Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Celebrate National Poetry Month #1

I'm so excited that it's National Poetry Month!  Poetry was always one of my favorite writing units when I taught third grade and I love it even more now that I'm in the library surrounded by so many great poetry books!  I am going to share a few of my favorite books and resources in two posts because there are so many things to share!  Let's talk books first.  It's hard to narrow my choices, but these are the books that I come back to every year as well as a few new titles:

This book is beautiful and I use it with kindergarten.  Kristine O'Connell George has tons of information on her website that you can use with the book including a teaching guide walks you through writing apostrophe, mask, and process poems with your children.  We fold an origami dog (in the teaching guide) together after learning about each type of poem, we vote on the type of poem we'd like to write about our dog, write it together as a class, and then the kids write their poem inside their origami dog.  I've always thought it would be a lot of fun to make huge origami animals with chart paper and let the kids choose to write their own poem about their animals after we've modeled the writing together.

This is an example of a process poem from the book.  A process poem tells about the process of creating the origami creature.

Mirror Mirror by Marilyn Singer is my next favorite poetry book.  This book will blow your mind!  Each poem can be read forwards or backwards, each time presenting a different point of view.  Amazing!  Some of your kids might be brave enough to try this strategy in their own poetry.

When I checked out Marilyn Singer's website, I found that she has written a new book similar to Mirror Mirror!  Yeah!  She calls it a book of reversos.  Here's an excerpt from her website:

Fairy Tales
Read my book.
And then
just imagine this,
me in my garret, working all alone,
how hard it was to write.
I need to tell the world
the truth,
so here goes:
I beg your pardon–
fairies helped.
Fairies helped?
I beg your pardon!
So, here goes
the truth:
I need to tell the world
how hard it was to write,
me in my garret, working all alone.
Just imagine this,
and then
read my book.

AMAZING!  Everyone needs both of these books in their personal library!  Now that I've checked out Singer's site, I think I'm going to have to teach an author study spotlighting just her books!

The next book is one that I'd suggest to any classroom teacher as a read-aloud while they are teaching their poetry unit.  The whole book is written in verse!

When your kids ask for more, give them...

and they will be able to follow Jack into his new school year with Miss Stretchberry.  Download the teaching guide for both books here.

Another book that I found at Barnes and Noble recently that is also written in verse is:

The cool thing about this book is that many different types of poems tell the story.  Each poem is labeled by its could use this book to teach different types of poetry with your kids.

Another poetry book that I just purchased at Barnes and Noble is the National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry.

Before reading poetry in this book, watch J. Patrick Lewis, U.S. Children's Poet Laureate, read his poem, "Make the Earth Your Companion," from the book.  The book also includes favorite poems from Robert Frost, Jack Prelutsky, Emily Dickinson, and more.  I especially love the beautiful photographs in this poetry book.

My final favorite is Douglas Florian.  Anything that Florian writes, I love.  My favorite is:

I like that Florian writes about nonfiction topics.  I learned so many cool facts about bees in this book!  Two more of Florian's newest books are:

I think Florian's books really appeal to boys as well.  Something that would be fun to do with Florian's poems is have your kids write poetry about nonfiction subjects and illustrate their own poems by using Florian's style of artwork.  

Oops!  I almost forgot one more...

This is Just To Say by Joyce Sidman is a book of apologies and forgiveness.  This would be a great lesson to use to collaborate with your school counselor!  There is a reader's guide and play adaptation for the book as well.

Here is Shel Silverstein's version of This is Just to Say...

and the original by William Carlos Williams...

                       This Is Just To Say

by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Do you have a favorite poetry book?  Post a comment and share!

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