Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Before That...a poem written by Pigeon who finds a hot dog

Before That
by Pigeon 
 Pigeon and Duckling share a hot dog while Pigeon realizes that the Duckling is very clever!

Before that, Pigeon states all the many, many reasons why this is his hot dog and why he should eat the whole thing by himself.

Before that, Duckling asks if a hot dog tastes like chicken (for the second time), 
using a very curious voice.

Before that, Pigeon goes berserk due to all the staring and questions from Duckling.

Before that, the Duckling asks if a hot dog tastes like chicken (for the first time).

Before that, Pigeon tells Duckling he should really try tasting a hot dog.
He says it in a very poetic way - a hot dog is a “celebration in a bun”
but reminds Duckling that this is HIS hot dog.

Before that, Duckling says he hasn’t tasted a hot dog before and innocently asks about its taste.

Before that, Pigeon tells Duckling that the food in his hand is called a hotdog.

 Before that, the Pigeon finds a hotdog and is very, very excited to eat it all by himself. 

I see this poetry form as another way for a student to RETELL a story. 
Why not start at the end and go backwards!

I will admit, I read and reread this book MANY times in order to write this poem accurately. 
What a fun way to encourage multiple close reads!!


  1. It feels like if you give a mouse a cookie in reverse. Love it as a structure and as a way for us to relive, reread and retell story. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Now that's a retelling challenge I think kids would enjoy. Plus you can read from the bottom up to check your order of events.

  3. I think Elsie is right - kids would have as much fun with this as we do!

  4. This is a fabulous writing idea for students and adults alike! Love it!

  5. We read a book in my script analysis class called Backwards and Forwards by David Ball. His main idea is a method of analysis where you first read the play from start to finish, then again from end to beginning, much like you've done here! He shows how to use this method to elucidate key plot points and the superstructure of the story: event C can't have happened without event B which can't have happened without event C... He also shares tools for unlocking important character developments and other structural elements. His book is focused pretty specifically on reading and writing plays, but I think it's a useful manual for any type of storytelling !! Plus, it's under 100 pages and a very easy read!!