Thursday, June 9, 2011

Poem reading

Just for fun, I grabbed Leslie Bulion at the Texas Library Association conference, handed her my Kindle, and persuaded her to read her poem from PoetryTagTime aloud while I filmed her with my handy Flipcam. Please forgive the background noise, but here is the fun riddle poem, "Knock, Knock, Who's There?" read by the poet herself, Leslie Bulion. Enjoy!

video

Sunday, May 1, 2011

An honest-to-goodness kid response


A friend-of-a-friend sent us this great photo of a young reader enjoying PoetryTagTime on a Kindle!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Janet Wong’s “Scute”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Mary Ann Hoberman

Next up: JANET WONG


Setting the Stage: Write the word “scute” on a strip of paper, chalkboard, or note card. Challenge the kids to guess what the word means. Jot down their definitions. (It’s not important that they guess correctly, but that they have fun wondering.)

Poetry Performance: Wong’s poem, “Scutes,” nicely incorporates four concrete examples of her poem’s key concept in four independent stanzas. The format lends itself nicely to being read aloud by four small groups (or four volunteers), each reading one stanza.

Just for Fun:
Bring cinnamon rolls and a small pan or a butcher block or wooden cutting board to show the images mentioned in the poem. What other examples of “scutes” can the kids think of?

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Turtles
Moon
Food
Body
Humor

If you haven’t gotten your own copy of PoetryTagTime yet, buy the book now for only 99 cents, so you can share each of the 30 poems along with the ideas and activities that are available here.

Now begin again: Janet’s poem opens with the moons on a turtle’s back. This connects us back with Jack Prelutsky’s first moon poem, “If the Moon” and PoetryTagTime has come full circle.


Image credit: PoetryTagTime

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Mary Ann Hoberman’s “Three T’s”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Pat Mora

Next up: MARY ANN HOBERMAN

Setting the Stage: Make a chart with three columns, each topped with a “T” and one labeled “turtle,” one labeled “tortoise,” and one labeled “terrapin.” Invite the children to talk about what they know—or guess—about each.

Poetry Performance: Mary Ann Hoberman’s poem, “Three T’s” naturally lends itself to being read by three groups; one reads the lines specific to the turtle, one reads the lines specific to the tortoise, and one reads the lines specific to the terrapin. All other lines (including lines that refer to all three types) are read by the group in unison.

Just for Fun: Revisit the chart initiated before reading the poem and see what details about each of the three (turtle, tortoise, terrapin) can be added based on the poem. Look for more facts about these three and consider creating a follow up poem as a group using this new information.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Turtles
Sea
Body

Buy the book now (only 99 cents), so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Janet Wong


Image credit: PoetryTagTime

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pat Mora’s “Maybe Tomorrow”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Tracie Vaughn Zimmer

Next up: PAT MORA

Setting the Stage: Ask the kids to share what they consider signs of spring? Warmer weather? Flowers blooming? Sunny skies? What about turtles lumbering?

Poetry Performance: The title of Pat Mora’s poem, “Maybe Tomorrow” is also a repeated refrain throughout the poem that is perfect for the whole group to chime in on again and again while the librarian or teacher reads the poem aloud.

Just for Fun: Do turtles really eat bananas or peanut butter? What other foods do turtles eat? Work with the kids to look up more information about the turtle’s diet. Insert surprising food finds into the places where “bananas” and “peanut butter” are mentioned. Read the new poem “version” aloud for fun.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Dialogue
Repeated lines
Turtles
Food
Sun
Winter
Spring
Onomatopoeia
Bugs
Home

If you haven’t gotten your own copy of PoetryTagTime yet, buy the book now for only 99 cents, so you can share each of the 30 poems along with the ideas and activities that are available here..

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Mary Ann Hoberman


Image credit: PoetryTagTime

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tracie Vaughn Zimmer’s “Moonlit Race”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

Next up: TRACIE VAUGHN ZIMMER

Setting the Stage: Invite the kids to share their knowledge of ocean animals. Make a list of the marine animals they know. Is the leatherback turtle on the list? Research facts about the leatherback turtle together.

Poetry Performance: Try reading aloud Tracie Vaughn Zimmer’s “Moonlit Race” with three groups, one for each stanza. The first group reads the first stanza, setting the stage. The second group reads the action-packed second stanza. The third group reads the satisfying final stanza.

