Friday, December 12, 2014

New NCTE Poetry Award winner: Marilyn Singer

I posted this information on Twitter the moment it was announced and followed up on Facebook, but forgot that I should also feature the news on my blog—oh the woes of managing multiple social media platforms! So, in case you haven’t heard, it was announced at the recent conference of the National Council of Teachers of English that Marilyn Singer is the next recipient of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. 

The NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children
This award for poetry for children is given by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) every two years to a poet for her or his entire body of work in writing poetry for children. NCTE established its Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children in 1977 to honor a living American poet for his or her lifetime achievement in works for children aged three to thirteen years. The award was given annually until 1982, at which time it was decided that the award would be given every three years. In 2008 the Poetry Committee updated the criteria and changed the time frame to every other year. The National Council of Teachers of English strives to recognize and foster excellence in children’s poetry by encouraging its publication and by exploring ways to acquaint teachers and children with poetry through such means as publications, programs, and displays. As one means of accomplishing this goal, NCTE established its Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children to honor a poet for his or her aggregate work. Nearly twenty leading poets have since been recognized. Be sure to check out Renee La Tulippe's fantastic "Spotlight on NCTE Poets" series here. Each recipient has met the following criteria:

NCTE Poetry Award Criteria
Literary merit (art and craft of aggregate work)
• Imagination
• Authenticity of voice
• Evidence of a strong persona
• Universality; timelessness
Poet’s contributions
• Aggregate work
• Evident potential for growth and evolution in terms of craft
• Excellence
Evolution of the poet’s work
• Technical and artistic development as evidenced in the poetry
• Evidence of risk, change, and artistic stamina
• Evidence of different styles and modes of expression
Appeal to children
• Evidence of childlike quality; yet poem’s potential for stirring fresh insights and feelings should be apparent. Although the appeal to children of a poet’s work is an important consideration, the art and craft must be the primary criterion for evaluation.

Recipients of the NCTE Poetry Award
Marilyn Singer

2015 Marilyn Singer
2013 Joyce Sidman
2011 J. Patrick Lewis
2009 Lee Bennett Hopkins
2006 Nikki Grimes
2003 Mary Ann Hoberman
2000 X. J. Kennedy
1997 Eloise Greenfield
1994 Barbara Esbensen
1991 Valerie Worth
1988 Arnold Adoff
1985 Lilian Moore
1982 John Ciardi
1981 Eve Merriam
1980 Myra Cohn Livingston
1979 Karla Kuskin
1978 Aileen Fisher
1977 David McCord

