

After the lesson the learner will compare and contrast their Biography with Jack Prelutsky’s by creating a
                       venndiagram containing at least three facts in each column.
                                        Assessment & Evaluation:

Initial: I will read one of Jack Prulutsky’s poems for the class. I will ask if they know anything about Jack
Prelutsky. I will ask the class what type of literature will tell them about the life of Mr. Prelutsky. This will
help me to understand my student’s background knowledge of biographies and Jack Prelutsky.

Informal/ Check for Understanding: For my guided practice activity I will have created questions and
answers about Jack Prelutsky. Each student will receive a question or an answer; they will need to find
the student who either has the question to go with their answer or the answer to go with their question.
This will familiarize students with the types of questions that a biography consists of while becoming
acquainted with facts about Jack Prelutsky. For my individual practice activity I will have each student
create their own biography containing the important parts of a biography that we have discussed, and
for future events the student can have the freedom to make up what they would like their future to look
like.

Formal Assessment: For my formal assessment I will have each student fill out a venndiagram
comparing and contrasting their biography with Jack Prelutsky’s biography.
                 Introduction:                                           Materials:

  I will play a video of Jack Prelutsky playing the            The book A Pizza the Size of the Sun
guitar and reciting his poem Spaghetti! Spaghetti?               20 copies of each poem shared
                                                             20 typed Biographies of Jack Prelutsky
                                                                       20 Venndiagrams
                                           Technology Integration:

 I will play a short video from the internet of Jack Prelutsky performing his poem Spaghetti! Spaghetti?
http://www.google.com/search?q=jack%20prelutsky%20spaghetti%20spaghetti&rls=com.microsoft:en-
                          us&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1&um=1&ie=UTF-
                           8&tbo=u&tbs=vid:1&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wv

                                             Teacher Facilitation:

    1. I will play the Spaghetti! Spaghetti? Video and will read the poem. Once I read the poem I will
       play the video again, because it is short so without being a bit familiar with the word the class
       may miss it.
    2. I will read a couple of poems that I print out for each student to follow from A Pizza the Size of
       the Sun including: Gloppe’s Soup Shoppe, When I Grow Up, and Backwards Forwards Silly
       Rhyme. I will ask if they know anything about Jack Prelutsky. I will ask the class what type of
         literature will tell them about the life of Mr. Prelutsky. The answer I will be looking for is
         biography. This will help me to understand my student’s background knowledge of biographies
         and Jack Prelutsky.
    3.   As a class we will discuss what biographies are comprised of. I will pass out a biography of Jack
         Prelutsky to each student. As we are discussing what information can be found in a biography
         the students will highlight and label those parts of Mr. Prelutsky’s biography.
    4.   For my guided practice activity I will have created questions and answers about Jack Prelutsky.
         Each student will receive a question or an answer; they will need to find the student who either
         has the question to go with their answer or the answer to go with their question. This will
         familiarize students with the types of questions that a biography consists of while becoming
         acquainted with facts about Jack Prelutsky.
    5.   For my individual practice activity I will have each student create their own biography containing
         the important parts of a biography that we have discussed. For future events the student can
         have the freedom to make up what they would like their future to look like.
    6.   Once all the students have completed their personal biography I will pass out a venn diagram for
         them to compare and contrast their bio with Mr. Prelutsky’s bio. This venn diagram will be
         passed in for a grade. The students must have three facts in each column.


                                         Differentiated Instruction:

ESOL: For my ESOL students I will have the poems translated into their native language and give them
copies in English. I will have all the questions and answers for our activity in English on one side and
their native language on the other. I will have parallel dictionaries available throughout the lesson for
them to use when they feel necessary.
ESE: I will have my ESE students help any handicapped students who find filling out the diagram difficult.
Physically Handicapped: For the physically handicapped, the possibly only struggle would be to write
out their bio and fill out their diagram. I would pair them with a student who could help fill out the
diagram as the two discuss the answers.


                                       Lesson 2: Umbrellaphant…?