Just for Fun: Several key “characters” populate this vivid poem. Use various colors of felt to create the sun, moon, ocean waves, turtle(s), cookie, gull, and crab. Invite the kids to place each figure on a flannel storyboard or hang on a short "clothesline" as you read the poem aloud.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Moon 

Night
Sun
Sea
Turtles
Food
Birds
Fear

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Pat Mora


Image credit: PoetryTagTime

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s “My Hand”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Robert Weinstock

Next up: AMY LUDWIG VANDERWATER

Setting the Stage: In her poem, “My Hand” the poet, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater invites us to look at our hands and speculate-- what does your hand remind you of? Look like? What else could that shape be?

Poetry Performance: Take the lead in reading this thoughtful poem out loud in a quiet voice. Then invite the children to join in on the end of the poem in two groups, one reading the line, “Were you always human?” and the other reading the final line, “Do you understand?”

Just for Fun: What else might your hand, it’s shape, and it’s movement be compared to? Have the kids outline their hands on a piece of construction paper and then create a creature based on that shape, real or imagined – including the starfish.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Body
Sea
Food
Questions

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Tracie Vaughn Zimmer


Image credit: PoetryTagTime

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Robert Weinstock’s “Whiff”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Laura Purdie Salas

Next up: ROBERT WEINSTOCK

Setting the Stage: Stop and sniff the air. What scents to the kids detect? Start a list of smells. Research five facts about the sense of smell.

Poetry Performance: Read Robert Weinstock’s “Whiff” along with 4 brave volunteers. The leader reads the first two lines and the last line; one volunteer reads the third line, another volunteer reads the fourth and fifth lines (both), another volunteer reads the sixth line, and one more volunteer reads the seventh line. (The leader reads the last line.) Try it faster and faster-- it's almost a tongue twister!

Just for Fun: Challenge kids to keep a “whiff” diary for one day listing all the things they smell in one 24 hour period. Bring it back to share and compare.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Smells
Body
Summer
Questions
Sea

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Amy Van Derwater


Image credit: PoetryTagTime

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Laurie Purdie Salas’s “After the Storm”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Paul B. Janeczko

Next up: LAURA PURDIE SALAS

Setting the Stage: Ask the kids if they know what an acrostic is. Show an example, if possible.

Poetry Performance: To perform Laurie Purdie Salas’s “After the Storm," write each line of the poem on the back of a colored piece of paper—using 7 colors of the rainbow. Write the capital letter (the first letter of the line) on one side of the colored paper, and write the single line of the poem on the other side of the colored paper. Ask for 7 volunteers to participate. Each holds a sheet of colored paper showing the poem line to the audience and lined up in order (to spell the poem subject). Students read their lines and then turn the colored paper around to show their letter, one at a time, gradually spelling the poem's subject.

Just for Fun: Collaborate with the gym teacher or physical education instructor to introduce or demonstrate backbends. Compare other phenomena of nature to gymnastic exercises and activities, e.g., cartwheel = tornado. Work as a group to create a new acrostic poem for a new nature + gymnastics connection.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Storm
Acrostic
Body
Rainbow
Color
Summer
World

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Robert Weinstock


Image credit: PoetryTagTime

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Paul B. Janeczko’s “Approaching Storm”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Bobbi Katz

Next up: PAUL B. JANECZKO

Setting the Stage: Invite the kids to discuss how they know a storm is coming BEFORE it comes? What signs do they look for? Where would they look for information about storm-watching?

Poetry Performance: Share Paul B. Janeczko’s poem, “Approaching Storm,” by breaking the larger group into two smaller groups. The two groups alternate reading, each taking two lines. Group 1 reads the first two lines, Group 2 reads the next two lines; Group 1 reads the next two lines, and Group 2 reads the final two lines. Read again, switching groups and lines.

Just for Fun: Bring or grow a potted geranium plant; keep it in the window for a season. Write Janeczko’s poem on the clay pot itself.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Storm
Light
Dogs
Flowers
Summer
Sea

If you haven’t gotten your own copy of PoetryTagTime yet, buy the book now for only 99 cents, so you can share each of the 30 poems along with the ideas and activities that are available here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Laura Purdie Salas


Image credit: PoetryTagTime

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bobbi Katz’s “Things to Do If You Are a Snowman”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: X. J. Kennedy

Next up: BOBBI KATZ

Setting the Stage: Discuss the process of how to do a favorite activity (such as making a peanut butter sandwich) step by step, in sequence. Write the steps on strips of paper to move or arrange them in order, if necessary.

