Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom

How to Read a Poem

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Pigs

by Charles Guigna

Pigs are playful
Pigs are pink
Pigs are smarter
than you think.
Pigs are slippery
Pigs are stout
Pigs have noses
Called a snout.
Pigs are pudgy
Pigs are plump
Pigs can run
But never jump.
Pigs are loyal
Pigs are true.
Pigs don’t care for
Barbecue.

 

Ode to the Pig: His Tail

by Walter R. Brooks

My tail is not impressive
But it’s elegant and neat.
In length it’s not excessive —
I can’t curl it round my feet —
But it’s awfully expressive,
And its weight is not excessive,
And I don’t think it’s conceit,
Or foolishly possessive
If I state with some agressive–
ness that it’s the final master touch
That makes a pig complete.

Discussion:

  • Students take turns reading the poems out loud.
  • Students discuss unfamiliar words.
  • Students memorize one or both of the poems and recite individually or as a class.
  • Students find examples of alliteration.
  • Students circle the rhyming words.
  • Students tap the rhythm used in each poem.
  • In the poem "Pigs," students make a list of all the adjectives used to describe pigs.
  • Why do pigs not care for barbecue?
  • In the poem "Ode to the Pig: His Tail," match these words with their definitions:
impressive a. ability to make one's feelings or abilities known
excessive b. being forceful in getting things done.
expressive c. too much pride in one's own worth or virtue
conceit d. too much
aggressive e. having the power to gain the admiration or interest of
  • Identify the common suffix in all but one of these words. Write the root word for each of the words with the common suffix.
  • Make a list of some other words with the same suffix.
  • Students draw pictures to illustrate one or both of the poems.

More Ag in Poetry

Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom is a program of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, 4-H Youth Development, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, and the Oklahoma State Department of Education.