Monday, April 7, 2008

Happy Poem Savoring! It's National Poetry Month!

I love to share the emotions, laughter, and smiles of poetry with my students during April - National Poetry Month! In our class, we celebrate with a fresh selection of poetry books on display on our tall, "fancy" bookcases in the heart of our classroom media center. Of course, poetry has a home in our class library throughout the year, and new picks are featured and shared from time to time, ranging from fanciful fiction to non-fiction selections which illustrate with words descriptive visuals for my students to absorb. In April, I also make sure that read aloud starts off with a poem from either my student teacher or myself, and the children and I marinate in the precisely picked language. We also invite students to find a poem to share, or pen one of their own to help open up our special bonding time of interactive read aloud. What a great way to practice savoring language and reading fluently, without speeding through at the speed of sound? :)

Here are a few of the sites which I share with my students in class and on our class web page to further gear up the children about poetry. Check them out, and have fun exploring the richness of language when presented in the "petite package" of a poem!

Jack Prelutsky - Here the National Children's Poet Laureate Prelutsky presents a rather new website. It includes information about the "Make Poetry Happen" contest, which unfortunately the deadline just recently passed on April 1st. This means, mark your calendar for it next year! (I love the fact that he even posts the photo of his chocolate he won! Now that's MY kind of contest!)

Giggle Poetry - which includes interviews and ideas from children's poets - great to share inspirations on author's and their crafting with the students :)

Kristine O'Connell George - This author has generously posted "Poetry Aloud!" where many of her own poetry works from her published books are available for your downloading and enjoyment. As she says, "Poetry is meant to be read aloud!"

Brian P. Cleary - Cleary is an author of books on parts of speech, math, and, POETRY! This portion of his page is purely kid friendly, poetry playing fun.

Nikki Grimes - Author Nikki Grimes has a "Poem To Go" section on her website, where she posts things such as her inspiration behind a poem idea, or a poem started for the reader to complete.

Robert Munsch - Author Robert Munsch shares some of the poetry which he says he writes for some of the children who write him letters. How cool is that!?!

Eileen Spinelli - This author/illustrator has a portion of her website where she posts a "Poem of the Month." Perfect for shared reading activities with a whole group!

Janet Wong - Hear author Janet Wong read poetry via the audio feature by clicking on the microphone! I especially appreciate how she writes about her relationship with poetry and its power in the main text of this page.

Scholastic - Poetry writing for kids - with Jack Prelutsky!

The Poetry Foundation - This link leads you to their children's portion of their site, although it's all interesting! A special feature is poet laureate Jack Prelutsky's tips to hear!

Shel Silverstein - Classic children's poet Silverstein's clever, and often offbeat wit, is treasured by children generation after generation. Check out his website to see more of his creativeness!

Children's Book Council - At the Children's Book Council site, peek here for tips on celebrating Poetry Month with children. Also, be sure to search "poetry" in the site's search engine to find some informative poetry related articles for you as a professional.

PBS for Teachers - Explore the offerings of instructional ideas this portion of the PBS website has to offer in the realm of poetry:

Pine Tree Poetry - A book company that, yes, sells books for profit. Our school did it for the first time last year, and some of my very own students were selected to be in the volume! Our school will soon hold a reception for those young authors, and the pride those students feel based on their peers' adoring reactions is pretty special. :)

International Reading Association's Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award Listing:

Pennsylvania's Center for the Book - Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award:

National Council of the Teachers of English - --Experimenting with Writing Poetry Instructional Tips:

--Celebrate Poets! More resources and teaching tie-ins:

Hope that these sites serve as inspiration for you! :) Enjoy!

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