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Multiple Intelligence Projects
Pocketful of PoemsA Pocketful of Poems
illustrated by Javaka Steptoe
Clarion Books, 2001
Verbal / Linguistic Write haiku, of course! Remember that the 17-syllable format is sometimes altered a bit for modern writers, but that trying to stick as close to the format as you can. One technique to really make a haiku work is called personification. Personification is when you make an object (like a stick or a lamp) do what people do. Ms Grimes uses it in several of her haiku like this one:

Mama’s window box-
purple flowers shout the news.
Finally- it’s spring!

The flowers shout is the personification part. On the worksheet below, try to write some images using personification. Then, take your favorite and write at least two haiku.
Logical /Mathematical Haiku word problems!

1. If you have four haiku poems how many syllables do you have total?

2. If you take seven haiku poems and add a tanka poem (another type of Japanese poetry using 31 syllables: 5-7-5-7-7), then divide by the number of students in your class, how many syllables do you have?

3. Check out the end papers of A Pocketful of Poems. See how many letters are on the page? Now, without counting them one by one, count one row across and one row down. Multiply together. That should give you a good estimation of the number of letters on the page. If you’re curious: check your answer!

Visual /Spatial Create a collage, of course! Javaka Steptoe uses cut paper and found objects to create the remarkable illustrations for the book. Choose one of the haiku you wrote, and create a collage of your own to illustrate. Be creative! Look at old things in new ways-this is, after all, what poets do too!
Body / Kinesthetic Memorize your favorite haiku from A Pocketful of Poems and recite it in front of the class. Be sure to practice at home, and remember to speak loud enough for all to hear.
Musical /Rhythmic

Using small hand instruments (or even fingers on desks), tap out the rhythm of the haiku as your teacher reads the book aloud. Notice how it sounds like a song, and talk about how poetry and songs are very similar in their use of rhythm and stresses.

Interpersonal Group Project:

In pairs, create a poster about one of the following topics:

Japanese Haiku
Modern Haiku
Collage Art
How a picture book is created
Nikki Grimes
Javaka Steptoe
Intrapersonal Write a journal about what you learned during the unit about A Pocketful of Poems. Answer these questions: What specifically did you learn? What were you surprised by? What was your favorite part of the project? Creating the collage was…..
Teacher's Guide prepared by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer. Visit her website by clicking here.

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