43. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Langston Hughes


New Visitor’s…Please read the two paragraphs at the end of this column before beginning your explorations in theater, poetry, children’s literature, movies, television, books, and the Arts. It will say New Visitor’s Greeting and be in boldface.

Educational Website…
Please, also, check out my educational website at aimtjp.wikispaces.com. No www. is needed. If you have any teachers or children in the family, they will enjoy it immensely. There are tons of immediately ready to use ideas in reading, children’s literature, Internet explorations, problem solving, and poetry on the opening screen and in the Public Dropbox.

Poetry… River Writing and River Walks…Langston Hughes said that a train trip that crossed over the Mississippi River was the inspiration for his poem The Negro Speaks of Rivers. On this trip his thoughts traveled to past African Americans who were influenced by the Mississippi River and the thought that “someone who was sold down the river as a slave had the worst fate imaginable.” He then said, he thought about the great rivers of Africa and the world and what they meant to those who grew up around them.

In The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes he says:

I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
I bathed in the Euphrates when the dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.

I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy
bosom turn all golden in the sunset.
I’ve known rivers:
Ancient, dusty rivers.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

The weather is terrible, but do this anyway. Take a walk past a local river, lake, stream, pond or imagine yourself standing on the banks of one of the world’s great rivers. Record five of your thoughts about yourself and others who have visited or have been influenced by this river, lake, stream, or pond. Place these thoughts in a poem titled (Your Name) Talks of Rivers.


Children’s Literature I…How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague challenges your critical thinking. Beginning this lower grade dinosaur story using poetry as the driving force will catch the imagination of every child. This book is one of ten books by Jane Yolen in her dinosaur series. It is amazing how many ways dinosaurs say things!!! The book will make every student laugh, think, and come up with interesting situations where that reading student can insert their favorite pet or animal in similar situations. Please visit Jane Yolen’s website at www.janeyolen.com to view some of the three hundred books she has written. You will see from her variety of subjects and why she is called, “The American Hans Christian Anderson”.


Children’s Literature II…Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport is a richly illustrated book depicting the life and words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Through the eloquence of his words, we see a small glimpse of his unique ideas. The memorization and performance of famous speeches should be the mainstay of every classroom public speaking program. This book is an excellent jumping off point for researching and giving speeches…and giving these speeches additional life through illustration. This is a perfect ending book for Salute To Black History Month. On my library’s door it says: Salute To Black History Month Is Every Month Of The Year. Please continue the year with these great suggestions.

Children’s Literature III…Caitlin Nahas is a creative teacher with some great book suggestions and some great topics for Salute To Women’s Month. I will be featuring her book suggestions and overviews in the children’s literature section of this column. Thanks Caitlin for your book covers, research, and work.


Patricia Polacco In Our Mother’s House is one of ten selections by Caitlin. Caitlin highlights:

1. A story about two same-sex parents adopting three children from diverse backgrounds and living together as a family.

2. Told from the perspective of the oldest child

3. Their prejudice neighbor does not approve of the family dynamics, but the mothers’ raise their children to be respectful, accepting, and caring human beings.

Observations…Thanks Joshua for your suggestion for a new subtopic on this column. Calling it Observations is unique. It gives me the writing flexibility you suggested. One-sentence comments give a writer a great deal of leeway and you don’t have to explain your thought process in a rolling essay, either. The observation you sent me stating…Why do you park in a driveway and drive on a parkway?…is on a number of websites. Laugh Break (www.laughbreak.com) has a huge list of them. Here are five from their list:

1. Quicksand works slowly.
2. Boxing rings are square.
3. Tell a man that there are 400 billion stars, and he’ll believe you. Tell him a bench has wet paint, and he has to touch it.
4. How does a building burn up as it burns down?
5. Why do feet smell and noses run?

I thought Joshua that you were crazy when you told me that there are no vertical stripes in this year’s men’s summer casual shirt collection as your second observation. You were crazy until I visited Macy’s. Hundreds of offerings for men were reviewed. Nada! You win. Vertical stripes do not exist in summer and golf wear for men this year. I don’t understand why this should be highlighted, but that is the creative and somewhat warped view someone can put in Observations.

Observations II…Here are my Observations for Monday:

1. Would you hire someone that is invaluable?
2. Why do gas stations pay a set price for a delivery on Monday and then raise prices three times that week?
3. Why do members of the Red Hat Club wear red hats?
4. If you are out, can you do anything?
5. If something is tabled, can you eat it?
6. Why does popcorn at the movie cost more than the movie?
7. Is it better to be the former or latter?
8. What came first, first base or the first baseman?
9. If you held a bass what would you be holding, and could you hold it?
10. Why would anyone like liver?




New Visitor’s Greeting…Welcome to Let’s Talk, a freewheeling column on movies, theater, television, books, educational practices, current events, and the Internet. If you are a first time visitor to the column, I recommend that you start with the About topic in the Index Bar at the top of the page. Follow About with the Let’s Talk column in archives. It was the first column of the New Year. Proceed to Let’s Talk II and then work your way up to today’s column. These columns will introduce a plethora (a better word choice than myriad) of new ideas and old delights you may have missed. It will give you a strong foundation for some of the issues we are introducing and following up in newer columns.

New visitor’s comments are welcome, too. They are immediately placed on this page in the contributor’s comment section or are shared with the column’s readers on Sunday. You are welcome, also, to suggest topics for discussion or enlist help from the site’s family of readers. Pictures please! I am a compendium of useless information. Challenge me, please, with great theater, travel, history, books, movies, and educational issues that would interest a wide audience of readers. The “compendium comment” was stolen from Orson Bean. Bean used the quote many times on television talk show interviews. Please recommend my column to your friends and other lovers of discussion.




About tjpalumbo

Tom Palumbo is a nationally known and award winning author, teacher, technology designer, administrator, and grant writer. He has taught for thirty-five years in preschool through 12th grade classrooms throughout the quad state area. His ideas have made a difference in the way thousands of teachers, parents, and children read, write, do mathematics, use technology, and think creatively and critically. Tom’s twenty books on reading, writing, critical thinking, and mathematics have won four national book awards. 5,000 teachers and home schooling parents have matriculated through his graduate courses/lectures. 12,000 have signed up for his website. As Director of Pennsylvania’s Parent Information Center and New Jersey’s Citizen’s For Better Schools Resource Center, Tom received over two hundred commendations for his presentations to thousands of teachers, parents, and administrators throughout the Florida, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland area. Workshop participants receive idea loaded CD’s, access to hundreds of videos, PowerPoints, curriculum links, games, and lessons on his website, and an activity booklet filled with common core curriculum in line with local, state, and national standards. Instruction, on each of these resources, is presented during his presentation. Mr. Palumbo has over two hundred learning centers, bulletin boards, and project developers in reading, writing, poetry, literature, and math in make-it/take it item format that can, also, be part of any workshop program. Call or email Tom to set up a workshop for your organization. Tom Palumbo tjpalumbo@aol.com 215-262-9986 aimtjp.wikispaces.com
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s