Homeschool Share: an online homeschool curriculum cooperative hosting over 500 unit studies, lapbooks, printables, and other resources.

Poem Stew

Poem Stew


Poems selected by William Cole
ISBN: 0064401367
Summary: A feast of hilarious poems about food that is sure to hit your funny bone and whet your appetite for more.

Unit prepared by Wende


Social Studies (Manners) –

Read the poem Table Manners (pg 59) to your child. Ask your child to name some of the rude things that the Goops do i.e. lick their fingers, lick their knives, spill their food, are messy, etc. The poem ends with a question, “Are you?” Does your child ever act like a Goop?

Also read Speak Clearly (pg 32). Have your child decipher what the rude boy was saying, while he had a mouthful of food, and then how the parent responded to his request for jello.

For fun, you can also read My Wise Old Grandpa (pg 10) and have your child pick out the sometimes silly advice about manners.

Review good table manners with your child, demonstrating polite, neat table etiquette.

Science (Food Groups)–

Discuss the food pyramid and food groups with your child. Explain that our bodies need a balanced diet so that all our organs and systems can work efficiently. 


Number of Daily Servings

Food Group

Foods Included

6 to 11 Servings

Grain Group

1 slice of bread

½ cup cooked rice or pasta

½ cup cereal

3 to 5 Servings

Vegetable Group

½ cup chopped raw or cooked

1 cup of leafy greens

2 to 3 Servings

Fruit Group

1 piece of fruit

¾ cup of juice

½ cup canned fruit

½ cup dried fruit

2 to 3 Servings

Dairy Group

1 cup milk or yogurt

1 ½ to 2 ounces cheese

2 to 3 Servings

Meat Group

2 ½ to 3 ounces cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish

*1 egg

*½ cup cooked beans

*2 tablespoons peanut butter

* count as 1/3 serving

Use Sparingly

Fats, Oils, Sweets

Candy, chips, etc.


Have your child pick out a poem with a food from each of the food groups, and have him chart his findings if desired. Some possibilities are:

Grain Group –
Aunt Nerissa’s Muffin (pg 6)
Lasagna (pg 68)

Vegetable Group –
The Man in the Onion Bed (pg 9)\
Celery (pg 50)
Vegetables (pg 60)

Dairy Group –
Speak Clearly (pg 32) 

Fruit Group –
Prunes (pg 16)
A Cucumber’s Pickle (pg 34)
Unknown (pg 43)
Lemonade (pg 51)
Two Birds with One Stone (pg 62)

Meat Group –
Rhinoceros Stew (pg 13)
A Generous Man (pg 14)
The Silver Fish (pg 20)
Who Ever Sausage a Thing? (pg 35)
Thoughts About Oysters (pg 46)
The Sausage (pg 70)

Junk Group –
Tableau at Twilight (pg 5)
Potato Chips (pg 27)
Un-named (pg 44)
The Groaning Board (pg 65)

Language Arts –


Parts of a Poem – As you read through the poems in this book, discuss with your child the parts of a poem:


            Title – Usually at the top of the work, some poems have a title and some don’t. Have your child locate the titles of each poem.


Stanza – A stanza is a group of lines in a poem, often separated by a space. Have your child look for the stanzas throughout the book.


Line – Poems are made of lines. Stanzas sometimes organize lines. As you read each poem, have your child identify the number of lines within
            each stanza.


Rhyme scheme – Pattern of rhyming lines is called the rhyme scheme. Not all poems have a rhyme scheme, but most do. Be sure to read a
            good variety of poems with and without rhyme schemes.


Poet – Usually you will find the author’s name at the bottom of the poem, but on occasions where the poem is made into a book, you’ll usually find
            it on the cover and title page. Have your child locate the name of each of the poets.


