Posts Tagged ‘poetry’
Since April is poetry month . . .
What is a poem?
What is a poem to you?
Can you think of a poem?
Does it have to rhyme?
Does it have rhythm?
Does a poem paint a picture with words?
Can a poem be a song?
Since Dawn Publications is in the Publisher Spotlight this month, let’s look at one of their books!
There are lots of nature books to choose from . . .
Can poems be about nature?
Do you think A Swim Through the Sea could be a poem . . . an alliteration one?
Do you think Ancient Rhymes, A Dolphin Lullaby could be a poem . . . a mysterious and magical one?
Do you think All Around Me, I See could be a poem . . . one full of gentle rhymes and imagination?
Do you think Around One Cactus, Owls, Bats and Leaping Rats could be a poem . . . with attention seeking repetition?
I think I see another book from Dawn Publications that I think might fit in the poetry category . . .
Have you ever heard or read Grandma’s Feather Bed?
From reading these, what characteristics can you use to describe poetry?
There are two facts we know about kids.
- They have lots of questions.
- They love (corny) jokes.
One of the best ways to tap into their natural curiosity and sense of humor is with a book. They may be clever, but with the right book, you can sneak a little bit of learning right past their eagle eyes.
I confess, I am a HUGE Sylvan Dell Publishing fan, and have been for a long time. Their informational picture books consistently offer young audiences quality stories. Each story is built around a practical learning topic, with additional activities in the back that are perfect whether you read the book in school or at home. The fact that you’ll find every title in both English and Spanish shouldn’t be dismissed, either.
This week’s book reviews are a selection of Sylvan Dell Publishing titles that guide kids to discovering answers to their question. These are stories that are more about the show and less about the tell.
Read on BigUniverse.com
Deductive Detective | El detective deductivo
written by Brian Rock; illustrated by Sherry Rogers
Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2013
Book Level: unknown; Audience Level: LG
How can this be? Someone stole Fox’s cake from the Cake Contest … on Owl’s watch, no less. Thirteen bakers and twelve cakes. There’s a thief in the house! Deductive Detective is on the case. He surveys the scene, collecting clues, and shares his process, all while eliminating suspects.
- The story is fast paced. Kids will “quack” up at the clever word play. That said, some of the double entendre may be missed; and some adults may not appreciate the misspellings for effect (e.g., Moose makes a chocolate moose cake).
- Bright, busy illustrations give young listener’s plenty to look at. Some pages are text-heavy, so the quality illustrations will keep their attention.
- In addition to the factual data, each spread includes a subtraction problem … sneaky, sneaky!
- This is a fun story to share and offers opportunities not just for prediction, but as a model on how to solve other problems.
- Highly recommended for school or home. Deductive Detective would make a great gift for an elementary student, paired with a magnifying glass, a small notebook, and a pencil.
Similar to Deductive Detective: Fur and Feathers by Janet Halfmann, Gobble, Gobble by Cathryn Falwell, and Happy Birthday to Whooo? by Doris Fisher,
Read on BigUniverse.com
Habitat Spy| Veo, veo un hábitat
written by Cynthia Kieber-King ; illustrated by Christina Wald
Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2011
Book Level 3.7; Audience Level: LG
Visit and explore thirteen habitats, from the arctic to woodland forests above ground, and caves and marine environments below. Each spread asks kids to find natural objects in the imagery. Each habitat is presented with rhyme and action verbs, making it less story and more poetry like.
- Readers use their visual detective skills to find the items described in each poem. Some are easy, like the animals; but others take a little more knowlege, like finding the hemlock in the forest.
- Simple poems and beautiful illustrations make this an excellent selection for developing readers. The text is accessible and the imagery helps them decode words that may be unfamiliar.
- Beyond the natural detective work, there is a broad array of action verbs. This can be useful for helping young writers expand their word bank with more descriptive vocabulary.
- There are four pages of content in the back. The Creative Minds section is always good, but this is one of the best I’ve seen.
- Highly recommended for school, and particularly home. This would be great to read before a trip to the zoo, a hike, or a walk around the neighborhood.
Similar to Habitat Spy: Julie the Rockhound by Gail Langer Karwoski, Deep in the Desert by Rhonda Lucas, Desert Baths by Darcy Pattison, Felina’s New Home: A Florida Panther Story by Loran Wlodarski, and
Onomonopia, it is such a freaky word,
But on Halloween, to not use it would simply be absurd.
