Request #1: Compare and Contrast Poems

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post inviting teachers and other readers to make requests. Wyatt, a teacher in northern Virginia writes:

Poems that are good for comparing and contrasting (setting, events, characters). Elementary level. Preferably ones that can be used with ELLs.

Below are 3 attempts to meet this request. I also recommend Mirror Goose Pt. 1 and Mirror Goose 2, which could be compared/contrasted with the original Mother Goose rhymes.

Have a request of your own? Write me any time and I’ll help find you something.

The Graceful Swan

On graceful wings the swan flies on
Until it finds a lovely pond
Then flaps itself quietly down
And sings with soft, musical sounds

But not
Its sister
SPLAT, goes Sally
Water splashing
HONK, she yells
Her swan voice scratching

The graceful swan begins to feed
Dips down her beak to seek a reed
It softly beats its wings, and then
It lifts into the sky again

But not
Its sister
CHOMP, goes Sally
Bites a toad
Then STOMP, walks off
Along the road

The graceful swan’s swan friends fly by
And see her sister from the sky
“Hey look,” they cry, “Who’s that weirdo?”
The graceful swan pretends not to know



Dear Mom: I know we have to move
But you know that we really can’t
Until my brother and I approve…
And we both have a few demands

My bedroom should be big enough
To fill with trees, and mountains too
And caves where I can hide my stuff…
My brother wants his painted blue

My closet must contain a zoo
With tigers, snakes, hippos, and bears
Only the fiercest ones will do…
My brother wants a rocking chair

My window needs a water slide
I won’t leave any other way
I’ll climb a rope to get inside…
My brother wants some space to play

I’ll need a second room, I think
Where all my friends can spend the night
And anyone else they care to bring…
My brother needs a new nightlight

So now you’ve heard our full report
And when you’ve gotten to think it through
You’ll find me waiting on the porch…
My brother will be waiting too


Hat Store

I’m opening a hat store
I’m sure my hats will sell
Because they’re nice
And low in price
And fit just right as well

But there’s another reason
That makes my hats so grand
When someone tries
Them on for size
They’ll quickly understand

For example, take this top hat
A nice, but simple thing
But give it a try
And you will fly
With brand-new grown-on wings

Or try this silver nightcap
It lets your dreams come true
Think dragons and kings
Or stranger things
And they’ll appear by you

Perhaps you’d like this visor
It lets you see at night
And in the day
See miles away
With superhuman sight

Because you’ve listened so well
I’ll give you one to take
Which one is for you?
And what will you do?
What choices will you make?

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