BLOGS  >  FEBRUARY 24, 2023

Celebrating Poetry with Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein was a notable poet who made significant contributions to literature. He published his first book, The Lion Who Shot Back, in 1963. Silverstein continued to release beloved poetry through several decades that still resonates with readers of all ages even to this day.

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Falling Up: Poems and Drawings

Silverstein once again displays the talent for wordplay and idea-play that keeps his poetry evergreen. 

– Kirkus Reviews (starred)

Filled with unforgettable characters like Screamin’ Millie; Allison Beals and her 25 eels; Danny O’Dare, the dancin’ bear; the Human Balloon; and Headphone Harold, this collection by the celebrated Shel Silverstein will charm young readers and make them want to trip on their shoelaces and fall up too!

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A Light in the Attic 

ALA Notable Children’s Book & School Library Journal Best Book 

Come on up to the attic of Shel Silverstein and let the light bring you home. With remarkable characters and hilariously profound poems, this is a collection readers will return to again and again.

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Every Thing On It: Poems and Drawings 

Adults who grew up with Uncle Shelby will find themselves wiping their eyes by the time they get to the end of this collection; children new to the master will find themselves hooked. – Kirkus Reviews 

Have you ever read a book with everything on it? Well, here it is! You will say Hi-ho for the toilet troll, get tongue-tied with Stick-a-Tongue-Out-Sid, play a highly unusual horn, and experience the joys of growing down.

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Where the Sidewalk Ends: the Poems and Drawings 

ALA Notable Children’s Book 

You’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. Shel Silverstein’s masterful collection of poems and drawings stretches the bounds of imagination and will be cherished by readers of all ages. 

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The Giving Tree

So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein. This moving parable for all ages offers a touching interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return.

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You can also download this printable activity themed around Silverstein’s poem, The Poet Tree

  • Print the “poet leaves” PDF double-sided.
  • One of Shel Silverstein’s poems will be written on one side of the leaf. The other side is left blank for students to write their own poem.
  • Cut the leaves out once the poem is written.
  • Create your own “poet tree” by punching a hole in the leaves and threading a string through it to create a loop. The leaves can then be hung on a real or artificial tree!
  • You can also tape the leaves to a window or wall, staple them to a bulletin board or hang them on a whiteboard with magnets!

Share your trees with the hashtag #ShelPoetTree and be sure to tag @FollettLearning and @FollettClassroom.

Download Poet Tree Leaves Activity 

Check out this episode of Remember Reading Podcast to learn more about Shel Silverstein and how to use his poetry in the classroom.

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