Poetry Performance: Bobbi Katz’s poem, “Things to Do If You Are a Snowman," is a "list" poem, perfect for individual line-around reading with 12 volunteers, if possible. Or if kids are more comfortable working with partners, that's a possible alternative (for 2 people per line, or 2 lines per pair for 6 pairs).

Just for Fun: Work together to write a “Things to Do…” poem based on the form that Katz invented over forty years ago. You can work as a group to create a "How to Make a Peanut Butter Sandwich" poem or encourage kids to work in small groups to create their own "things to do" poems. Challenge the kids to stick to her original rule to limit these poems to nine lines.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Snow
Body
Night
Food
Things to do
Winter

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Paul Janeczko


Image credit: PoetryTagTime

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

X. J. Kennedy’s “Snow Day”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Jane Yolen


Next up: X.J. KENNEDY

Setting the Stage:
Invite the kids to share “snow day” stories. What are some of the most memorable things they’ve done on unexpected days off from school?

Poetry Performance: In bringing X. J. Kennedy’s poem, “Snow Day,” to life, invite the whole group to make the sound effect of the firehouse horn, “Bawp bawp!” in the first stanza. (You may need to clarify that this is the way the community is informed when there is no school.) Then invite a volunteer to read the following line of “dialogue” also from the first stanza:

“Go back to bed!/ No school today! It’s snowing!”

A second volunteer can read the part of the friend calling in the third stanza:

“You want to build/ A snowman, I suppose?/ I’ve got some licorice jellybeans,/ You bring the carrot nose.”

The adult leader reads the rest of the poem out loud.


Just for Fun: Make a paper snowman, cut out paper snowflakes; eat licorice, try carrots-- some of the basics of snow man building. Compare and contrast winter fun with summer fun.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Dialogue
Winter
Snow
Butterflies
Food
Summer
Questions
Friends
Color
World
Onomatopoeia

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Bobbi Katz

Image credit: PoetryTagTime

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Jane Yolen’s “Glow”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Ann Whitford Paul

Next up: JANE YOLEN

Setting the Stage: What things give off light? Invite the kids to brainstorm a list to kickstart this poem. They might consider: electric lights, stars, moon, planets, car headlights, glowing windows at night, candles, flashlights (all mentioned in Yolen’s poem).

Poetry Performance: Jane Yolen’s poem, “Glow” begins and ends with the same stanza, the perfect way for kids to open and close the poem. They can read the entire stanza in unison or divide it in half with two groups reading each half. The teacher or librarian then reads the rest of the poem out loud.

Just for Fun: If possible, share the poem in a dimly lit room with twinkling holiday lights on and/or clicking a penlight on and off each time a “light” word is read in the poem. If multiple penlights or flashlights are available, invite the kids to participate. (Practice first and provide reminders of safe use of lights.)

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Night
Light
Moon
Sky
Repeated lines

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: X. J. Kennedy

Image credit: PoetryTagTime

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ann Whitford Paul's "Fireflies"

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Julie Larios


Next up: ANN WHITFORD PAUL


Setting the Stage: Ask the children to describe any experiences they have had with fireflies. Do they know what fireflies are? Have they seen them? If possible, locate and share a videoclip to show examples of fireflies at night.

Poetry Performance: Invite three groups or three volunteers to chime in on the words “flash” and “flashing” in Ann Whitford Paul’s poem, “Fireflies.” One group or volunteer reads the first “flash,” a second group or volunteer reads the second “flash,” and a third group or volunteer reads the word, “flashing.” Coach them to pause before reading their word for maximum impact. The adult leader reads the remaining words and lines.

Just for Fun: Who would think that bugs could be compared to punctuation marks? Ann Whitford Paul compares fireflies and their soft light to “periods and dashes and commas” in the night. Challenge the kids to consider what other insects or animals might be compared to other punctuation marks. What might be like a question mark? An exclamation mark? Quotation marks?

