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Oklahoma Agriculture in the Classroom

Songs and Poems

Theme in Yellow

by Carl Sandburg

I spot the hills
With yellow balls in autumn.
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
And circle round me
Singing ghost songs
And love to the harvest moon;
I am a jack-o'-lantern
With terrible teeth
And the children know
I am fooling.

Discussion and Activities
  1. Read the first four lines of the poem and ask students to guess what the poet is describing before reading the rest of the poem.
  2. Students take turns reading the poem with appropriate rate, change in voice and expression.
  3. Younger students identify who, what, when, where and why in the poem.
  4. Identify the poetic style.
  5. Find examples, if present, of simile (a comparison that uses like or as), metaphor (an implied comparison), hyperbole (an exaggeration for effect) and personification (a description that represents a thing as a person.)
  6. Students draw pictures to illustrate the poem.
  7. Each student will write a paragraph comparing and contrasting the custom described in the poem with their own Halloween experiences. Students will share their writing and discuss.
  8. Students use online or library resources to research Halloween and harvest customs in history, write reports and present them to the class.