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Children's Poetry
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Poetry Break # 29

A Related Classic and Contemporary Poem

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Introduction for both poems: Ask how many students have heard the American lullaby, Hush Little Baby. Ask if anyone had it sung to him/her as a baby. Tell students you are going to share two very different versions. (Note: Be sure to see the extension activities at the bottom of this page).

Hush, Little Baby

Hush, little baby, don't say a word,
Papa's gonna buy you a mockingbird.

And if that mockingbird don't sing,
Papa's gonna buy you a diamond ring.

And if that diamond ring turns brass,
Papa's gonna buy you a looking glass.

And if that looking glass gets broke,
Papa's gonna buy you a billy goat.

And if that billy goat won't pull,
Papa's gonna buy you a cart and bull.

And if that cart and bull turn over,
Papa's gonna buy you a dog named Rover.

And if that dog named Rover don't bark,
Papa's gonna buy you a horse and cart.

And if that horse and cart fall down,
You'll still be the prettiest little baby in town.

Traditional American lullaby. Taken from Sleep Rhymes Around the World by Jane Yolen, editor. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press, Inc., 1994, p. 39. ISBN: 1563972433.


Hush Little Monster

Hush, little monster, don't you whine,
Papa's gonna give you to Frankenstein.
If you and Frank can't get along,
Papa's gonna send you to old King Kong.
If you don't like that big gorilla,
You might prefer his friend Godzilla.
If giant lizards make you scared,
Maybe you'll be happy with a grizzly bear.
If life in a bear cave isn't fun,
Why not visit an alien?
If flying through space upsets your tummy,
Just come home to you pappy and your mummy.

Poem by Judy Sierra. Taken from Monster Goose by Judy Sierra. Illustrated by Jack E. Davis. N.Y.: Harcourt, Inc., 2001,unpaged. ISBN: 0152020349.

Extension for both poems: a) Pass out the words and have students sing both poems. b) Break students into groups of two. Assign each group one or two lines of the poems to illustrate. Be sure all the lines in both poems are covered. Share the completed illustrations as the class sings the songs once again.