For this lesson, I used the book, I Got the Rhythm, by Connie Schofield-Morrison who uses imagery and onomatopoeia to help us experience the beats that makes our bodies rock. Before I jump into that, however, I want to send a shout out to illustrator, Frank Morrison, whose art captures the essence of finding the rhythm within ourselves!
“To find the rhythm in yourself, all you’ve got to do is look around.”
imagery: the literary term used for language and description that appeals to our five senses. smell, sight, taste, touch, and hearing.
onomatopoeia a word, which imitates the natural sounds of a thing. A few examples: “Honk honk,” says the car or “Ssssssss,” says the snake.
Although I Got the Rhythm is not a book of poetry, per se, it is, nonetheless, a great resource that breaks down the elements of imagery and onomatopoeia, which are two prominent poetic devices.
About the book: On a simple trip to the park, the joy of music overtakes a mother and daughter. The little girl hears a rhythm coming from the world around her- from butterflies, to street performers, to ice cream sellers everything is musical! She sniffs, snaps, and shakes her way into the heart of the beat, finally busting out in an impromptu dance, which all the kids join in on! Award-winning illustrator Frank Morrison and Connie Schofield-Morrison, capture the beat of the street, to create a rollicking read that will get any kid in the mood to boogie.
Teachers, instruct your students to close their eyes and listen as you read the book. Tell them to point to the body part (eyes, nose, mouth, hands, and ears) that describes the images as you read them. Remind them of the definition of imagery and encourage them to feel the experience.
I’ve Got the Rhythm
By Connie Schofield-Morrison
I thought of a rhythm in my mind think think
I heard the rhythm with my ears beat beat
I looked at the rhythm with my eyes beat beat
I smelled the rhythm with my nose sniff sniff
I sang the rhythm with my mouth ooh la la
I caught the rhythm with my hands clap clap
I kept the rhythm with my fingers snap snap
I shook a rhythm with my hips shake shake
I felt the rhythm with my knees knock knock
I walked the rhythm with my feet stomp stomp
I tapped the rhythm with my toes tip tap
I danced to the rhythm of a drum beat bop
I clapped and snapped
I tipped and tapped
I popped and locked
I hipped and hopped
Analysis: Refer to my blog on Poetic Devices for definitions of the following as needed:
- How many times does the author use the word “rhythm”? Why do you think she repeats the word so many times?
- What is the theme of this poem?
- What is the mood of this poem?
- How do the illustrations complement the words?
- Underline the verbs. Write a synonym for each one.
- Write two examples of imagery used.
- “snap snap,” “clap clap,” “beat bop,” “bing bang” and “boom boom” are examples of onomatopoeia. Write what each sound is describing. For example, “snap snap” is the sound of fingers snapping.
About the author: Connie Schofield-Morrison has been writing since she was a young girl and is inspired every day by the big sounds and bright colors of the world around her. I Got the Rhythm is her first picture book.
About the illustrator: Growing up in New Jersey, Frank Morrison began developing his own style through ‘R.I.P’ art scenes that brought him considerable street recognition and local acclaim. But it wasn’t until he visited the Louvre Museum in Paris with his dancing group, that he realized painting was his true creative path. His talent and hard work paid off with over 20 illustrated children’s books, including the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award winner, Jazzy Miz Mozetta and the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor book, Little Melba and her Big Trombone.
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