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Night
Punctuation
Bugs
Light

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Jane Yolen

Image credit:

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Julie Larios’s “Song of the Hog”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: David L. Harrison

Next up: JULIE LARIOS

Setting the Stage: Invite the kids to share any pig-related words or phrases they may know. Share some of these from the poem: pig, hog, grunt, mud, muck, snout, runt, swine, lout, curly tail, pink, squeal, pork, porcine. Look them up together if these words are unfamiliar.

Poetry Performance: Ask the kids to choose whether they want to be the “hog” or the “runts” in reading the parts of Julie Larios’s “Song of the Hog” poem. The “runties” read the designated lines in quotation marks:

“O, Rotund One! O, Royal Swine!
You are the barnyard’s Master Lout.
We’re curly-tailed and pink and squealy,
but you are the Porcine King, no doubt!”

The “hog” readers read the rest of the poem. Try it and then switch parts to read again. [Be sure to read it aloud first in its entirety to provide a model of how to pronounce “ferocious,” “runties,” “rotund,” and “Porcine,” for example.]


Just for Fun: Feeling outrageous? Invite the kids to copy the poem onto a pink piece of paper, outline the poem with a pig shape, then splatter it all with mud! Let dry and display. Research and show the kids the famous painting of the hog by American artist Jamie Wyeth that inspired Larios’s poem.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Dialogue
Hog
Food
Humor
Body

Buy the book now
, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Ann Whitford Paul

Image credit: PoetryTagTime

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

David L. Harrison’s “Meanwhile”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Joan Bransfield Graham

Next up: DAVID L. HARRISON

David's blog

Setting the Stage: Lead the kids in a discussion of the two major roles for bees: drones and queen. Do they know which is which and what each does in the hive? If not, research and share.

Poetry Performance: David Harrison’s poem, “Meanwhile” is a concrete or shape poem that suggests the look of a bee’s hive. But it also uses the shape to suggest a slowing-down rhythm for reading the poem. Read it aloud to the kids first beginning at a normal pace, then pausing after the word “once” to read the remainder of the poem more and more slowly. Then invite them to join in on repeated readings with the same rhythm, pausing after “all,” “they,” and “ask” for extra impact.

Just for Fun: Join the kids in looking for more shape poems, more bee poems, or creating a hive shaped poem from the queen’s point of view (perhaps growing from smaller at the top to larger at the bottom).

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Bees
Shape poem
Sky
Humor
Bugs

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Julie Larios

Image credit: PoetryTagTime

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Joan Bransfield Graham’s “Buckaroo Bees”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Avis Harley

Next up: JOAN BRANSFIELD GRAHAM

Setting the Stage: Ask the kids if they have ever seen bees near flowers. What do the bees look like? What are they doing? Why might the poet (Joan Bransfield Graham) here describe a bee’s legs as “saddlebags”?

Poetry Performance:
To bring Graham’s “Buckaroo Bees” poem to life, divide the larger group into four small groups or ask for four volunteers. The first group or volunteer reads the first two lines. The second group or volunteer reads the third and fourth lines. The third group or volunteer reads the fifth line only. The fourth group or volunteer reads the sixth and seventh lines. Practice multiple times to get the staccato delivery just right.

Just for Fun:
Join the kids in researching what a magnolia blossom looks like, where it can be found, where the pollen is located in the blossom, etc. If possible, bring a real or artificial magnolia flower to share. Since the poem is very short, see if you can write each line of the poem on a separate petal of the (artificial) magnolia flower (in order, if possible).

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Bees
Flowers
Wind
Body
Bugs

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: David Harrison


Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Avis Harley’s “All Aflutter”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the free downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: J. Patrick Lewis

Next up: AVIS HARLEY


Setting the Stage: Ask the kids if they ever feel nervous. At school? At night? Playing sports? Have they heard or used the expression “butterflies in the stomach” to describe a nervous feeling? Is being nervous ever a GOOD thing?

Poetry Performance:
For Avis Harley’s poem, “All Aflutter,” she employs the same line to begin each of her five stanzas: “Butterflies in your stomach” (with one additional word in the final stanza). This is the perfect opportunity for all the kids to join in on the repeated line, jump-starting each stanza of the poem while the teacher/librarian reads the rest of each stanza out loud.

