A Poem as Big as New York City: Little Kids Write about the Big Apple Edited by Teachers & Writers Collaborative

Recommended Grades: K -12

A fantastic celebration of the wonder that is New York, as told in the words of its children.  The foreword by Walter Dean Myers and edited by Teachers and Writers Collaborative, this collaboration is part of an unprecedented series of workshops in which New York city public school students were challenged to write about what it is like to live, learn, and play in New York City.  The result is nothing short of magical.   

Lesson Idea:  

Poetry/Word Choice: Read aloud A Poem as Big as New York City: Little Kids Write About the Big Apple and use it as a model text for writing poetry.  This mythical poem takes shape in the form of a “person” who takes us through the five boroughs of New York City.  Readers can feel, smell, taste, hear, and see what New York is all about through the eyes of children.  Images and words dance, jump and stroll down crowded sidewalks—through the “bongo beats,” “pitter-patter,” and “Zoom! Whoosh!” – and take the reader far and wide across the city, to such places as the South Street Seaport, The Statue of Liberty, The Apollo Theater, and both ways across the Brooklyn Bridge.

This is a fantastic book to read aloud simply to hear various techniques of poetry.  Or use it as a model text for word choice in poetry, discussing the onomatopoeia that the reader hears and how the choice of words really makes the poem come alive.

I am absolutely in awe of this book and so proud of the accomplishments of the students of public schools in New York City.  This book should be on the shelves of teachers of every age and should be read aloud often in classrooms across our country.

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