Tuesday, March 10, 2015

BOOK REVIEW and ACTIVITIES: Random Body Parts Gross Anatomy Riddles in Verse by Leslie Bulion


Witty verse about the body pairs with whimsical art in this fun collection. The poems pose puzzles in verse (nod slyly to Shakespeare) and give hints for uncovering the body part. Sidebars educate readers on anatomy, while appended notes look at poetic form and Shakespearean works that inspired the verses. Captivating lines will spark interest in poetry and biology alike.


Poetry is an interesting method for learning about the human body.  But the riddles in this book make for a fun way to learn about different parts of the body. While the poetry is not the best I've ever read, it works for the topics being covered.  Some of the poems display great imagery, such as the poem about blood being like a river or comparing the heart to a clenched-up fist.  The illustrations provide clues about the subject of each poem.  After each poem is a short paragraph briefly highlighting the described body part and its function.  This book provides a fun way to combine science and poetry.  Children who are fascinated by the human body and enjoy poetry or riddles are bound to find the book of interest.


Here are some ideas for ways the book could be used in a classroom:

  1. The poems/riddles could be used as a guessing game encouraging the students to learn about the human body.  This could be done to introduce a unit or as an assessment of what the students have learned.
  2. On the literature side of things, it could be fun to have the students write their own riddle poems describing a body part of their choice or another science topic.  It would be even better if they had to gather information on their topic before writing.
  3. Some of these poems introduce the use of literary techniques such as metaphor, similes, and personification.
  4. Students could memorize or share a poem then have their classmates guess or figure out the answer.
If you have any other ideas for ways to use this book, let me know so I can add them to the list.

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