Just for Fun: Work together to create a unique poem display by writing each stanza of the poem on a butterfly-shaped piece of paper and then attaching it to an outline of a person (one of the kids outlined on butcher paper perhaps?) placing the butterfly stanzas in the stomach area.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Body
Fear
Repeated lines
Butterflies
Night

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Joan Bransfield Graham



Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

J. Patrick Lewis’s “Edgar Allan Poe’s Apple Pie”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Leslie Bulion


Next up: J. PATRICK LEWIS

Setting the Stage:
Ask the kids if they have ever had to share a yummy treat with someone else—like a sandwich, pizza, candy, apple, etc? How did they decide on dividing the portions?

Poetry Performance: For reading aloud J. Patrick Lewis’s poem, “Edgar Allan Poe’s Apple Pie” invite 2 volunteers to read the lines of dialogue (“How many cuts give me ten pieces?” and “Never four!” as they occur in the poem) while you read the rest of the poem in a very melodramatic voice.

Just for Fun: Find a recording of a reading of the classic Edgar Allan Poe poem, “The Raven,” and play it for the kids. Compare it to the parody that Lewis has created here. What other parodies of classic poems can you find? And of course you have to demonstrate the math in the poem, dividing a paper (or real) apple pie into 10 pieces with 5 cuts.

Poem Links:
Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Onomatopoeia
Night
Food
Parody
Dialogue
Riddle
Questions
Sleep
Fear

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Avis Harley



Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Leslie Bulion’s “Knock, Knock! Who’s There?”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: April Halprin Wayland

Next up: LESLIE BULION

Setting the Stage: Invite the children to share any of their favorite riddles or read a few riddles from a selected book of riddles. Discuss how riddles work (question/answer; serious or humorous).

Poetry Performance: Divide the group into three smaller groups to read Leslie Bulion’s poem, “Knock, Knock! Who’s There?” out loud. The first group reads the first line in both stanzas. The second group reads the second line of both stanzas. The third group reads the final three lines of both stanzas (which go together). Once the poem has been shared, performed, and discussed, and everyone knows the answer to the riddle, end with asking “What am I?” and invite the whole group to shout out the answer, “the tongue,” after performing the poem.

Just for Fun: There are so many possibilities for following up this poem: researching more information about the tongue and how it works or digging for more poem riddles or experimenting with the limerick form that Bulion uses to create this poem. Offer the kids a choice of activities!

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Body
Food
Riddle
Questions
Sleep
Lost

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: J. Patrick Lewis


Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April Halprin Wayland’s “World Wide Wag”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Rebecca Kai Dotlich

Next up: APRIL HALPRIN WAYLAND

Setting the Stage: Invite the children to share any observations they have made of their pets sleeping. How do their sleeping pets look and behave? What to they imagine their pets might be dreaming about?

Poetry Performance: As you share April Halprin Wayland’s poem, “World Wide Wag,” invite kids to join in on only the repeated word, “if.” Invite them to chant it out loud while the adult reads the rest of the words and lines. Put the word “if” on a colored index card and hold it up when it’s their turn to participate (helpful for non-readers or ESL/ELL students).

Just for Fun: Each two-line stanza of the poem is highly visual suggesting an image or scene. Invite the kids to create a simple cartoon picture of what is described (perhaps working in pairs on their favorite stanza). Then hold up each picture to cue reading the accompanying lines. Aspiring poets might try writing an “if” poem about imagining being a sleeping dog or a cat (or other favorite animal) or about their own sleeping pet.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Dogs
Computers
Questions
Humor
Body
World
Sleep

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Leslie Bulion


Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s “Night Mail”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the free downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Calef Brown

Next up: REBECCA KAI DOTLICH

Setting the Stage: Bring in different kinds of mail and communication as examples to show the kids: cards and letters, print outs of email, text messages, or tweets, a (mock) telegram, etc. How long do each of these take to reach their recipients?

Poetry Performance: Read Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s poem, “Night Mail,” in a whisper voice in the dark (or as dark as possible to suggest nighttime). Invite the kids to close their eyes and pretend they’re asleep while they listen.

Just for Fun: If everyone is not familiar with email, explain how it works. Discuss the particulars of “netiquette” and the use of icons and “emoticons.” Send a favorite poem to a friend via email.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Computers
Sleep
Mail
Onomatopoeia
Body
Color
Night
World

Buy the book now
, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: April Halprin Wayland


Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Calef Brown’s “The Doublenose Hotel”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Carole Boston Weatherford

Next up: CALEF BROWN


Setting the Stage: Ask the kids if any of them have ever stayed in a hotel or motel before. What was that experience like? Did they ever try room service?

