1. Joyce Sidman
February 11, 2013
Born June 4, 1956 in
from Wesleyan University,
with a B.A. in German
She teaches poetry
writing to school children
and participates in many
national poetry events.
Her recent book, Swirl by
Swirl: Spirals in Nature,
has been critically
acclaimed and is a
Junior Library Guild
3. Published Work
Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature
Dark Emperor and Other Poems of
Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature's
Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in
This Is Just to Say: Poems of Apology
Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of
Meow Ruff: A Story in Concrete
Song of the Water Boatman and
Other Pond Poems
The World According to Dog: poems
and teen voices
Eureka! Poems About Inventors
Just Us Two: Poems About Animal
Science “The natural world fascinates me,
elates me, grounds me. It raises
questions that I try to answer in my
The Season’s Campaign
I. Spring III. Fall
We burst forth, crisp All red-winged generals
green squads bristling desert us. Courage
with spears. We clumps and fluffs like
encircle the pond. bursting pillows.
II. Summer IV. Winter
Brown velvet plumes Our feet are full of ice.
bob jauntily. On Brown bones rattle in the
command, our slim wind. Sleeping, we
waving arrows rush dream of seed-scouts,
towards the sun. sent on ahead.
8. How to use in your classroom?
Mice rely on their excellent hearing to avoid predators like the owl.
1. Have each student sit somewhere in the classroom, with a piece of
paper and a pencil.
2. Ask them to shut their eyes and listen carefully. How many different
noises can they hear? What do they think each noise is? Have them
write down as many noises as they can, trying to describe and identify
3. Discussion: compare noises heard; perhaps write them on the
4. Then ask them: if they were mice, lost in the classroom, which would
be important noises for them to identify? How could they escape
using just their hearing?
BOOK: Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night
9. More ways to use in classroom
Find out & record how the natural world changes in fall, winter, and
1. Read “The Season’s Campaign” and talk about how the cattails
see their world changing from season to season.
2. Plan to take several different nature walks in two or three different
3. Once outside, encourage children to be as observant as
possible. Have them take notepads and list one thing they see, one
thing they smell, hear, feel. Have them think about these questions:
What are the trees doing in fall/winter/spring? What does the sky
look like? What animals do you see? What do you imagine going
on behind the scenes? How is life in this season different from
4. Back inside, have each child make a diary page, including the
date, and record everything they observed. Encourage illustrations.
Bind each diary page into a class book for each season.
10. For more information
Go to www.joycesidman.com
Under Teacher tab
There you can find lesson ideas that
correlate with the books she has written.