             Sunshine State Standards:                                   Goal 3 Standards:

                                                         Standard 2: Effective Communicators - in English
  LA.3.2.1.3: The student will identify and explain
                                                                       and other languages
 how language choice helps to develop mood and
   meaning in poetry (e.g., sensory and concrete
                                                        Standard 4: Creative and Critical Thinkers - capable
       words as well as figurative language);
                                                             of analyzing, interpreting, summarizing,
                                                        and making appropriate connections to complete a
LA.3.2.1.7: The student will identify and explain an
                                                                      task or solve problems.
     authors use of descriptive, idiomatic, and
 figurative language (e.g., personification, similes,
                                                        Standard 8: Cooperative Workers - who work with
   metaphors, symbolism), and examine how it is
                                                           other people with various backgrounds in an
used to describe people, feelings, and objects; and
                                                                  effective, productive manner.
  LA.3.2.1.4: The student will identify an authors
  theme, and use details from the text to explain
     how the author developed that theme;

                                                 Objectives:

 In pairs, the learner will inspect a poem in Jack Prelutsky’s Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant and list the
      words that contribute to the mood of the poem with at least three words. (Bloom’s Analysis)

In pairs, the learner will identify the simile, metaphor, or personification Jack Prelutsky uses in the poem
  they are assigned and how this describes the animal/object the poem is about. (Bloom’s Application)

 In pairs, the learner will identify the theme of their assigned poem with at least one example. (Bloom’s
                                                 Application)

                                         Assessment & Evaluation:

Initial: I will do a simple question time as my initial assessment in order to understand the background
knowledge of my students. I will ask them the question, “What are some mood words?” or “Who can
tell me what a metaphor is? A simile? A personification?”

Informal/ Check for Understanding: For my guided practice, I would put examples of metaphors,
similes, and personification on the board. I would have the table groups discuss each one. As a class we
would go over the answers and each table group would be able to present the answers they came up
with.

Formal: For my formal assessment I would give each student pair a table that they would need to fill out
using their assigned poem. The table would consist of columns for the students to list words that
contribute to the mood of the poem, simile/metaphor/personification, and the theme with one example
from the text.

                   Introduction:                                             Materials:

  I will do a read aloud with the book, Behold the                     Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant
     Bold Umbrellaphant. For the before reading               10 animals from the book written on notecards
 activity, I would ask the class to make predictions          10 objects matching the animals from the book
  about the poems inside by examining the cover,                            written on notecards
    title, and illustration. For the during reading I                    20 table graphic organizers
would stop and encourage creative thinking by ask
 what may an animal like the ones described do or
how may they act. For the after reading activity we
would discuss what the overall theme and mood of
the book was. This will help the students complete
          their table at the end of the lesson.
                                                 Teacher Facilitation:
     1. I will do a read aloud with the book, Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant. For the before reading
           activity, I would ask the class to make predictions about the poems inside by examining the
           cover, title, and illustration. For the during reading I would stop and encourage creative thinking
           by ask what may an animal like the ones described do or how may they act. For the after reading
         activity we would discuss what the overall theme and mood of the book was. This will help the
         students complete their table at the end of the lesson.
    2.   I will do a simple question time as my initial assessment in order to understand the background
         knowledge of my students. I will ask them the question, “What are some mood words?” or
         “Who can tell me what a metaphor is? A simile? A personification?”
    3.   I will discuss with the class what make a metaphor, simile, and personification. We will look at
         examples together.
    4.   For my guided practice, I would put examples of metaphors, similes, and personification on the
         board. I would have the table groups discuss each one. As a class we would go over the answers
         and each table group would be able to present the answers they came up with.
    5.   I will break the class into two groups. Each student in one group will get note cards with animals
         from the story and a number. The other group will get the matching objects with numbers too.
         Each student will need to find their pair from the story by matching their numbers.
    6.   For my formal assessment I would give each student pair a table that they would need to fill out
         using their assigned poem. The poem they get is the one about the animal/object they were
         given. The graphic organizer table would consist of columns for the students to list words that
         contribute to the mood of the poem, simile/metaphor/personification, and the theme with one
         example from the text. This is to turn in for a grade.

                                         Differentiated Instruction:

ESOL: I would get the book Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant in the student’s native language for them to
follow along as I do the read aloud. I would label the columns in their table with their native word and
the English. I would also have parallel dictionaries available for the ESOL student to use throughout the
lesson whenever they feel it is necessary.
ESE: I will make sure the pairs are evenly made and ESE students will not be paired together, but with
lower level students for the sake of scaffolding.
Physically Handicapped: For the physically handicapped, the possibly only struggle would be to write
out their table and I would pair them with a student who could help fill out the table as the two discuss
the answers.


                                Lesson3: I want to write like Mr. Prelutsky!

