One of the hits of our elementary school’s last two Poem in Your Pocket Days was the dramatic mother-daughter recitation (with props!) of “Honeybees,” one of the poems for two voices written by Paul Fleischman. Along with other dual-voice insect poems, this poem is found in the author’s Newbery Medal collection Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices.
The first mother-daughter “Honeybees” recitation took place during an author luncheon when student-volunteers shared their favorite found or original poems. The second recitation by the same pair took place during a school-wide assembly in which a number of students recited poems in their native languages.
Both mother-daughter recitations were very gratifying; the pair were exceedingly proud of each other, and had spent time practicing–time that the student glowed about spending with her mom. Interestingly, the pair switched roles for the second recitation, with the student taking the part of the Queen Bee, while her mother was the “Worker Bee.” ..Unfortunately, the student moved up to middle school this year. Hopefully, another parent-student team will inspired to take their place!
How I wished that more grown-ups (faculty, staff, parents/guardians) would have chosen to participate, particularly sharing poems in their native languages. Although I hadn’t known it previously, last year I learned that the cafeteria manager wrote song lyrics and poems; she promised to share her gifts in the future festivities.
When I was having a hard time figuring out which end was up in the autumn photo featured below, I thought of Paul Fleischman’s form; ergo….though not Newbery material… in celebration of autumn….my first poem for two voices.