Poetic Devices – An author sometimes use poetic devices to jazz up a poem. They lend to the readability and excitement of the verse. Your child may have come across some of these devices while using other FIAR or HSS units. Introduce new and/or review old devices with your child, using various poems throughout this book:


            Metaphor – A metaphor is a comparison of two or more things not using “like” or “as”. Read at least one of these poems to illustrate a metaphor
            to your child:

            Prunes (pg 16) – compares prune to unpressed suit

            The Friendly Cinnamon Bun (pg 45) – compares raisins to eyes

            The Sausage (pg 70) – compares sausage to bird


            Simile – A simile is a comparison using the words “like” or “as”. Read this poem and have your child identify the simile:

            A Man for All Seasons (pg 36) – compares salt and pepper to man and wife, sister and brother.


Internal rhyme – When rhyming words appear in the same line of poetry they are called internal rhymes. Pick one or two of these poems to read,
            and ask your child to identify the internal rhymes:

Song of the Pop-Bottlers (pg 3)

Waiters (pg 56)

Anna Banana (pg 64)

O Sliver of Liver (pg 71)


Personification – When an author gives human characteristics to a non-human object, it is called personification. Read at least one of the
            following poems and see if your child can identify the item being personified:

The Silver Fish (pg 20)

A Cucumber’s Pickle (pg 34)

Who Ever Sausage a Thing (pg 35)

The Friendly Cinnamon Bun (pg 45)


Alliteration – Alliteration is when two or more words with same beginning sounds are placed together in a line or sentence. Have child pick out
            alliterative lines from these poems:

The Man in the Onion Bed (pg 9) – last line

On Eating Porridge Made of Peas (pg 12) – peas porridge

Herbert Glerbett (pg 17) – rather round; ghastly green; something strange;


Repetition – Another device an author will sometimes use is repetition of words or phrases throughout the poem or story to create a rhythm.
            Read some poems that demonstrate repetition:

A Thousand Hairy Savages (pg 2)

Song of the Pop-Bottlers (pg 3)

When Father Carves the Duck (pg 21)

The Teapot and the Kettle (pg 40)

The Hot Pizza Serenade (pg 66)

Good Evening, Mr. Soup (pg 74)


Onomatopoeia – Words that imitate sounds are called onomatopoeia. Here is a poem with examples of onomatopoeia:

A Thousand Hairy Savages (pg 2)


Math –


Skip Counting by 2’s – A couplet is a stanza containing two lines. Find poems throughout Poem Stew that contain couplets. Tableau at Twilight is a good example. Skip counting by twos, have your child add the total number of lines in the poems.


Skip counting by 4’s – Many of the poems throughout this book have quatrains, which are stanzas containing four lines. Have your child pick out the poems with quatrains, and counting by 4’s, add up the total number of lines.


Skip Counting by 5’s – Some poems have five line stanzas, called quintets. An example is Two Birds with One Stone. Skip count by fives, adding the total lines.


Using Tally Marks – Have child look through table of contents at the list of poems and authors. Using attached chart, have him make tally marks next to the author for each poem that was included in this collection. Explain that tally marks are an easier way to count quantities of things. Which author contributed the most? Which author contributed the least? Who is anonymous? After completing chart, have child check the Author Index on page 81 to check his calculations.


Art –


Did you know that some poems are written in the shape of pictures? They are called concrete poems and are usually shaped similar to the subject of the poem. Read Rhinoceros Stew (pg 13). Can your child tell what shape the last lines of the poem are written in? They are in the shape of chewing mouths. Have your child draw an outline of a picture, for example a sliding board, heart, spiral, cloud, etc. Have him write a poem about the object around the perimeter of the picture. Be sure that he titles his poem and adds the name of the author, if desired, and colors in a background picture to further illustrate his poem.


Home Ec-

How many ways are there to cook eggs? Eggs are an easy food for children to learn to cook, and they will love to help you prepare a breakfast or two. Read the following poems about eggs:


My Wise Old Grandpa (pg 10) – hard-boiled eggs

If Walt Whitman Had Written Humpty Dumpty (pg 42) – scrambled, over easy, fried,

Some Cook! (pg 69) - custard


Help your child look up eggs in the index of a cookbook and see if he can find the directions on how to cook eggs in the ways mentioned. Help him to follow the directions and prepare breakfast for the family, cooking eggs in different ways throughout the week.