             Sunshine State Standards:                                   Goal 3 Standards:

   LA.3.4.1.2: The student will write a variety of       Standard 2: Effective Communicators - in English
    expressive forms (e.g., chapter books, short                       and other languages
stories, poetry, skits, song lyrics) that may employ,
  but not be limited to, figurative language (e.g.,     Standard 4: Creative and Critical Thinkers - capable
     simile, onomatopoeia), rhythm, dialogue,                of analyzing, interpreting, summarizing,
  characterization, plot, and appropriate format.       and making appropriate connections to complete a
                                                                      task or solve problems.
 LA.3.3.3.1: The student will revise by evaluating
   the draft for use of ideas and content, logical      Standard 8: Cooperative Workers - who work with
organization, voice (e.g., formal or informal), point      other people with various backgrounds in an
             of view, and word choice;                            effective, productive manner.
  LA.3.3.3.4: The student will revise by applying
 appropriate tools or strategies to refine the draft
      (e.g., peer review, checklists, rubrics).

  LA.3.3.4.1: The student will edit for correct use
      of spelling, using spelling patterns and
 generalizations (e.g., word families, diphthongs,
  consonant digraphs, CVC words, CCVC words,
  CVCC words, affixes) and using a dictionary or
           other resources as necessary;


                                                Objectives:

    During the lesson, the learner will construct a poem mirroring at least two elements from a Jack
                    Prelutsky’s poem that we have discussed. (Bloom’s Application)

During the lesson, the learner will evaluate a partner’s poem making at least three suggestions. (Bloom’s
                                                 Analysis)
   After the lesson, the learner will compose a final poem including at least one simile, metaphor, or
                       personification and at least ten rhymes. (Bloom’s Synthesis)

                                         Assessment & Evaluation:

Initial: The initial assessment will really be a review from the day before so that the students understand
each element that is required in their poem.
Informal/ Check for Understanding: As the students work with their partner, I will be walking around to
answer their questions and check their progress.
Formal: For the formal assessment the students will be composing a letter that is required to have one
simile, metaphor, or personification and at least ten rhymes.
                      Introduction:                                          Materials:

  For my introduction to this lesson, I will pull up                      Smart Board
   Jack Prelutsky’s website and we will read the                           Computers
poems that he has listed there. This website is very                      10 Handouts
   kid friendly and fun to interact with. This will
 familiarize the class with more of Mr. Prelutsky’s
                        work.
                                          Technology Integration:

 As a class we will explore JackPralutsky.com. The students will spend this lesson on scholastic.com on
 the writers workshop page that takes them step by step with Jack Prelutsky on how to write a poem.
                                            Teacher Facilitation:
     1. I will pull up Jack Prelutsky’s website, and we will read the poems that he has listed there.
          This website is very kid friendly and fun to interact with. This will familiarize the class with
          more of Mr. Prelutsky’s work.
     2. I will explain the assignment to the class. We will be writing poems today, and editing a
          buddy’s poem. I will pass out titles of Jack Prelutsky’s poems and the poems themselves. The
         students will need to find their classmate with the title to their poem, and that will be their
         buddy. Each pair will get the handout “How to Write a Funny Poem” by Jack Prelutsky. This
         will help the students to brainstorm together and receive encouragement.
         http://www.jackprelutsky.com/flash/pdf_docs/HowToWriteAFunnyPoem.pdf
      3. The student pairs will go to the following web address and follow the direction from Jack
         Prelutsky on how to write a poem.
         http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/poetry/jack_home.htm
      4. As the students work with their partner, I will be walking around to answer their questions
         and check their progress.
      5. At the end of the lesson the students will hand it their poem to be graded.
                                        Differentiated Instruction:

ESOL: I will provide parallel dictionaries for my ESOL student to use throughout the lesson whenever
they feel they need it.
ESE: I will make sure I even out the pairs while the students are writing their poems for the sake of
scaffolding.
Physical Handicapped: For the physically handicapped, the possibly only struggle would be to write out
their poem, and I would pair them with a student who could help write out the poem as the two work
together.

Culminating Activity: For my culminating activity I will show the class the letters other classes have
written to Jack Prelutsky on his website. Once we have read some samples I will have my class write
their own letter to Mr. Prelutsky. I will encourage them to ask questions and express how they feel
about the poems we have been experiencing all week. After the students write their letters I will give
them the option to share their letters with the class. I will tell the students I will send their letters to Mr.
Prelutsky. This will give the students the chance to ask questions and reflect on things they learned
about this amazing poet.


