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Poetry Break #11: Poem Relevant to Social Studies

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Mrs. Mann's Poetry Corner

Introduction: War and fighting among people is a part of social studies that many children have a difficult time understanding. This humerous poem relates to war but is gentle enough for even Kindergarten students.

THE GENERALS

Said General Clay to General Gore,
"Oh must we fight this silly war?
To kill and die is such a bore."
"I quite agree," said General Gore.

Said General Gore to General Clay,
"We could go to the beach today
And have some ice cream on the way.
"A grand idea," said General Clay.

Said General Clay to General Gore,
"We'll build sand castles on the shore."
Said General Gore, "We'll splash and play."
"Let's leave right now," said General Clay.

Said General Gore to General Clay,
"But what if the sea is closed today?
And what if the sand's been blown away?"
"A dreadful thought," said General Clay.

Said General Gore to General Clay,
"I've always feared the ocean's spray.
And we may drown!" "It's true, we may.
It chills my blood," said General Clay.

Said General Clay to General Gore,
"My bathing suit is slightly tore.
We'd better go on with our war."
"I quite agree," said General Gore.

Then General Clay charged General Gore
As bullets flew and cannons roared.
And now, alas! there is no more
Of Genreal Clay or General Gore.


Shel Silverstein
"Where the Sidewalk Ends"
(Harper Collins Publishers, 1974)




Extension: After reading this poem to your class, ask one or a few of the following questions to generate discussion.
1. Why do you think General Clay and General Gore have to fight?
2. What would be something you would choose to do instead of fighting?
3. Do you think General Clay and General Gore would have really gone to the beach? Why or why not?