Falling Up

One poetry for youth for K-5 students

I would first like to point out that I chose this book before looking at the examplar. It is one of my favorites, and I still have the bookmarks in it from when I was ten.

Bibliographic Information: Silverstein, Shel. Falling Up. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Plot Description:
In the eponymous poem of this collection, the protagonist trips on his shoelace and, defying all physics, falls up. Far over his hometown, over mountains, and into the sky. He becomes dizzy, and throws down. Other poems in this book involve looking upside down and seeing the world from a new perspective, a twist on cooking the golden goose, numbers that have homophones, and painting with lunch. Poems are often combined with illustrations, for hilarious effect.

Quantitative Reading Level: Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 89.1

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
Despite the apparent frivolity in his poetry, Silverstein gives pertinant advice to readers of every age- like accepting for yourself what is right or wrong, the importance of doing instead of woulda-coulda-shoulda been doing, and the perils of hoarding. Most words have two syllables, and most of the poems internally rhyme in some manner. This book makes poetry fun.

Content Area: English, Poetry

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Reading for K-5: #2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; #3 Identify characters, settings, and major events in a story; #4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes; #7 Describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear; #10 Read and comprehend literature in appropriate grade level.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a great book of poetry to use as independent reading. It is best suited to 5th grade and below. This book can be a model for poetry assignments, and on how to cleverly illustrate a children’s book.


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