A Life filled with Literacy
A newsletter for Saint Anne School (April 2017)
I LOVE LITERACY!
I am bursting with excitement to be the Literacy Coach at Saint Anne School. One of my goals is to share tips with parents for creating your family lifestyle around literacy. I will send a monthly newsletter with helpful tips and book recommendations. Thank you for letting me share my love of literacy!
Please contact me with any questions or thoughts!
Why is Poetry important?
Most adults associate poetry with textbooks, and many kids simply see it as something they don't understand.
Poetry, however, is exciting and central to our lives- we just don't always realize it. April is "National Poetry Month," and we are embracing it at Saint Anne! Poetry is one of our oldest forms of art and language. It has been part of almost every major art movement and defines part of our history as humans. Music lyrics, from Bob Dylan to Taylor Swift, are a form of poetry. When a news reporter captures an event in specific, sensory language, it is poetry.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT FOR OUR CHILDREN TO READ AND WRITE POETRY:
1. Improves verbal skills: Poetry improves vocabulary and verbal dexterity. Poems should not be read in a straightforward manner, but the reader must place his own emphasis upon keywords and decode meaning.
2. Helps with all types of writing: Poetry can be a game-changer for struggling writers. These students typically like poetry, with its lack of fixed rules, and poetry can become a gateway to other forms of writing. Poetry teaches skills -like precise word choice- that are necessary for other types of writing.
3. Improves Critical Thinking: Poetry forces a reader to think. Meaning in poems is not always obvious or one-dimensional. Deciphering poetry is an active practice, and students learn to analyze literature.
4. It is fun: Poetry is a way to play with words, to embrace silliness in a rhyming poem or beautiful language in a sensory poem.
WAYS TO INCORPORATE POETRY AND WORD PLAY INTO YOUR FAMILY LIFESTYLE:
- Create "magnetic poems" online.
- Use the Poetry Idea Engine to create haikus, limericks, and more online.
- While eating dinner, go around the table and describe the meal using descriptive words (5 senses).
- Find a poem you remember from your childhood and share it with your kids.
- Have a a family haiku challenge about a specific topic. You will be surprised at how much kids (and adults) of all ages enjoy the challenge of creating a haiku.
Poetry Book Suggestions for Reading Aloud
The Gruffalo (Preschool-K)
This award-winning book is a brilliantly written rhyming story with repetition and catchy lines. It is sure to quickly become a favorite.
Little Dog, Lost (Grades 1-6)
The One and Only Ivan (Grades 2-8)
This novel celebrates unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this novel in free verse is told from Ivan's point of view. Having spent 27 years behind glass walls in a shopping mall, Ivan occupies himself with television and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, everything changes.
Crossover (Grades 7 and up)
"With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering,"
This 2015 Newberry Medal winner follows 12 year old Josh and his twin brother Jordan during their 7th grade year. Josh tells his family's story in rich poetic verse and the result is a novel filled with love, brotherhood, and basketball. (Recommended for mature readers).
Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff (All ages)
zorgamazoo (Audio choice)
"Are you a believer in fanciful things? In pirates and dragons and creatures and kings? Then sit yourself down in a comfortable seat, with maybe some cocoa and something to eat, and I’ll spin you the tale of Katrina Katrell, a girl full of courage (and daring, as well!)..."
This enchanting E.B. White Read Aloud winner is witty and heartwarming. Your children will be delighted listening to the masterful narration by Alan Cumming. Look for it on iTunes, Audible.com, or on CDs at the public library.
Students have enjoyed learning poetry this month!
"Casey at the Bat"
The 5th grade participated in a Reader's Theater version of the classic poem, "Casey at the Bat."
Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.
Sensory Language- Smells!
Several of the classes worked on sensory language. They explored different items using their five senses and then described each one using strong adjectives and descriptions.