About Marilyn Singer and her poetry
In my book, Poetry People: A Practical Guide to Children’s Poets, I featured this info about Marilyn and her work (which I have updated a bit here):
Marilyn Singer was born on October 3, 1948, in New York and grew up and went to college there, too. She started out as a high school English teacher but soon moved to writing full time.  While visiting the Brooklyn Botanic Garden one day, she began to write about insect characters that she had created when she was eight years old.  With her husband’s encouragement, she joined a writer’s critique group and soon published her first book, The Dog Who Insisted He Wasn’t (Dutton 1976).  Now a prolific author of nearly 100 children’s books, Singer has created poetry, fairly tales, picture books, novels, mysteries and nonfiction on a variety of topics. Her work has been recognized as an IRA Children’s Choice book, ALA Best Book for Young Adults, NCTE Notable Trade Book in Language Arts, Reading Rainbow selection, New York Times Best Children's Book, School Library Journal Best Book, etc. 
Singer enjoys animals, nature, hiking, the theater, independent and avant-garde films, tap dancing, singing, Japanese flower arranging, meditation, gardening, and computer adventure games. Her diverse and far-ranging interests are often reflected in the rich variety of her writing. 
From her first book about a beloved subject, dogs, she has created several others children enjoy. Marilyn Singer’s work may be best characterized by its diversity, from the distinctive poetic formats found in the poems for each month in Turtle in July to her creation of the original, ingenious “reverso” poem showcased in Mirror, Mirror as well as Follow, Follow (both available as excellent audiobooks, too!). Her wide-ranging topics include dogs, animals, science, monsters, Presidents, and nonsense. In fact, pairing her poetry with her nonfiction on a similar topic can be an interesting way to show children how one writer can try different writing styles.  Share the poems from It’s Hard To Read A Map With A Beagle On Your Lap (Holt 1993) or Every Day's a Dog's Day: A Year in Poems (Dial 2012) alongside the informative A Dog's Gotta Do What a Dog's Gotta Do: Dogs at Work (Holt 2000) or How to Talk to Your Dog (HarperTrophy 2003) by Jean Craighead George.
Nature is the dominant theme in her poetry collections, Turtle in July (Macmillan 1989) and Fireflies at Midnight (Atheneum 2003)—which make an excellent “text set” for teaching. In these two parallel works, Singer mimics the rhythms and sounds of the animals she portrays.  Each poem begs to be read aloud, perhaps with simple motions or a costume cap portraying the frog, the robin, the turtle, etc. I would also add more recent works to this category including A Full Moon is Rising (Lee & Low, 2011) and A Strange Place to Call Home: The World’s Most Dangerous Habitats and the Animals That Call Them Home, among others. 
Marilyn Singer has authored three other poetry collections that make a powerful environmental (text) set. Each is a lovely narrow size (9 X 5) illustrated with elegant minimalist India ink paintings on rice paper by Meilo So. 
*Footprints on the Roof:  Poems About the Earth (Knopf 2002) 
*How to Cross a Pond:  Poems About Water (Knopf 2003) 
*Central Heating:  Poems About Fire and Warmth  (Knopf 2005) 
These free verse poems are gems of description and imagery and may inspire young writers to look for the elements of earth, water, and fire that surround them in their everyday lives. Partner this set with Joan Bransfield Graham’s books of concrete poetry, Splish Splash (Houghton Mifflin 2001) and Flicker Flash (Houghton Mifflin 2003) to inspire children to create their own visual representations of earth, water, or fire. 
For humor and nonsense, seek out Singer’s poetry books, Creature Carnival (Hyperion, 2004) and its companion book, Monster Museum (Hyperion, 2001). Children may be surprised to find that poems can be about Godzilla, vampires, Bigfoot and other creepy characters. Accompanied by gleefully gruesome cartoon illustrations by Gus Grimly, these fun poems are full of wordplay and absurdity. Don’t be surprised if these collections inspire imitations. Have a set of Halloween “monster” masks handy for children to wear during the “creature feature” read aloud. Conclude with poems from Douglas Florian’s Monster Motel (Harcourt 1993) or Bobbi Katz’s Monsterologist (Sterling, 2009).
Family is the focus for two other Marilyn Singer collections, In My Tent (Macmillan, 1992) and Family Reunion (Atheneum 1994). These poems about family campouts and reunions show children that even common everyday life experiences can also be the subject of poetry. They can also be fun for reading aloud during family programs and events. Pair them with Kristine O’Connell George’s collection, Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems (Clarion 2001) or Nikki Grimes’ Hopscotch Love: A Family Treasury of Love Poems (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard 1999). Plan a poetry picnic for sharing these and other family poems outside spread out on a tablecloth or under a big tent. 
Because Singer is so prolific, it is possible to pair many of her works (poem book and poem book, poetry with nonfiction, poetry and fiction) for added impact. Children can see how an author’s ideas spill over beyond a single book and in many different directions. Whether reading her “geography” poems in Monday on the Mississippi (Holt 2005) or her poems from the perspectives of two young girls, All We Needed to Say: Poems About School from Tanya and Sophie (Atheneum 1996), an in-depth study of one featured poet can be helpful for aspiring young writers. Simply through examining Marilyn Singer’s body of work, children can begin to see how a poet’s thinking takes shape.

