Day 27: 365 Days of Literacy for Kids – Fun, Easy & Completely Do-able

There are times when a poem speaks of the sadness of a moment; a  poem that is so concentrated that we are affected more immediately and more intensely than in any other form of literature.  Allow your children to feel this moment of pain and sadness through 20th century poet/rapper Tupak Shakur.  Shakur’s raw emotions of feeling alone come to life in his poem I Cry as he translates his sadness into tears and into words that children will understand…

I Cry by Tupak Shakur

Sometimes when I’m alone
I Cry,
Cause I am on my own.
The tears I cry are bitter and warm.
They flow with life but take no form
I Cry because my heart is torn.
I find it difficult to carry on.
If I had an ear to confide in,
I would cry among my treasured friend,
but who do you know that stops that long,
to help another carry on.
The world moves fast and it would rather pass by.
Then to stop and see what makes one cry,
so painful and sad.
And sometimes…
I Cry
and no one cares about why.

Before your read the poem with your children, explain that this poem is about sadness, feeling alone, and sometimes wanting to Cry.  Talk about feeling this way… perhaps giving an example of feeling this way.  Read the poem with your children.  Talk about the feeling of the poem (sadness, loneliness).  Talk about the speaker, or voice, of the poem (I – it could be anyone; man, woman, teenager, child).  Does the speaker feel sadness sometimes or all of the time (the word sometimes is used twice)?   When does the speaker Cry (sometimes when I’m alone).  Why does the poet capitalize the word Cry each time (to emphasize the feeling/emotion)?  The most important question:  WHY does the speaker Cry (he is on his own and doesn’t have a friend to confide in when he’s feeling alone, lonely, sad).

Does the speaker feel that other people must feel the same way? (Yes, when he uses the word “one”; he is talking about anyONE and everyONE.) –

The world moves fast and it would rather pass by.
Then to stop and see what makes one cry,

Talk about the importance of having a parent, friend or adult to talk to, to confide in.  The power of this poem is telling the importance of having someone to talk to. 

And just as important, the message of the poem makes us think about BEING a friend; taking the time to LISTEN –

but who do you know that stops that long,
to help another carry on.

Talk to your children about how poet Shakur communicates his feelings in his words.  Talk about talking.  Talk about listening.  Talk about the power of words.  Remember that LITERACY is all about WORDS – Written, Spoken, Felt. Everyone needs to know how to use words, both in literature and in life.

Day 27: 365 Days of Literacy for Kids – Fun, Easy & Completely Do-able was last modified: January 27th, 2011 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (2)
  1. I am going to do this with the kids tonight – thanks for sharing the poem AND the outline to know how to talk about it..xoxo

  2. Sharon, this is so beautiful. I had no idea Tupac Shakur wrote anything like this!! I am printing this one to share, for sure!

Day 27: 365 Days of Literacy for Kids – Fun, Easy & Completely Do-able was last modified: January 27th, 2011 by Sharon Couto