There are so many sounds that we hear around this spooky time.
You should use it in your writing, or while slurping up some slime.
You could think of cackling witches, or a door that goes creeeaaak,
A swooshing, whirring bat or a kid that screams, “EEEK!”
The howling, wooshing wind that smashes at your door,
Or an ugly, moaning monster that keeps booming back for more.
There are splooshes, sploshes, gurgles that come from a hot, black pot.
And some purrs and squeaks and whistles, or a split, splat, splot!
There are many girples, gushes and some mumbles in there too,
So don’t forget those sound words that send tingly chills through you!
Happy writing for this Halloween!
Image from http://www.halloweenclipart.com/
Posted on September 3, 2012 by Terry Doherty in Literacy, Personal Experiences, Reading Lists.
Tags: Books, Children, family literacy, Family Time, Jim Trelease, Literacy, mixed age reading, nonfiction, nonfiction picture books, poetry, Read aloud, read aloud poetry, Reading, The Read Aloud Handbook
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This is an updated version of a post I wrote for the PBS Parents blog Booklights. The original article appeared in August 2010.
As I mentioned last week, reading with your kids – even when there are many years between them – can be enjoyable for everyone to share together. Sometimes it may be about the book, but every time it is an opportunity to connect with your kids and connect them with each other!
With homework looming most days, it can be very hard to find time to be together and remind the kids that reading is for enjoyment, too. Even a ritual like reading a [insert: poem, chapter, picture book, comic strip] at the table one morning or evening a week is great. It is your tradition, so do what works for you!
In The Read Aloud Handbook (now in its Sixth Edition!) Jim Trelease emphasizes that as readers, we have a listening level and a reading level. In Hey! Listen to This! (an article on his website), he re-emphasizes this point.
A consistent mistake made by parents and teachers is the assumption that a child’s listening level is the same as his or her reading level. Until about eighth grade, that is far from true; early primary grade students listen many grades above their reading level. This means that early primary grade students are capable of hearing and understanding stories that are far more complicated than those they can read themselves.
What does that mean? Well, you don’t have to read only picture books with simple messages or text. Young audiences can be enticed to enjoy text-heavy picture books and chapter books alike. There are a number of genres that naturally lend themselves to reading to mixed-age audiences, including …
Nonfiction. More specifically, nonfiction picture books, also called “informational picture books.” One of the best ways to hook kids of any age on reading is to give them some nonfiction books. They may be straight-up factual books, or they may be stories that have lots of facts in them (think: historical fiction for example). The great thing about informational picture books is that they have something for everyone. These are books that invite exploring, so whether you read all of the text or just talk about the illustrations, you’re in for an enjoyable, shared read.
Poetry. Jack Prelutsky and Shel Silverstein write poetry that is meant to be read aloud.
Their poems are very “graphic,” allowing readers to “see” what they describe, and they often have a nonsensical quality that strike kids’ funny bones.
Humor. Despite the dictionary description, defining “funny” is a matter of personal taste. Still, a good laugh is something we all enjoy. As a parent, you understand the types of humor your kids enjoy … and you can decide what types of things you want to share together.
Books with lots of dialogue. “Dialog books” aren’t a specific genre, but a lot of short chapter books use conversation among the characters to tell the story. There are usually only a few characters (often school-aged kids and an adult or two) so it is an opportunity for everyone to take a role and read together.
These are by no means the only genres. On her website, storyteller Mary Hamilton offers a handy checklist that describes reading interests for various ages, from preschool through high school.
When you are selecting a book the whole family can enjoy, what types of books do you pick? If you have a family – or classroom – favorite, be sure to share!
Mom reading with kids: Family Story Minute by Sean Dreilinger on Flicker. Copyright. Some rights reserved.
Collage of nonfiction picture books: University of Maryland News photostream on Flickr. Copyright. Some rights reserved University of Maryland Press Releases.
Bookshelf with poetry books. Thingamababy Awesome Wall photostream on Flickr. Copyright. All rights reserved.
Roscoe Riley by Katherine Applegate. Book cover image by Mr. Biggs photostream on Flickr. Copyright. All rights reserved.