Poetry Performance: Just for fun try reading Calef Brown’s poem, “The Doublenose Hotel,” with kids chiming in on all the smell-related words and phrases (highlight them in yellow to guide them). This includes: sense of smell, Doublenose Hotel, nasal buffet, rare perfumes, aroma service, order an odor, essence of mint, exotic flower, sweetly scented, “fragrancy,” smells so swell, and the Doublenose Hotel. The teacher or librarian reads the rest of the words and lines. Now try it faster and faster—it’s almost a tongue twister.

Just for Fun: This poem really focuses on the sense of smell. If possible, bring in a variety of scents for the kids to smell (e.g., mint, a flower, perfume) and make a list of descriptive “smell” words. Invite the kids to draw a face with a “doublenose”—what could that look like? Discuss what extra smells you might smell with a doublenose.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Humor
Smells
Questions
Food
Flowers
Home

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Rebecca Kai Dotlich


Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Carol Boston Weatherford’s “Nosy Rosie”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Helen Frost

Next up: CAROLE BOSTON WEATHERFORD

Setting the Stage: Have any of the children had experiences with lost pets? (with happy endings!) Share a few. Then bring a map of the U.S. and guide the kids in identifying the states of Alabama and Kansas and all those in between the two.

Poetry Performance: If the children are getting comfortable reading poems out loud, it’s time to invite volunteers to read aloud Carole Boston Weatherford’s poem, “Nosy Rosie,” on their own—one two-line stanza per volunteer.

Just for Fun: Kids love story poems and this one shares quite an adventure. In addition, each stanza adds more and more to the character and plot of the poem story. In fact, each stanza could easily be the text for a page of a picture book. Invite the kids to choose their favorite stanzas (perhaps the one they volunteered to read aloud) and then illustrate that stanza with a page including a drawing and the two-line stanza. Combine all the pages to create a collaborative poem picture book. Share with another class or group.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Dogs
Lost
Home
Dialogue
Questions
Friends
Crow
Bugs
Sleep

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Calef Brown


Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Helen Frost’s “Winter Window”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Douglas Florian


Next up: HELEN FROST


Setting the Stage: If a window is nearby, invite the kids to join you in observing from the window for a few minutes. What do you see? What do they usually see out of their bedroom windows (if relevant)? How does the scene change depending on the seasons, weather, and other factors?

Poetry Performance: Read Helen Frost’s poem, “Winter Window” with multiple small groups by dividing the whole group into three smaller groups. The teacher or librarian begins by reading the first two lines which frame a question. Group 1 reads the rest of the first stanza. Group 2 reads the second “bird” stanza and Group 3 reads the third “animal” stanza. Group 1 finishes the poem by reading the final stanza aloud.

Just for Fun: Is there a window in your classroom or library? Use it as the backdrop for a poem display (or simply create a “faux” window with large, blue craft paper framed by strips of brown paper to create the effect of a window). Then add (spray) snow and cut outs of the birds mentioned in the poem: a blue jay, nuthatch, cardinal, starling, finch, and wren, as well as the poem’s other animals: squirrel, rabbit, chipmunk, skunk, and mouse.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Snow
Birds
Sun
Moon
Questions
Color
Night
Winter
World

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Carole Boston Weatherford



Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Douglas Florian’s “Dove”


Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Betsy Franco

Next up: DOUGLAS FLORIAN

Setting the Stage: Remind the children of the previous discussion about crows and their habits and behaviors. Create a chart listing attributes of crows on the left side and add a second column to list the attributes of doves on the right. (Look these up together, if needed.) Discuss the similarities and differences.

Poetry Performance: Divide the big group into two parallel groups, one each to read one line of Douglas Florian’s poem, “Dove.” Then reverse the groups to read again.

Just for Fun: Florian’s poem is a “definition” poem-- in only two lines. Lead the kids in looking for other defining “______ is” poems. Or work together to reverse things and write a poem as a group about defining the crow. "A crow is… "

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Birds
Snow
Crow
Humor
Color

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Helen Frost


Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Betsy Franco’s “Crow”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Lee Bennett Hopkins

Next up: BETSY FRANCO

Setting the Stage: Ask the children if they’ve ever seen a crow. Just one or many? How many? Where and when? What did they look like/sound like? How did the crows behave? If possible, look for crow sightings nearby (or on YouTube or nature web sites).

