Tuesday's Tidbits

IES Library Newsletter for April 12, 2016

Children's Literature

April is Poetry Month!

The Great Kid Books Website provides some great advice for sharing poetry with students.

How do you share poems with children? Do you have any advice to share? Here are my five top rules to go by:

1. Keep it short and share poetry often. Dip in and don't over-analyze. Enjoy what a poem has to offer and move on. Help kids see that there are all sorts of poems, and they get to choose the ones that they like. Maybe it's funny poems, maybe it's ones that twist a phrase unexpectedly, maybe it's poems with strong rhythm and rhyme that really sing to them.

2. Read poetry aloud. Share poetry by reading it aloud, for it was originally created as a spoken art. Encourage kids to read aloud poems they like. Read poems more than once -- showing kids that they might hear something new a second time around. If they complain, ask them if they listen to a favorite song only one time or over and over again.

3. Make it visual. I love poetry picture books for the way that illustrations add dimension to poetry. Take this idea and apply it to the way tweens and teens can appreciate poetry--sharing illustrated poems that speak to them. Some of the best projects I've seen are those where kids take or choose photographs to go with poetry. For a treasure-trove of examples, look at printable poems and poem pocket-cards from Pomelo Books.

4. Create connections. Poetry is both personal and communal. It can be a very private experience or a shared one. Help children make meaning to their own lives by sharing poetry that connects to their own life experiences.

5. Celebrate the power of poetry. Find a way to honor the power of poetry. Host a poetry slam. Encourage kids to create poetry movies or slideshows. Make a poetry wall with short quotes from favorite poems. Participate in Poem in Your Pocket Day. Re-read your favorite collection of poems or discover a new poet.

All month, I'll be sharing favorite poetry books and resources that inspire kids. It's good to be back. I look forward to connecting and sharing books for kids with this community of children's book lovers.

©2016 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books


Favorite Poetry Books in the Media Center

Give Yourself to the Rain by Margaret Wise Brown

Margaret Wise Brown once observed, "To write well for children, one must love the things that children love." And write well for children she did -- with a deep love for and a keen perception of all things great and small in the world around us. Collected here for the first time are twenty-four of Margaret Wise Brown's children's poems, which range in subject from jig-dancing pigs and the wild sound of the wind to the colors of a summer day and the joy of giving oneself to the rain.

Dogku by Andrew Clements

A tale in haiku
of one adorable dog.
Let’s find him a home.

Wandering through the neighborhood in the early-morning hours, a stray pooch follows his nose to a back-porch door. After a bath and some table scraps from Mom, the dog meets three lovable kids. It’s all wags and wiggles until Dad has to decide if this stray pup can become the new family pet. Has Mooch finally found a home? Told entirely in haiku by master storyteller Andrew Clements, this delightful book is a clever fusion of poetry and puppy dog.

Wolf's Coming by Joe Kulka

As a distant howl echoes through the forest, animals quickly stop what they're doing and run for home. Look out―Wolf's coming! As the shadowy figure gets closer and closer and the day draws to a close, the animals shut the door, pull the shades, and turn out the lights. Soon the wolf's glowing eyes appear at the window and the front door opens... But things are not as they seem in this suspenseful, clever story, and it's the reader who's in for the biggest surprise of all!