Friday, December 21, 2012

Versions of "The Night Before Christmas"

One of the most familiar poems of childhood may well be this Christmas classic attributed to Clement Moore, "A Visit from St. Nicholas" also known as "The Night Before Christmas." After nearly 200 years, there are heaps and heaps of versions and variants of this rhyme. Here's just a partial list of largely comical parodies of this classic poem drawn from The Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists. Enjoy!

Versions and Variants of “The Night Before Christmas”

Clement Clarke Moore is said to have written the poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas," for his own children and recited it to them on Christmas Eve in 1822. It was then published anonymously, became increasingly popular and is still shared today as a Christmas tradition. Many, many children's book illustrators have created picture book versions of this story-poem and it has also been interpreted, re-cast, and even parodied by others as shown in the books listed here.
  1. Adams, Jennifer. 2004. The Night Before Christmas in Idaho. Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith.
  2. Beard, Henry. 2005. A Cat’s Night Before Christmas. New York: Broadway Books.
  3. Beard, Henry. 2005. A Dog’s Night Before Christmas. New York: Broadway Books.
  4. Cutlip, Kimbra. 2002. Firefighter’s Night Before Christmas.  Gretna, LA: Pelican.
  5. Davis, David. 2003. Nurse’s Night Before Christmas. Gretna, LA: Pelican.
  6. Davis, David. 2003. Librarian’s Night Before Christmas. Gretna, LA: Pelican.
  7. Gribnau, Joe. 2007. Rocky Mountain Night Before Christmas.  Gretna, LA: Pelican.
  8. Holland, Trish and Christine Ford. 2006. The Soldiers’ Night Before Christmas. New York: Random House.
  9. Layne, Steven L. 2001. The Teacher’s Night Before Christmas. Gretna, LA: Pelican.
  10. Layne, Steven L. 2006. Preacher’s Night Before Christmas. Gretna, LA: Pelican.
  11. Layne, Steven L. 2004. The Principal’s Night Before Christmas. Gretna, LA: Pelican.
  12. Macy, Carolyn. 2008. Hawaiian Night Before Christmas. Gretna, LA: Pelican.
  13. McWilliams, Amanda. 2004. Ozark Night Before Christmas. Gretna, LA: Pelican.
  14. Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2003. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and other Seasonal Favorites. New York: Abrams.
  15. Moore, Clement C. 2002. The Night Before Christmas. New York: HarperCollins.
  16. Moore, Clement C. 2003. The Night Before Christmas: A Goblin Tale. New York: Dial.
  17. Moore, Clement Clark. 2002. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas; or, Account of A Visit from St. Nicholas. Ill. by Matt Tavares. Somerville, MA:  Candlewick Press.
  18. Moore, Clement Clarke. 2000. The Teddy Bear’s Night Before Christmas. London: Scholastic.
  19. Moss, Jenny Jackson. 2000. Cajun Night after Christmas. Gretna, LA: Pelican.
  20. Robinson, Gary. 2007. Native American Night Before Christmas. Santa Fe, NM: Clear Light Publishing.
  21. Simmons, Lynn Sheffield. 2007. Sugar Lump, the Orphan Calf’s Night Before Christmas.  Gretna, LA: Pelican.
  22. Smith, Johanna. 2004. The Night Before Christmas in Michigan. Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith.
  23. Sullivan, E.J. 2003. The Redneck Night Before Christmas. Canada: Crane Hill Publishers.
  24. Terrill, Beth. 2007. The Barnyard Night Before Christmas. New York: Random House.
  25. Townsend, Una Belle. 2008. Racecar Driver’s Night Before Christmas. Gretna, LA: Pelican.
  26. Turner, Thomas N. 2003. Country Music Night Before Christmas. Gretna, LA: Pelican.
  27. Williamson, Chet. 2002. Pennsylvania Dutch Night Before Christmas. Gretna, LA: Pelican.
  28. Yates, Phillip. 2008. A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas. New York: Sterling.

