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In a Dark, Dark House

The Dark House (1977) from the Scholastic Archives

Recently we shared this photo with our followers on Facebook and Instagram. We thought readers would appreciate the walk down memory lane. Little did we know that our fans would want to know more about this 37-year-old student gift!

The book teachers received included student copies and teaching ideas.

 

Student copies are only 4 inches high!

Back in 1977 (when we were still Scholastic Book Services) teachers could order a class book and activity featuring “The Dark House” to share with their students. The book that teachers received included 34 tear-out copies of the poem to share with students (or trick-or-treaters!) and some ideas for teaching it.

 

In a dark, dark wood, there was a dark, dark house,

And in that dark, dark house, there was a dark, dark room,

And in that dark, dark room, there was a dark, dark cupboard,

And in that dark, dark cupboard, there was a dark, dark shelf,

And on that dark, dark shelf, there was a dark, dark box,

And in that dark, dark box, there was a…

 

When you’re reciting the poem around a campfire or in a haunted house, this is the moment you jump at your listeners and shout “GHOST!” The magic of this particular giveaway was in the reveal on the last page. Students could rub the page with a coin and a ghost would appear!

 

The before and after of the poem's final word.

 

We think that classes today would still enjoy memorizing the poem and creating new dramatic and artistic interpretations. Share your ideas about how to use this poem with your students in the comments below!


 

 

 

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October 29, 2014