Reflection: Designing an author study helped me to master the Florida Educator Accomplished
Practices, and I will highlight the three I felt I grew in the most while completing this assignment. I will
also give examples of how I felt I grew by pointing out two indicators of each practice. The first
is Continuous Improvement: the pre-professional teacher realizes that she/he is in the initial stages of a
life-long learning process and that self reflection is one of the key components of that process. While
her/his concentration is, of necessity, inward and personal, the role of colleagues and school-based
improvement activities increase as time passes. The teacher's continued professional improvement is
characterized by self-reflection, working with immediate colleagues and teammates, and meeting the
goals of a personal professional development plan. I learned the importance of reflecting on my work
and improving where things could be better organized or planned. While creating this author study I
wanted it to reflect respect for diverse perspectives, ideas, and opinions in planned learning
activities which is one of the continuous improvement indicators. I did this by having many different
activities incorporated into my author study so that the learning diversity would be reached and not
overlooked. I also improved my unit by learning from peers and colleagues and develop professional
relationships in order to exchange ideas and foster creativity. I got to share with my peers parts of my
study and receive feedback to reflect on and make appropriate changes with the new considerations.
The second practice I felt I grew in was Critical Thinking: the pre-professional teacher is acquiring
performance assessment techniques and strategies that measure higher-order thinking skills in students
and is building a repertoire of realistic projects and problem solving activities designed to
assist all students in demonstrating their ability to think creatively. I worked hard at creating activities
that fit with the content, but also was a challenge to encourage critical thinking among the students. I
designed group activities with the mindset that all the students can think critically together, and help
each other arrive at the correct answer or solution, yet I incorporated many independent activities to
give each student the chance to use high order thinking without any help. This is indicated by how
I identifies strategies, materials, and technologies which she/he will use to expand students’ thinking
abilities and demonstrates and models the use of higher-order thinking abilities, because all my activities
are original. I used sources to encourage creativity, but I ultimately used my critical thinking skills and
created activities that would fit my study best. The last practice I grew in competency
is Planning: recognizing the importance of setting high expectations for all students , the pre-
professional teacher works with other professionals to design learning experiences that meet students'
needs and interests. The teacher candidate continually seeks advice/information from appropriate
resources (including feedback), interprets the information, and modifies her/his plans appropriately.
Planned instruction incorporates a creative environment and utilizes varied and motivational strategies
and multiple resources for providing comprehensible instruction for all students . Upon reflection, the
teacher continuously refines outcome assessment and learning experiences. This has been one of the
biggest planning assignment thus far. I have done lesson plans, but creating a cohesive unit was
challenging. I learned the importance of planning each lesson by identifying what the final learning
outcome of my students will be. Having that understanding while planning keeps the author study
flowing together. This is indicated by identifies student performance outcomes for planned lessons. I
also planned each activity to engage each student with the material. Going through the planning process
and re-thinking what may work and what I could fix to keep students engaged was important to the
planning process, because reevaluating the lessons and planning out obstacles is critical to the
engagement and learning of the students. This is indicated by plans activities that engage students in
learning activities and employs strategies to re-engage students who are off task. As a future teacher I
will use all the positive and negative things I learned while creating this study. I have a better grasp of
what actually goes into planning an author study which will be beneficial in my future classroom. I found
it challenging to know what activities were level appropriate, and what expectations to have without
really being in the classroom. For me that was the hardest part of the lessons; knowing what was really
the best grade appropriate option. Overall I really enjoyed planning this author study and exploring Jack
Prelutsky.

Work Cited:

http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/poetry/jack_meet.htm

http://www.jackprelutsky.com/flash/pdf_docs/PoetryActivities.pdf

http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=24470&view=full_sptlght

http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/68

http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/jack_prelutsky/biography

http://www.jackprelutsky.com/

http://bookwizard.scholastic.com/tbw/quickSearch.do?No=30&Ne=1314&Ntt=Jack%20Prelutsky&Nt
k=TBW_QuickSearch_SI&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&N=1763
http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/poetry/jack_home.htm

http://www.theteacherscorner.net/thematicunits/jackprelutsky.php

http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/prelutsky

http://www.mhhe.com/socscience/education/kidlit/aom/july01_aom.htm#awards

http://www.jackprelutsky.com/flash/pdf_docs/HowToWriteAFunnyPoem.pdf

http://vimeo.com/910886

				
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