Now let's gather at My Juicy Little Universe for a Poetry Friday celebration hosted by poet Heidi Mordhorst. See you there!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Poetry Books for Christmas

Christmas is right around the corner, so here is my list of poetry for children featuring the Christmas holiday (drawn from my Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists). In many cases, the entire book listed below features Christmas, but most of the time it is the topic of some of the poems within the collection noted. (Please let me know if I've missed any other poetry books with Christmas-themed poems.)

Poetry Books for Christmas
The Christmas holiday is often a time to pause, reflect, and ponder a poem. Here is a list of poetry books that focus on Christmas (with a separate list for versions and variants of the classic Christmas poem, “The Night Before Christmas” to be featured next week).
  1. Aigner-Clark, Julie. 2001. Baby Santa’s Christmas Joy! A Celebration of the Holiday Spirit in Poetry, Photography, and Music. New York: Hyperion.
  2. 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.
  3. Angelou, Maya. 2008. Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem. New York: Schwartz &; Wade.
  4. Bennett, Jill. 2003. Poems for Christmas. New York: Scholastic.
  5. Bronson, Linda. 2002. Sleigh Bells and Snowflakes: A Celebration of Christmas. New York: Henry Holt.
  6. Bunting, Eve and Leonid Gore. 2000. Who was Born this Special Day? New York: Atheneum.
  7. Causley, Charles. 2000. Bring in the Holly. London: Frances Lincoln.
  8. Cookson, Paul. 2000. Christmas Poems. London: Macmillan.
  9. Cummings, E.E. 2001. Little Tree. New York: Hyperion.
  10. Cunningham, Julia. 2001. The Stable Rat, and Other Christmas Poems. New York: Greenwillow.
  11. Delacre, Lulu. Ed. 1992. Las Navidades: Popular Christmas Songs from Latin America. New York: Scholastic.
  12. Fisher, Aileen. 2007. Do Rabbits Have Christmas? New York: Henry Holt.
  13. Florian, Douglas. 1999. Winter Eyes: Poems and Paintings. New York: Greenwillow.
  14. Frank, John. 2003. A Chill in the Air: Nature Poems for Fall and Winter. New York: Simon &; Schuster.
  15. Ghigna, Charles and Ghigna, Debra. 2000. Christmas is Coming! Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
  16. Grimes, Nikki. 2002. Under the Christmas Tree. New York: HarperCollins.
  17. Harrison, Michael and Christopher Stuart-Clark. Eds. 2000. The Young Oxford Book of Christmas Poems. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  18. Hines, Anna Grossnickle. 2005. Winter Lights: A Season in Poems & Quilts. New York: Greenwillow.
  19. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 2012. Mary's Song. Ill. by Stephen Alcorn. Eerdmans.
  20. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 1992. Ring Out, Wild Bells: Poems about Holidays and Seasons. New York: Harcourt Brace.
  21. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2004. Christmas Presents: Holiday Poetry. New York: HarperCollins.
  22. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2005. Days to Celebrate: A Full Year of Poetry, People, Holidays, History, Fascinating Facts, and More. New York: Greenwillow.
  23. Hudson, Cheryl Willis. Ed. 2002. Hold Christmas In Your Heart: African American Songs, Poems, and Stories for the Holidays. New York: Scholastic.
  24. Hughes, Langston. 1998. Carol of the Brown King: Nativity Poems. Ill. by Ashley Bryan. New York: Atheneum.
  25. Johnston, Tony. 2005. Noel.  Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books.
  26. Katz, Alan. 2005. Where Did They Hide My Presents? Silly Dilly Christmas Songs. New York: McElderry.
  27. Kortepeter, Paul. 2002. A Child’s Book of Christmas. New York: Dutton.
  28. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2007. Under the Kissletoe: Christmastime Poems. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong.
  29. Nesbitt, Kenn and Linda Knaus. 2006. Santa Got Stuck in the Chimney: 20 Funny Poems Full of Christmas Cheer. Minnetonka, MN: Meadowbrook Press.
  30. Prelutsky, Jack. 2008. It’s Christmas! New York: HarperCollins.
  31. Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet. Eds. 2011. Gift Tag. Princeton, NJ: Pomelo Books.
  32. Watson, Clyde. 2003. Father Fox’s Christmas Rhymes. New York: Farrar Straus &; Giroux.
  33. Wells, Carolyn. 2002. Christmas ABC. New York: Abrams.
  34. Whitehead, Jenny. 2007. Holiday Stew; A Kid’s Portion of Holiday and Seasonal Poems. New York: Henry Holt.
  35. Worth, Valerie. 1992. At Christmastime. New York: HarperCollins. 
Head on over to Jama's place to join the Poetry Friday celebration at Jama's Alphabet Soup. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Joyce Sidman wins 2013 NCTE Poetry Award