Posted on August 30, 2012 by Terry Doherty in Literacy, Personal Experiences.
Tags: family literacy, Family Time, Literacy, mixed age reading, nonfiction, poetry, Read aloud, read aloud poetry, Reading
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This is an updated version of a post I wrote for the PBS Parents blog Booklights. The original article appeared in August 2010.
Reading aloud is not only a great way to model reading, it can be lots of fun … especially when you add voices and noise and bring the story to life.
With “little kids,” reading aloud seems the natural thing to do. They can’t read the words on the page, so you do it for them. Once young readers become independent, though, we sometimes forget that they still enjoy – and can also benefit from – listening to you read. But who has time to read with each child every night? “Not I,” said the exhausted parent.
We need one book for sharing with everyone. But picking the right book can get tricky. The 9-year-old doesn’t want to hear “baby” books, and the preschooler isn’t ready for some of the subjects nor can they sit still that long! Finding books that interest your 4-year-old AND your preteen may be easier than it sounds.
Don’t give up on picture books. Librarian Pam Coughlan points out in a PBS Booklights post that sometimes those pre-teen protests are a surface reaction. See: Reading Aloud: Picture Books Rule! (MotherReader, March 2009). After the requisite “that’s for babies” teens will still sit and listen to a picture book. They may even surprise themselves with how much they enjoy their little brother’s reactions. The secret bonus: you are modeling reading for them so they can read to their brother later!
Chapter books need pictures, too. Illustrated chapter books are helpful because young audiences often need the images which engage their interest while you read pages with a lot more text. In general, the chapters in these books are short, making it easy to read in small spurts and over consecutive nights.
Mix it up. Sometimes you have enough time – and the kids’ temperaments are in sync – to read something that each child likes, and you can share a picture book and a chapter or two from a longer story. On those days when your energy is low, just pick one. The kids will understand … and be happy not to miss the chance to spend quality time with you.
Regularly sharing a book as a family will not only let you reconnect and renew a love of stories and books. Who knows, as everyone becomes readers, maybe everyone will want a turn!
Toes and a book: Public photo on Flicker.com. Copyright All rights reserved by Tina Cockburn Photography, tcockburn2002.
Picture Books in the library: Bozeman Public Library by JSemenza on Flicker. Copyright All rights reserved.
Illumination Arts and Big Universe partner to showcase a book lauding the love of a father.
“I will be your Daddy for as long as you want me to. But, I will be your Father forever.”
That’s the text on the last page of an inspirational book on Big Universe Learning, titled “Your Father Forever.” The beautifully illustrated online picture book for children is published by Illumination Arts, an “elegant pioneer in the field of awareness literature for young children.” The book’s illustrations were done by Raquel Abreu and the text was written by Travis Griffith.
The tender poem expresses a father’s unconditional love and support for his kids. With an F&P Guided Reading Level N, Grades 2-3, it’s a perfect read for Father’s Day (June 17th). In the United States, Father’s Day always falls on the third Sunday in June.
If “mushy” makes your reader squeamish, try “Come on, Dad! 75 Things for Fathers and Sons to Do Together.” The Lobster Press book offers a list of creative ideas on how fathers and their sons can spend time together.
Or, encourage your student’s summer writing by using the writing platform on Big Universe to create a book for dad. Big Universe member “O.F.S.” did just that. It’s titled “My Dad.”
My father is 85. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.
The end of the school year can be filled with all sorts of emotions for children: excitement, worry, sadness, joy. These students have been with each other all year and now it’s time to move on into the summer. For some grade levels, the end of the year marks the end of an era for them. Those moving from elementary to middle school, middle to high school and high school and beyond can have an even greater range of emotions. Sometimes we can help transition students out of their final days with carefully chosen activities.
Poetry can serve as a nice activity for students. Here are a a few fun and meaningful poetry activities that can be used for the end of the year.
Name Acrostics – You may know about acrostics, but stick with me for the twist on this one. Instead of having students write an acrostic for their own name, have them do it in a group for each other. Arrange your students in a circle. Ask them to write their name in large letters down the left side of a piece of paper. Once everyone is set, have them all hand their papers to the person on their right. This person needs to think of the student whose name is on the paper and come up with something positive to write about that student on their paper. Whatever they write, it has to start with the letter of the student’s first name. Once everyone is done, ask students to pass their papers to the right again and repeat the process until everyone’s names are completed.
