About the Book
Newbery Award winning author, Sharon Creech, loves the poem, About a
Boy, by Walter Dean Myers. As she thought about the boy in the story
she began to imagine the story that became the book, Love That Dog.
Perfect as an introduction to or in conjunction with a poetry unit,
the story centers around Jack who, when asked to keep a poetry journal
responds with " I don't want to/because boys/don't write poetry." His
distaste for poetry continues, but his teacher persists in introducing
her students to a wide variety of poetry and expects them to write responses
to each poem. Jack begins to slowly see the beauty of expressing thoughts
and feelings through the poetry form and eventually describes what happened
to his beloved dog, Sky. He also is inspired to write a letter to his
favorite poet, Walter Dean Myers. This book is a natural for discussions
of what poetry is, why it is a unique form of expression and for encouraging
students, especially boys, to begin to write their own.
Set the Stage
Before your students read Love That Dog, ask them what they think
of poetry. Do they like to read it? Write it? Why or Why not? Ask if
they have ever written a poem and if so, what the poem was about. You
can also discuss whether your students have a favorite poem that another
person wrote. Tell them that in this book the main character is a young
boy who hates poetry but something happens that begins to change his
Review the Book
When your students have read Love That Dog, ask the following
questions to check their comprehension of the material.
What shape did Jack make one of his poems look like?
For which two reasons did Jack like Mr. Walter Dean Myers' poem?
Why could it have taken months before Mr. Walter Dean Myers received
How many lines does Jack's poem, "Love That Dog" have? Who is
Have students share
which of the poems in the book are their favorites.
Discuss with your students whether they remember the shape poems
in Love That Dog. Talk about the poem shaped like a dog that Jack wrote,
and the poem shaped like an apple located at the back of the book.
In this activity
students will follow the steps provided to make their own concrete or
shape poem. For bonus activities they can research different styles
of poetry or start a poetry journal.
and Copy the Classroom Activity Now (PDF)
For more ideas on using poetry in your classroom, see these related
about simple writing steps your students can use to create poetry. (PDF)
Your students can practice writing descriptive poems with this fun activity.
Find out more about
author, Sharon Creech in the Authors and Books section of our site.