What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that ShelSilverstein.com is showcase site for Shel Silverstein's poetry that features lots of his fun, quirky drawings, a few games, and some limited opportunities for general poetry exploration. The teachers and parents section has a variety of printable poetry worksheets that use Shel's poems to introduce kids to the world of poetry and encourage them to write their own poems. And, of course, there are links to purchase all of Shel's books.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- making new creations
- producing new content
Engagement, Approach, Support
Kids will enjoy seeing Shel's imaginative drawings and reading his quirky poems, both of which abound. However, the site has only a few games and limited content, so kids will quickly exhaust its offerings.
There are some wonderful suggestions for introducing and teaching about poetry and poetry terminology, both online and off, but the focus is very limited.
Little explanation is offered (or needed, really) for this simple and straightforward site. Kids get prizes for completing activities, and grown-ups can use the printable activity sheets to bring the learning alive offline.
What's it about?
SHELSILVERSTEIN.COM offers plenty of information about Shel, fun animations featuring characters from each of his books, and opportunities to buy his books. In the kids' section, kids can play a few limited poetry games based on Shel's poetry (like name that poem or write your own ending to Shel's poem), color in a few characters, print or download Shel's drawings, or send a Shel-themed ecard to a friend. The teachers and parents sections feature valuable printouts for learning about poetry and \"Shelebrating\" poetry month offline.
Is it any good?
Though it functions much as an advertisement for his books, ShelSilverstein.com is a nice addition for kids already enamored by Shel's poetry or as an entertaining way to introduce potential admirers to his often-quirky world. Kids who know Shel's poems will likely enjoy the games, but game content doesn't change (the featured poems are always the same), so kids will quickly exhaust the offerings. Only one game allows kids creative license to create their own poems.
However both the site and Shel's poems do have the potential to get kids excited about poetry and reading. And though the printables are also strictly focused on Shel's poetry, they offer great ways to introduce kids to poetry fundamentals like rhyme and rhythm, types of poems, and stimulate poetry discussion and creation. In all, ShelSilverstein.com, with heavy support from its printables, offers a decent launching pad for further poetry exploration.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how the poem type (rhyming or not rhyming, shaped poem, etc.) affects the overall feeling of a poem.
Where might Shel have found inspiration for his poems? Where might you find inspiration for writing poetry?
What other poets or poems do you know? How are their styles the same or different from that of Shel Silverstein?