The Poetry of Marilyn Singer
Here’s a nearly complete list of all of Marilyn’s poetry for young people. (Please let me know if I have missed any.)
Singer, Marilyn. 1976. The Dog Who Insisted He Wasn’t. New York: Dutton. 
Singer, Marilyn. 1989. Turtle in July. New York: Macmillan.
Singer, Marilyn. 1992. In My Tent. New York: Macmillan. 
Singer, Marilyn. 1993. It’s Hard to Read a Map with a Beagle on Your Lap. New York: Holt. 
Singer, Marilyn. 1994. Family Reunion. New York: Atheneum. 
Singer, Marilyn. 1996. All We Needed to Say: Poems about School from Tanya and Sophie. New York: Atheneum.
Singer, Marilyn. 2000. A Dog’s Gotta Do What a Dog’s Gotta Do: Dogs at Work. New York: Holt.
Singer, Marilyn. 2001. Monster Museum. New York: Hyperion.
Singer, Marilyn. 2002. Footprints on the Roof: Poems about the Earth. New York: Knopf. 
Singer, Marilyn. 2003. Fireflies at Midnight. New York: Atheneum. 
Singer, Marilyn. 2003. How to Cross a Pond: Poems about Water. New York: Knopf. 
Singer, Marilyn. 2004. Creature Carnival. New York: Hyperion.
Singer, Marilyn. 2005. Central Heating: Poems about Fire and Warmth. New York: Knopf. 
Singer, Marilyn. 2005. Monday on the Mississippi. New York: Henry Holt.
Singer, Marilyn. 2008. First Food Fight This Fall. New York: Sterling.
Singer, Marilyn. 2008. Shoe Bop! New York: Dutton. 
Singer, Marilyn. 2010. Mirror, Mirror. New York: Dutton.
Singer, Marilyn. 2011. A Full Moon is Rising. New York: Lee & Low.
Singer, Marilyn. 2011. A Stick Is an Excellent Thing. New York: Clarion. 
Singer, Marilyn. 2011. Twosomes: Love Poems from the Animal Kingdom. New York: Knopf.
Singer, Marilyn. 2012. A Strange Place to Call Home: The World’s Most Dangerous Habitats and the Animals That Call Them Home. San Francisco: Chronicle.
Singer, Marilyn. 2012. The Boy Who Cried Alien. New York: Hyperion.
Singer, Marilyn. 2012. The Superheroes Employment Agency. New York: Clarion.
Singer, Marilyn, 2012. Every Day's a Dog's Day: A Year in Poems. New York: Dial.
Singer, Marilyn. 2013. Follow, Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems. New York: Penguin. 
Singer, Marilyn. 2013. Rutherford B., Who Was He?: Poems About Our Presidents. New York: Disney-Hyperion.

In addition, many of Marilyn’s poems are featured in anthologies of poetry. I’m so proud to say her lovely poems are part of our Poetry Friday Anthology series, too. Plus, if all that weren’t enough, Marilyn is also a tremendous advocate for poetry for young people and initiated the Poetry Blast (along with Barbara Genco) featuring poets reading their works aloud at the annual conference of the American Library Association more than a dozen years ago. It was that event that inspired me to launch a parallel event featuring poets reading their poetry in the Poetry Round Up at the annual conference of the Texas Library Association that has now featured more than 50 poets who write for young people. The ripples of her influence are far and wide and her work continues to touch readers of all ages!

Now head on over to These 4 Corners where Paul is hosting this week's Poetry Friday this week!

