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Poetry for Children
Poetry Break #20

Matching poetry with nonfiction literature

"What is success?"
by Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is success?
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by
a healthy child, a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed
easier because you have lived;
This is to have succeeded.

From Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul
edited by Jack Canfield
(Health Communications, 1997)

Introduction
Poetry can even be matched with nonfiction books. The following poem is a natural accompaniment to biography reading, such as the Orbis Pictus award winning biography Franklin Delano Roosevelt or the Newbery award winner, Lincoln: A Photobiography--both by Russell Freedman.

Extension
"What is success?" was not originally written with the linebreaks of a poem. Invite children to take a paragraph of nonfiction text (full of details) and then rearrange it with extensive linebreaks to create a "found" poem.