Mrs. Brown on Exhibit and Other Museum Poems by Susan Katz with pictures by R.W. Alley (Simon & Schuster, 2002) would be a good book to read with a child, or a class, before a trip to ANY museum.
The poems cover dinosaurs, mummies, fine art, interactive displays, trains, clocks, skulls, etc. Boy, is Mrs. Brown's class lucky to visit so many different museums! Here's a poem about a statue:
Little Dancer, by Degas
The statue's tutu, made of cloth,
puffs out around her metal leotard.
Her long hair is pulled back and tied
with a real silk ribbon.
Lightly she points her bronze toes.
She closes her eyes. Her smile knows--
small, mysterious--it knows
she could leap to the sky, catch rainbows.
The poems in Mrs. Brown on Exhibit will inspire a child or class to write poems to document their visit to a museum. Another activity would be to browse through a full-color art book and write a poem describing one of the works of art.
This week's Poetry Friday Round-Up is taking place at Great Kid Books.