Posting by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2014. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 05, 2014

MANGER by Lee Bennett Hopkins


At my house tomorrow it is Nicklaus Day (St. Nicholas Day) and we celebrate with stockings and treats—a fun preview of the Christmas celebrations to come. It’s a perfect moment to celebrate a new book from Lee Bennett Hopkins, Manger (Eerdmans, 2014). Beginning with gorgeous endpapers, we journey through fifteen beautiful double-page spreads each featuring a lyrical poem from an animal’s perspective about the arrival of Jesus as a baby in the manger. Beautiful pictures, beautiful poetry, beautiful moments to savor. And it’s not just an artful, contemplative book, it’s also very child-friendly, perfect for sharing with a little one on your lap or with a group of kids sitting around you on the floor. 

As a gift to you, here is my free mini-guide for Manger for sharing this special book with the children in your life.

1. There are fourteen different animals presented in this book: 
endpapers featuring the animal characters +
  • Rooster
  • Sheep
  • Horse
  • Cat
  • Mouse
  • Dog
  • Cow
  • Wren
  • Owl
  • Fish
  • Spider
  • Llama
  • Goat
  • Donkey
This just begs for dramatic interpretation, beginning with making, finding (online), and recording animal noises and pictures. Or gather or create simple puppets or masks for each of these creatures (with paper bags or paper plates) to use as you read each animal poem aloud. You can also find coloring pages here or use the animals featured on the end pages of the book. Then read each poem aloud using the animal sounds to start or end the reading—inviting the kids to make those sounds with you. Use your animal puppets or mask to “tell” the poem, too. Then display the animal pages or puppets along with the book. (For younger children, you may also have to explain what a "manger" is and what it looks like.)

final poem/excerpt in the book
Older children may enjoy creating their own poems that add animals to this mix. What other animals might be present in this barn setting? Hint: there are a few animals pictured in the endpapers and in the illustrations that are NOT represented with their own poems. See if the kids can figure out which ones (e.g., rabbit) and challenge them to create a poem for that animal. How might each of those animals react to a baby’s birth or to this special night? What unique animal attributes might be incorporated into the poem? Point out to your young writers that some of the poems in Manger rhyme and some do not, so they can experiment with creating their poems rhyming or free verse. In addition, note that the final poem in the book is an excerpt from a traditional Christmas carol. So, that’s another approach to try—looking at familiar Christmas songs that include animals and choosing a stanza or stanzas as stand-alone poems.

