This poem plays upon the garden gnome myth that gnomes are actually elementals, but if they get caught in the daylight, they will turn to stone. In the poem, the two garden gnomes are having a conversation in their minds, referencing how they ended up being stuck as statues.
This poem provides an excellent opportunity to discuss myths and legends. A discussion of the garden gnome myth could lead to discussions of other myths and legends children have heard or read about it. Since many children may not have heard about garden gnome myths, an introduction to some of the fun and interesting stories surrounding gnomes may be necessary.
- Have students draw and color their own garden gnomes, either in interpretation of the poem or just of garden gnomes in general.
- Have students draw out the scene as it may have happened that caused Nickobus and Willemus to be turned to stone.
- Using the garden gnome myth as inspiration, have students choose another myth or legend to explore and share about.
For deeper study in this poem, teachers and parents could help children explore the origins of gnomes and how the myths and stories vary from culture to culture. This would provide a great opportunity to discuss the different cultures and how gnome stories changed over time. This kind of deeper exploration could be connected to fairy tale study and exploration as well.