Poetry Performance: Read Betsy Franco’s poem, “Crow,” aloud first, showing the text, if possible. Then invite the children to practice their cawing crow voices to read the following key crow words and actions in the poem out loud (while you or a volunteer read the rest): Yippee/ you caw/ you drop/ and drop/ and drop/ and poke and peck/ yackity-yak/ raucous friends.

Just for Fun: Franco’s poem is a “poem of address,” as if she is talking to the crow itself. Invite the kids to look for other similar poems that “speak” to their subject as “you.” Aspiring writers may want to try their hands at creating their own original poems of address.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Birds
Crow
Food
Friends
Onomatopoeia

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Douglas Florian



Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lee Bennett Hopkins’ “Summer Fear”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Alice Schertle

Next up: LEE BENNETT HOPKINS

Setting the Stage: Lead a discussion of weather worries. Does thunder make you nervous? Lightning? Invite the kids to consider whether flowers might fear stormy weather, too.

Poetry Performance: Read Lee Bennett Hopkins’s poem, “Summer Fear,” aloud to the group first. Then divide the group into three smaller groups. One will read the three-line stanza about roses, one will read the three-line stanza about pansies, and one will read the three-line stanza about sunflowers. Then everyone joins together to read the final stanza. Practice, read, repeat.

Just for Fun: Not everyone is familiar with the varieties of flowers mentioned in the poem. Research together what roses, pansies, and sunflowers, (and yews) look like. Create a collage of these images adding facial expressions on the flowers, a backdrop of fence posts and a window box, and aluminum foil bolts of thunder to create a scene to accompany the poem.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Summer
Flowers
Storm
Fear

Buy the book now,
so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Betsy Franco



Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Alice Schertle’s “Sunquain”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Nikki Grimes

Next up: ALICE SCHERTLE

Setting the Stage: As you introduce the Schertle’s poem, “Sunquain,” invite the children to share their associations with the word “sun.” What comes to mind? Heat? Color? Shape? Summer?

Poetry Performance: Challenge the artists in the group to create a graphic novel-like page to accompany this poem with one image for each line of the poem. Then copy and project each image as the poem is read aloud in unison.

Just for Fun: Alice Schertle’s “Sunquain” poem title is a clever play on the word “cinquain” (and the poem is a cinquain poem). Look up the rules of the cinquain form and research other examples of the form. Work as a group to create an original sun-focused companion cinquain to Schertle’s.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Sun
Cinquain
Summer
Sky

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Lee Bennett Hopkins

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Nikki Grimes’ “Prairie Friend”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Joyce Sidman

Next up: NIKKI GRIMES

Setting the Stage: Invite the kids to discuss what kinds (or colors or shapes) of flowers they see in their communities. What do they look like? Where are they located? How do they appear in the sun, in the wind, in the rain?

Poetry Performance: Nikki Grimes’s poem, “Prairie Friend,” is full of language that suggests motions for pantomiming: shimmies, leap, bow, dance. After reading the poem aloud once, ask for volunteers to act out the poem using simple movements and gestures while the rest of the group reads the poem out loud.

Just for Fun: Grimes mentions that her poem comes from a collection of poems she wrote about state flowers. Challenge the kids to look up which state has the sunflower (of this poem) as its state flower. Can they find other poems about other (state) flowers? They might also consider creating a new, original poem about a flower special to their own state, region or community.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Wind
Flowers
Sun
Body
Dance
Friends

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here every day.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Alice Schertle

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Joyce Sidman’s “Maybe”

Reminder: PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

Previously: Jack Prelutsky

Next up: JOYCE SIDMAN

Setting the Stage: Joyce Sidman’s poem, “Maybe” asks the reader or listener to wonder “what if?” What if the world started with an egg? How might that happen? What could that look like? Bring an egg (hard-boiled) as a prop to hold, examine, and ponder.

Poetry Performance: Read the poem aloud to the children first without showing the poem. Then invite the children to join in each time you read the word “maybe.” (Write the word “maybe” on egg-shaped paper and hold it up when it’s time for them to pipe in for non-readers, ESL/ELL students, or just for fun.)