Finally, link this book with others that feature Christmas poetry, expecially Mary’s Song, also by Lee Bennett Hopkins. Here’s a sampling of poetry books about Christmas from my book, The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists:
  • Ada, Alma Flor and Campoy, F. Isabel. 2007. Merry Navidad!: Christmas Carols in Spanish and English/Villancicos en espanol e ingles. New York: Rayo/HarperCollins.
  • Aigner-Clark, Julie. 2001. Baby Santa’s Christmas Joy! A Celebration of the Holiday Spirit in Poetry, Photography, and Music. New York: Hyperion.
  • Alarcón, Francisco X. 2001. Iguanas in the Snow and Other Winter Poems/ Iguanas en la Nieve y Otros Poemas de Invierno. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press.
  • Angelou, Maya. 2008. Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem. New York: Schwartz & Wade.
  • Bennett, Jill. 2003. Poems for Christmas. New York: Scholastic.
  • Bronson, Linda. 2002. Sleigh Bells and Snowflakes: A Celebration of Christmas. New York: Henry Holt.
  • Bunting, Eve and Leonid Gore. 2000. Who was Born this Special Day? New York: Atheneum.
  • Causley, Charles. 2000. Bring in the Holly. London: Frances Lincoln.
  • Cookson, Paul. 2000. Christmas Poems. London: Macmillan.
  • Cummings, E.E. 2001. Little Tree. New York: Hyperion.
  • Cunningham, Julia. 2001. The Stable Rat, and Other Christmas Poems. New York: Greenwillow.
  • Delacre, Lulu. Ed. 1992. Las Navidades: Popular Christmas Songs from Latin America. New York: Scholastic.
  • Fisher, Aileen. 2007. Do Rabbits Have Christmas? New York: Henry Holt.
  • Florian, Douglas. 1999. Winter Eyes: Poems and Paintings. New York: Greenwillow.
  • Frank, John. 2003. A Chill in the Air: Nature Poems for Fall and Winter. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  • Ghigna, Charles and Ghigna, Debra. 2000. Christmas is Coming! Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
  • Grimes, Nikki. 2002. Under the Christmas Tree. New York: HarperCollins.
  • Harrison, Michael and Christopher Stuart-Clark. Eds. 2000. The Young Oxford Book of Christmas Poems. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Hines, Anna Grossnickle. 2005. Winter Lights: A Season in Poems & Quilts. New York: Greenwillow.
  • Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 1992. Ring Out, Wild Bells: Poems about Holidays and
    Seasons.
    New York: Harcourt Brace.
  • Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2004. Christmas Presents: Holiday Poetry. New York: HarperCollins.
  • Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2005. Days to Celebrate: A Full Year of Poetry, People, Holidays, History, Fascinating Facts, and More. New York: Greenwillow.
  • Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2012. Mary's Song. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
  • Hudson, Cheryl Willis. Ed. 2002. Hold Christmas in Your Heart: African American Songs, Poems, and Stories for the Holidays. New York: Scholastic.
  • Hughes, Langston. 1998. Carol of the Brown King: Nativity Poems. Ill. by Ashley Bryan. New York: Atheneum. 
  • Johnston, Tony. 2005. Noel.  Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books.
  • Katz, Alan. 2005. Where Did They Hide My Presents? Silly Dilly Christmas Songs. New York: McElderry.
  • Kortepeter, Paul. 2002. A Child’s Book of Christmas. New York: Dutton.
  • Lewis, J. Patrick. 2007. Under the Kissletoe: Christmastime Poems. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong.
  • Nesbitt, Kenn and Linda Knaus. 2006. Santa Got Stuck in the Chimney: 20 Funny Poems Full of Christmas Cheer. Minnetonka, MN: Meadowbrook Press.
  • Prelutsky, Jack. 2008. It’s Christmas! New York: HarperCollins.
  • Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet. Eds. 2011. Gift Tag. PoetryTagTime.com.
  • Watson, Clyde. 2003. Father Fox’s Christmas Rhymes. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux.
  • Wells, Carolyn. 2002. Christmas ABC. New York: Abrams.
  • Whitehead, Jenny. 2007. Holiday Stew; A Kid’s Portion of Holiday and Seasonal Poems. New York: Henry Holt. 
  • Worth, Valerie. 1992. At Christmastime. New York: HarperCollins. 

And if you participate in a living nativity scene at your church or in your community, considering adding these animal characters and reading the poems from Manger as part of the performance. 

You’ll find more about Manger here:
Staff pick by Ingrid Wolf
Interview with Lee Bennett Hopkins about Manger
Book trailer for Manger

INTERVIEW
Lee was also kind enough to answer a few questions for me. He also shared the photo here and notes: "This photo is with my younger brother, Donald, visiting Santa Claus in a Newark, NJ department store. The photo is reproduced in LEE BENNETT HOPKINS: A CHILDREN'S POET by Amy Strong (Franklin Watts, 2003)."

What are some of your most vivid memories of this holiday from your childhood?

My younger sister, younger brother and I grew up with a single-parent mother after my father left us. We never had much money but we saved to buy each other what gifts we could afford. I remember one year I saved to buy my mother a musical powder box from Woolworth's five-and-ten-cent store-- our Tiffany's! I brought it home. Mother was scrubbing the floor. I almost slipped. As I caught myself the music began to tinkle through the bag. I wanted to die. I so wanted this to be the biggest surprise for her. Mother pretended she didn't hear it, but I knew she did. Funny -- a powder box memory-- a gift to a hard-working woman who did what she could to make us happy.

Did any of these memories inform the creation of this book (Manger)? How? 

