Lesson plan developed by Aurora Tollestrup, BS Ed.
* Lesson plan objective and assessment can be adapted to use this activity with school-age children.
Talk to the students about diversity. Explain that we are all different both on the inside and on the outside. Just because we have different skin, hair, sizes, etc, doesn’t mean that anyone is any less special. Read the poem Colors by Shel Silverstein to the class at circle time. When finishing the poem, invite students to discuss what they think the poem meant. Explain that everyone has “inside colors” which may mean their personality, hobbies, culture, and more things that make them who they are. Invite students to create their own inside colors.
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Using Shel Silverstein Poetry in Early Childhood
When first using the poems of Shel Silverstein in the classroom, it is best to choose a poem that is short and exciting. Doing so will give children the motivation to listen attentively and strengthen their active listening skills. When reciting the same poem often, eventually children will be able to recite the poem themselves, giving you an avenue for assessment or the opportunity to scaffold that ability with a new poem or concept.
Here is an example of a Shel Silverstein poem to recite to a preschool group:
Children will understand that the snowball melted because it was too warm in the house! They will most likely want to retell this poem to others, or wish to hear it again because of the silly nature.