One of my all-time favorite books to use when teaching poetry is Love That Dog by Sharon Creech, but you CAN’T just read it. For students to really “get” what the boy is talking about in the book, students have to first know the poems that Ms. Stretchberry is making him read. What better way for students to connect with a character than to have them also learn about the same poems? I found that my boys actually ended up liking our poetry unit more than my girls because many thought like Jack: “boys don’t write poetry.”
Before I would ever open the book, we would do some close reading with the poem, The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams, which is a great one for visualization. It’s also super short and pretty easy to analyze.