We always had a manger at Christmas. Shockingly we had an over-abundance of manger figures! At one time Mama worked at Woolworth's in Newark, NJ. I describe the scene in my first novel, Mama (Boyds Mills Press) and how so many figures appeared including eighteen Wise Men. In essence I was a young fence.

What are your favorite Christmas holiday traditions that you continue today? 

Christmas present has become lush and love-filled. Our house is decorated to the hilt. It is a time when we hold a large gala, a special evening with family and friends each December. Songs are sung, poems are shared, and prose about Christmas is read.  This year Manger will be read; afterwards "Away in a Manger" will be sung by all.

What do you wish for Christmas poetry future?

There is so much traditional Christmas poetry: words in favorite songs; words in favorite hymns. It is a time for "Sleigh Bells," hope for a "White Christmas," and warm thoughts of a "Silent Night,' an "O Holy Night."  This year, many children will be introduced to new poetry via Manger by some of our top poets writing today including Marilyn Nelson, X. J. Kennedy and Joan Bransfield Graham. A special guest will be Jude Mandell who will read her poem "Curious Cat" from the book.

With the publication of Mary’s Song and Manger, you have quite a lovely duo. Are there any plans for more poetry focused on the nativity or Christmas? 

I hope so.  I am working on a manuscript about the Magi as well as more Christmas poetry presents for the future.

Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate this special time. And happy holidays to everyone enjoying this season of giving. 

Now join the rest of the Poetry Friday crew over at Anastasia's place. See you there!

Image credits: Eerdmans; LeeBennettHopkins


Posting by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2014. All rights reserved.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

YALSA Poets: The Movie

Just a few weeks ago, I was at the YALSA Symposium in Austin TX-- such a great event. I was lucky to gather a fantastic panel of poets and authors (Janet Wong, KA Holt, Michael Salinger, Sara Holbrook, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, and Jacqueline Woodson) all talking about their work and reading and performing excerpts. I was able to videotape a few nuggets to share with you here. Enjoy!

video
K A (Kari) Holt talking about her new novel in verse, Rhyme Schemer

We gave audience participants a sample page from Rhyme Schemer-- where the protagonist, Kevin, takes a page from an "old" book and turns it into a poem-- 
and challenged the audience to turn a page from A Wrinkle in Time into their own original "found" poems. Here's one fun example:

video
Jacqueline Woodson reads an excerpt from Brown Girl Dreaming

video
Guadalupe Garcia McCall shares her poem, "The Cafe," from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School.

video
Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger read from More Than Friends (by Sara Holbrook and Allan Wolf) [an excerpt]

And here's a quick shot of Janet (Wong) and me horsing around:
There will be another YALSA Symposium next year and it will be held in Portland, OR in 2015. The focus will expand to include literature, programming AND youth services. Should be fun! 

Friday, November 28, 2014

A poem for Black Friday

Last week I was at the NCTE conference (so fun!) presenting alongside Janet Wong and Eileen and Jerry Spinelli on the topic of kindness. Here's a tiny glimpse of our session-- a video of Eileen reading her original poem, "Get a Life" from The Poetry Friday Anthology (K-5). It's perfect for this crazy Black Friday, too.

video

And here is the text of the poem:

Get a Life
   by Eileen Spinelli

There are books to read.
And birds to feed.
And awesome facts for learning.
There are yards to weed.
And friends in need.
And dreams to set us yearning.
There are trails to hike.
And films to like.
And stories made for swapping.
What I mean to say in this poem today
is there’s more to life than
shopping!

And here are the Take 5! activities that accompany this poem:

1. Prior to sharing the poem, jot numbers on a piece of paper or list on the board (1, 2, 3, etc.) as if you are making a to-do list. Then read the poem aloud, pausing for a moment after each line. 

2. Share the poem again, inviting students to join in on the final two lines (is there’s more to life than / shopping!) while you read the rest aloud.

