“The First Robin of Spring” is a poem about the “battle” that many of us feel must be taking place as spring moves in on winter. The seasons of winter and spring are “personified” with Jack Frost and Jack Robin. The poem raises the question for the readers about which one of the characters really “lost” at the end of the poem, hinting at the cyclical nature of the seasons. Though it seems Jack Robin is victorious, winter will certainly be back again next year.
This poem poses some great discussion questions for students about the seasons and the transitions between them. For students living in northern climates, teachers might have students think about how they feel at the end of a long winter. Teachers might also have students think about their favorite seasons each year.
- Have students draw their own scene from the poem, one that is not represented in the book, to help them connect to the poem and interpret it in their own way.
- Assign students small groups and ask them to create characters that personify the other seasons or even winter and spring. Have students draw pictures of their season personified and share with the class.
- Have students make lists of their favorite things about winter and spring and share about which ones are their favorites.
- Ask students to write and then create a picture for a different ending to the poem. What would happen if Jack Frost had won and spring never came?
This poem and others that focus on the seasons in Why the Moon Tumbled Out of the Sky provide a great opportunity to research the seasons and explore the science behind the change of seasons each year.