Scarecrow Joe Makes Rhyming Friends at the North County Branch of the Hunterdon County Library


Tweens Program at the HCLI love the bulletin board the Hunterdon County Library children’s librarians made up for the Tweenz poetry workshop I did on Tuesday evening at the North County Branch in beautiful Clinton, New Jersey!

Using the colorful, textured scarecrows the multi-talented Susan Swan created for the illustrations of my concept picture book, Pick a Circle, Gather Squares: A Fall Harvest of Shapes as inspiration, I gave kids grades 1 to 5 some of the poetry tools to write a rhyming couplet.

We focused on rhyme and rhythm (meter) as the workshop participants used a selection of autumn-themed one- and two-syllable words to fashion end rhymes for their couplets.  They did a great job!

The kids were responding to the following poem I wrote for the workshop, “The Lonely Scarecrow.” In writing the poem, I tried to imagine what Scarecrow Joe, who is lonely, longs for, and decided the answer was quite simple: a friend.

The Lonely Scarecrow by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky

Workshop participants used their rhyming words to tell Joe what they might do to have fun if they were to spend time together. She had a little trouble figuring out where the line break belonged, but one young girl even ended up rhyming her own name with a three-syllable word. Impressive!

After we had penned, read aloud, and discussed all the couplets, I asked the kids to complete the activity sheet below, one of five I created to accompany readings of Pick a Circle:

Pick a Circle, Gather Squares--Lonely Scarecrow

At the workshop’s close I raffled off a signed copy of the book and donated another signed copy to the library for their stacks.

I am pleased to share that Miss Jean, the librarian, invited me back to do future Tweenz programs to accompany the appearance of Cheers for a Dozen Ears: A Summer Crop of Counting (Spring 2014) and and Sap, Tap, Maple Syrup! Collecting Winter Colors (Fall 2014), when they appear next year. I also be doing several Hunterdon Country Library Teen Café poetry workshops in the spring as well.

Thanks, Miss Jean, for the wonderful opportunity to share my book and some writing tricks I’ve learned during my poetry journey. Looking forward to returning next year to do more workshopping with the younger patrons of the Hunterdon County Library!

Read on!

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