3. For discussion: What are some of your favorite activities to do during holiday breaks?

4. Lead students in considering how repeating key words and phrases, particularly at the beginning of each line (There are; And), helps build a poem and can add to the distinctive rhythm of the lines. Then read the poem out loud together again, listening for the patterns.

5. Link this poem with another thoughtful poem by Eileen Spinelli, “Today” (4th Grade, Week 29, page 215 in The Poetry Friday Anthology).

Friday, November 21, 2014

NCTE CLA Master Class: Poetry Across the Curriculum

While attending the NCTE conference, I’ll also be participating in the annual “Master Class” coordinated by the Children’s Literature Assembly of NCTE (such a great organization). The focus is poetry across the curriculum and I’m responsible for the social studies area. I’ll be sharing sample poems, teaching tips, and activity suggestions. Sharing poetry in the context of social studies is a natural given the topics that make up this content area. The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Curriculum Standards quickly reveal the poem connection possibilities with Thematic Strands that focus on culture, people, places, identity, government, technology, society, and civic ideals. Here are the bare bones of my presentation. (We were charged to come up with only 5 examples in each category-- because I would have shared way more than 5, if possible!)

CLA Master Class: Poetry Across the Curriculum
SOCIAL STUDIES AND POETRY

5 GREAT SOCIAL STUDIES POETRY BOOKS
  1. Corcoran, Jill. Ed. 2012. Dare to Dream… Change the World. San Diego, CA: Kane Miller.
  2. Engle, Margarita. 2008. The Surrender Tree. New York: Holt.
  3. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 2008. America at War. New York: McElderry. 
  4. Myers, Walter Dean. 2011. We are America; A Tribute from the Heart. Ill. by Christopher Myers. New York: HarperCollins.
  5. Singer, Marilyn. 2013. Rutherford B., Who Was He?: Poems About Our Presidents. New York: Disney-Hyperion.
5 SOCIAL STUDIES-TEACHING TIPS
  1. Talk about “Today’s Document” at the National Archives (at Archives.gov).
  2. Create “found” poetry from news articles.
  3. Examine facsimiles of primary source documents (at Jackdaw.com).
  4. Use Google Maps to locate places you’re reading about. 
  5. Look at children’s books in different languages from around the world at the International Children’s Digital Library.
5 SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHING WEBSITES
  1. National Council for the Social Studies 
  2. Notable Children's Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies
  3. Social Studies Central
  4. History is Elementary 
  5. The History Channel 
5 SOCIAL STUDIES POEMS ONLINE


Look for “Ten Poetry Collections for Social Studies Not to Be Missed” in Poetry Aloud Here (Vardell, 2014) as well as lists of poetry collections organized by topics such as Presidents’ Day, women’s history, U.S. history, world history, war and peace, plus multicultural and international poetry booklists in The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists (Vardell, 2012).

Others will be presenting parallel examples in the areas of math, science, arts, games & sports. 

Learn more about the Children’s Literature Assembly here.

PLUS: Of course I’m absolutely thrilled that our book for middle school, The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School, was selected as a Poetry Notable by the NCTE Excellence in Poetry Committee. Here’s that link.

There will also be a BUNCH of poets in attendance at the conference and I hope to cross paths with many of them including: Irene Latham, Laura Purdie Salas, Mary Lee Hahn, Jacqueline Jules, Sara Holbrook, Michael Salinger, Heidi Mordhorst, J Pat Lewis, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Georgia Heard, Rebecca Dotlich, Paul B Janeczko, Pat Mora, Linda Kulp, Jane Yolen, Heidi Stemple, Leslie Bulion, Rene Saldana, Eileen Spinelli, Joseph Bruchac, and George Ella Lyon. What fun, right?! I hope to share photos afterward. 

And finally, they’ll be announcing the next winner of the NCTE Poetry Award at the conference too! Stay tuned.


Image credit: MrJohn56.wordpress.com;ncss;cla

Posting by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2014. All rights reserved.