Of course not everyone’s name is the same length and you probably have more students than they have letters in their names. Plan ahead for this as a class. You can have students sit quietly, passing papers along until the end or you could ask students to continue writing something nice to the student whose paper they have in their hand.
Once all is finished, allow your students to get their poems and read what others wrote about them. It should bring a smile to everyone’s face!
Write About a Classmate – Like the title suggests, for this activity, students write about each other. To make the process more special have students pick a person from a hat and keep it a secret until the poem is read. When everyone is finished reading their poems (you can choose the style or formula for the poem or keep it free choice), ask them to read the poems one at a time to the class. You can even have students guess the person to whom the poem is written. As a final fun moment, you can ask the poets to present their poems to the student.
You can decide if you want the poems to be polished and in final form or if you would like to have students just do a cold write in the moment. Either way, it is a special piece of paper for every student.
I Remember and Someday – As a way to reminisce on the good times that were had all year, ask students to write a poem where each line begins with “I remember.” Encourage students have good word choice as they try to make their memories come alive. In an contrasting manner, students can start each line with “Someday” and ponder what lays ahead for them.
Word Splash – For this activity, even students who are weary of poetry will do well. Have them brainstorm all kinds of words and phrases that they think of when they think back on the school year. They can then pick and choose the words they want to use for their poem and then draw them in interesting ways on a piece of blank paper. Let students get creative so that each word really stands out and reflects that memory. The results will be attractive, poetic and memorable for years to come!
Poetry is an art form that can encapsulate moments, feelings and memories. Using poetry in this way will help your students to appreciate all they have accomplished and gained throughout the year in a constructive and creative way.
It’s National Poetry Month! I’m a firm believer that teachers should take advantage of this time to not only have students read and study great poetry and poets, but to also write poetry. This balanced approach to poetry study gives students a well rounded appreciation of poetry.
I always start my poetry writing instruction by making sure my students know that there are so many forms of poetry and that it doesn’t always have to rhyme or have rhythm. There are some poetic forms students may be familiar with, such as acrostic poems and couplets, but there are others that may be less familiar.
Dada Poetry was first written by artists and poets in Paris France. They clipped words from newspapers, scrambled them and poets in Paris France. They clipped words from newspapers, scrambled them and then arranged them in lines to form nonsense poems. You can take this idea, have students take 14 or so words (from content vocabulary or other means) and have them arrange them into lines of poetry.
Blackout poetry is another fun poetic form with which to experiment. Basically, you take a paragraph or other text and black out words so that the ones that are left create a poem.
Also, consider how you can simply inspire your students to create a poem. Encourage them to use all their senses to create poetry as they:
- Go outside and listen
- Watch other students playing
- Observe nature
- What a dancer
- Listen to music
- Move through space
For your reading purposes, here’s the link to all the poetry ebooks on Big Universe. Use these for inspiration too or simply to enjoy a great poem.
Happy poem reading and writing!
Posted on March 22, 2012 by Suzan Woodard in Classroom Ideas, Integration Ideas, Reading Lists, Writing.
Tags: Big Universe Author Tool, Funny poems, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, Lobster Press, National Poetry Month, Poem, poetry, Seasons, Spring, William Wordsworth, writing
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Dogwood blossoms are part of the beauty of spring, a season that has inspired poets and artists for eons. (Hannah Woodard Photography)
“Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
It’s officially spring. She arrived early, but now we can announce her and revel in her presence. It’s clear that spring riles up humankind. Whether young or old, I think our very souls feel compelled to capture the essence of spring through artwork, photographs and words – most definitely words.
More than 1,000 years ago, Chinese artist Guo Xi created “Early Spring” – still one of the most feted pieces of artwork from the Song Dynasty. William Blake and Robert Louis Stevenson wrote poems about spring, as did Robert Frost, William Shakespeare and Henry Van Dyke. Victorian painter Sophie Anderson captured the essence of spring in her beguiling depiction of a child holding springtime apple blossoms, and my daughters photograph the beauty that permeates Spring 2012 here in the South.
