Saturday, February 23, 2008

Joyful Noises: Poems for Two Voices

A. Title: Joyful Noises: Poems for Two Voices

B. Author: Paul Fleischman

C. Illustrator: Eric Beddows (Ken Nutt)

D. Publisher: Harper & Row, Publishers

E. Genre: Poetry

F. Reading Level: All ages, 9-12

G. Awards: Newbery Medal

H. Summary: This is a wonderful scientific thinking poetry book! Joyful Noises: Poems for Two Voices is a collection of poems about insects and their lives. The greatest part about this book is the fact that it is meant to be read aloud by two people. A great example from the book would be the poem "Honeybees." The two voices are the Queen Bee and the Worker Bee, and they show the great contrast between their daily activities and lives. Not only is this book extremely interesting and fun to read aloud, it has great facts about the insects the poems are about. Also included in the book are poems about grasshoppers, water striders, mayflies, book lice, moths, digger wasps, whirligig beetles, and more.

I. Response: I absolutely love Joyful Noises: Poems for Two Voices. Each poem was so unique and funny and educational. I believe that the poems in this book are free verse because this type of style gives Paul Fleischman the freedom he needs to create the two points of view (two voices) in each poem. My favorite poem in the book is called "Book Lice" and is about two book lice who meet and fall in love despite their different book tastes! Not only does this book have vast educational applications, it's just an overall fun read. I would absolutely recommend this book to teachers, future teachers, and everyone else. Another great thing about this book are the illustrations. The illustrations' media is definitely pencil sketches, but they're extremely detailed and really aid in the telling of the poems. I honestly have never seen such elaborate and gorgeous drawings, especially the illustrations of the outdoors and nature.

J. Teaching Ideas: There are so many different teaching possibilities that can be pulled from Joyful Noises: Poems for Two Voices. For younger students, Joyful Noises can be used as a fun way to introduce scientific concepts. The students can form groups, pick a poem, research the insect, and then orally present the insect research and perform the poem itself. can also be used as inspiration for writing exercises. Students can use these poems as a reference to create their own free verse poems or their own two voice poems. The class as a whole can make costumes to look the insects and put on a performance of the book for their parents or peers. This book can also be used in much older grades, such as those in middle school and high school. Again, you can use Paul Fleischman's writing style as a guide to write their own poetry. Comparing Joyful Noises: Poems for Two Voices and I Am Phoenix: Poems for Two Voices, another one of Paul's book of poems for two voices about birds, could be a great comparison essay prompt. Other essay prompts could come from Paul Fleischman's literature and poetry being compared to a variety of other writers. Like I said, there are numerous ways to apply Paul Fleischman's Joyful Noises: Poems for Two Voices to the classroom on a variety of grade levels.

1 comment:

Dr. Frye said...

My favorite Fleischman work! Thanks for inviting our class to perform Honeybees in class! It was so much fun! Having students write poems for 2 voices is amazing! It works really well when there are stark similarities and differences; for example, from Weedflower writing from both perspectives: Sumiko's and Frank's, or Japanese Americans and those that feared them. You and Erin did a fantastic job presenting your Author Study : )