Just for Fun: Joyce’s poem is a shape poem or concrete poem written in the shape of the poem’s subject. Look for other collections of shape poetry (including Sidman’s Meow, Ruff) to read, share, and discuss. Kids can work with a partner to take a favorite poem and write it on shaped paper or try their hands at creating their own original shape poems.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Egg
Food
Sun
Sky
Shape poem
Earth
Light

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Nikki Grimes


Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Jack Prelutsky's "If the Moon"

PoetryTagTime is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children. You can purchase the book for 99 cents at Amazon and read it on your Kindle or through the free downloadable Kindle platform for your computer, cell phone, etc.

First up: JACK PRELUTSKY

Setting the Stage: Jack Prelutsky’s poem, “If the Moon” raises questions about what the moon is-- and is not. Ask the kids if they have ever heard the expression, “the moon is made of cheese.” Discuss why the moon might seem like cheese. (Bring in a block of swiss cheese, in particular, as a visual prop, if possible.) What other things might the moon seem like? Make a list. Look for more poems that compare the moon to other things.

Poetry Performance: Divide the class/group into two equal groups. After reading the poem aloud to the kids, invite the two groups to read the poem antiphonally (back-and-forth). There are two possibilities: each group reads one stanza or two groups alternate, reading 2 lines at a time.

Just for Fun: Create a moon poem display. Write favorite poems about the moon (like this one) on yellow or orange circle-shaped paper and tie them to helium-filled balloons as a hanging moon poetry exhibit.

Poem Links: Here are key words that connect this poem with other poems in the PoetryTagTime collection:
Moon

Smells
Sun
Sky
Food
Earth

Buy the book now, so you can share each poem along with the ideas and activities that follow here.

Next up for PoetryTagTime: Joyce Sidman

Image credit: PoetryTagTime

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Poetry Tag Time coming

I am working on a new Poetry Tag project with Janet Wong, my collaborator on the lovely tribute poetry book for Lee Bennett Hopkins in 2009. We have compiled what we believe is the first ever electronic-only poetry anthology of new poems by top poets for children (ages 0-8) designed for Kindle (and other e-readers) as an irresistible 99 cent book for adults to share with the kids in their lives. The idea is to make poetry an "impulse buy"-- to bring poetry to people who never have bought a poetry book before.

Janet Wong notes, "Our goal is to popularize poetry as a read-aloud. We believe that poetry--more than any other genre--has the ability to delight, capture, and 'level the playing field' for readers and writers of all ages and abilities. We want kids to be able to hear a poem, read it if they wish, enjoy it, and not have to pick it apart in a homework assignment. Hearing poetry is key to falling in love with it.”

We also felt it was time to take children’s poetry into the e-publishing world. Some estimates say that 10 million Kindles have been sold. There were over 10 million Kindle ebook sales in December alone. We bet that at least a tenth of those Kindles belong to adults who spend a significant amount of time each day with children. Wouldn't it be amazing if we could bring a million Kindle readers to children's poetry? Even if you don’t own a Kindle, you can download the Kindle app for a number of devices, including your Windows or Apple computer, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android-powered phone. Find out more by clicking here.

The first volume is framed around the Poetry Tag concept with 30 poets offering previously unpublished poems for children (ages 0-8) in a connection of poems to debut April 1 in honor of National Poetry Month. We invited poets to "play" with poetry by offering a poem for young readers to enjoy, then "tag" a fellow poet who then shared her/his own poem THAT WAS CONNECTED to the previous poem in SOME way-- a theme, word, idea, tone-- and also offer a sentence or two explaining that connection. Their poems are delightfully divergent in style, voice, form, shape, tone, and more. Plus, their brief notes about the connection that prompted their poem (linking with the previous “tagged” poem) provide fascinating mini-lessons as well. We gain insight into where ideas for poems come from, how a poet changes her/his mind, what a poet is thinking as a poem is crafted. It’s fascinating!

Please visit our PoetryTagTime website, to read more about our project and our 30 participating poets: Children’s Poet Laureates Jack Prelutsky and Mary Ann Hoberman; Newbery Honor winner Joyce Sidman; NCTE Poetry Award winners X.J. Kennedy, J. Patrick Lewis, Lee Bennett Hopkins, and Nikki Grimes; popular poets Douglas Florian, Betsy Franco, and Jane Yolen; and 20 more.

Also, keep an eye on this companion for strategies for sharing each of the 30 poems, one per day throughout the month.


Image credit: PoetryTagTime

Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.