Artist Sami Suomalainen depicted the season in a quirky post-modern way, when he illustrated “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” the classic springtime poem by William Wordsworth. The text in this 2007 children’s picture book by Lobster Press stays true to the ink that flowed from Mr. Wordsworth’s pen. You can find the book here among Big Universe Learning’s online bookshelves. Think of it as an appetizer for April’s National Poetry Month observation!
Don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of Big Universe’s Author Tool during National Poetry Month either. It’s the perfect medium for students to write and illustrate seasonal poetry in the form of haiku, limericks, free form verse and rhyming couplets. (Check out “Spring,” a topical poem written by Big Universe member Willa3.)
Here are some other poems to ring in spring.
Spring Poems for Children
Spring Will Be Pretty
by Dave Crawley
Spring will be pretty. Just give it a week,
When flowers are blooming down by the creek.
Bees will be buzzing as trees start to bud,
But for the moment I’m covered with mud.
Snow has been melting, since winter is through,
Replacing the whiteness with puddles of goo.
I stepped off the sidewalk and into the ooze.
Next thing I knew, I stepped out of my shoes!
Mud on my ankles and mud on my clothes.
I stumbled face-first and got mud up my nose.
Spring will be pretty, but I must confess,
The first days of spring are a muckety mess!
by Mark Sawyer
A kite, a sky, and a good firm breeze,
And acres of ground away from trees,
And one hundred yards of clean, strong string –
O boy, O boy! I call that Spring!
Never mind March, we know
You’re not really mad
Or angry or bad.
You’re only blowing the winter away
To get the world ready
For April and May.
What the Robin Told
told the grasses,
And the grasses
told the trees.
told the bushes,
And the bushes
told the bees.
told the robin,
And the robin
sang out clear:
Spring is here!
Jessica Erica Steeze
The rivers are flowing, they’re overgrowing
And all the rosebuds are suddenly showing
But don’t tell Jessica Erica Steeze
Because all the pollen makes her sneeze
Poor Jessica, she hates the spring
The pink cherry blossoms don’t make her sing
She doesn’t care about birds that warble
Jessica thinks spring is horrible
In summer Jessica really is nice
In winter she likes to skate on the ice
Even in fall she loves to rake leaves
But spring just makes her cough and wheeze
Jessica’s allergies really are sad
She won’t take pills, she says they taste bad
Go and play, she won’t be mad at you
All she wants to say is atchoo!
NOTE: The poem “Jessica Erica Steeze” was found on ClassroomJr.com, a teachers resource website with activities, printables, craft ideas, writing worksheets, word puzzles and more.
There are many Cinderella stories. Not just variations within one culture, but variations across cultures. A Christmas Carol has been done over and over again: it’s been modernized and humor-ized, remade by Muppets and Mickey alike. Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony has even been redone. There’s a disco version, a “Snoopy” version done on children’s instruments, and a version performed by the Transiberian Orchestra. Many great works have been altered in some way or another to breathe new life into them.
I used to believe that a remake of a great song was not worth my time. Being in the know of 50′s rock, I didn’t particularly enjoy it when “Sea of Love” was remade in the 80′s. I didn’t like it when Phil Collin’s remade “Groovy Kind of Love.” I felt is was too slow and not true to the original. And although I loved other songs by Cheap Trick, their take on “Don’t Be Cruel” was just not right. I took pride in knowing and enjoying the originals. But looking back, I can appreciate the art of a remake or a remix. It’s in knowing where something comes from that you can truly understand it.
Just yesterday I received my enewsletter from Big Universe and it showed me another remix of something great. It is a version of Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Eve by Robert Frost. I love studying this poem with my class in December. We read the text alone and then with illustrations found in books. I have my students memorize the poem and we even create our own poetry books with our own illustrated interpretations. Now I can add to our repertoire of interpretations.
I think remakes are great really. It’s an artist trying to make sense of something wonderful. It allows them to dig deeper into the original and create something new to share. Having an open mind to look at the variety is important. I realize that now. It’s fun to share different versions of music to my students as well as literature. Next week, when I introduce this classic poem to my class, we will have one more version to share together. It will click with some and not others, but that is the beauty of art and poetry.
So go – at this time of year you should share this wonderful poem with your class. Make sure to share the original and get your students on Big Universe to see this new version of the classic too!