You probably have already heard that the wonderful Joyce Sidman was announced as the next recipient of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children at last month's conference. I am so happy for Joyce and have been wanting to post the news, but wanted to do it justice too.

So, here's my two cents worth. First... about the award:

The National Council of Teachers of English 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 ages 3–13.  The award was given annually until 1982, at which time it was decided that the award would be given every three years.  Then, in 2008 the Poetry Committee updated the criteria and changed the time frame to every other year. The recipients of the award are:

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

And about Joyce Sidman (from Poetry People):

Joyce Sidman was born on born June 4, in Hartford, Connecticut. She is the middle sister of three, and spent summers at camp in Maine.  From an early age, she felt motivated to write, and started writing as far back as elementary school. She discovered poetry in high school, encouraged by a sympathetic teacher.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in German from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and a teaching certificate at Macalester College in Minnesota. Joyce lives in Wayzata, Minnesota, with her husband near the edge of a large woodland.  When she isn't writing, she enjoys teaching via week-long poetry-writing residences in the Minnesota schools. Her hobbies include gardening, identifying birds, insects and frogs, and reading and baking cookies.

Much of Joyce Sidman’s poetry centers around the subject of the natural world and is marked by poetic innovation and an elegance of expression. Often she weaves together scientific information alongside poetic descriptions. One such example is her collection, Just Us Two: Poems About Animal Dads (Millbrook 2000). Sidman offers eleven poems that depict the special relationship between a father and his young, be they wolves, frogs or penguins. The poems include accurate information as well as an emotional hook and are colorfully illustrated with cut paper collages. Connect this with nonfiction picture books such as Animal Dads (Houghton Mifflin 1997) by Sneed B. Collard III, illustrated by Steve Jenkins or with more poetry via Animal Poems (Farrar, Straus & Giroux 2007) by Valerie Worth also illustrated by Steve Jenkins. Make the leap to human fathers with Javaka Steptoe’s anthology, In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers (Lee and Low 1997) or Mary Ann Hoberman’s poems in Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers: A Collection of Family Poems (Little Brown 1991). Children can choose their favorite “dad” poem and tape record it and illustrate it as a gift for a father, grandfather or other special man in their lives.

Sidman has three other nature-themed collections that are parallel in form and layout and make up what she calls her "ecosystem trilogy": Song of the Water Boatman: Pond Poems illustrated by Beckie Prange, (Houghton Mifflin 2005), Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow illustrated by Beth Krommes (Houghton Mifflin 2006), and Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night (Houghton Mifflin, 2010). In Song of the Water Boatman, we learn about the diverse life of ponds through eleven poems in various forms, including haiku, free verse, and cumulative rhymes. Each poem is accompanied by a prose paragraph with further scientific information. A glossary of science terms make it even more useful for instruction. Sidman’s Butterfly Eyes focuses on the ecosystem of the meadow with poems posed as riddles, followed by narrative explanations. Once again a helpful glossary is provided. Dark Emperor is about the forest at night—owls, moths, porcupines-- and offers a parallel layout with beautiful linoleum prints in a double-page spread for each of 12 poems, alongside an accompanying prose paragraph. This marriage of lyrical poetry, science-focused topics, and beautifully executed art has become a Sidman (and collaborating illustrator) trademark.

All together, these collections introduce us to creatures of the insect world through descriptive poems and beautiful illustrations. Bring a bug in a jar (with air holes) for children to study and describe. They can create thumbprint insect characters or draw pictures to accompany their writing.  If the local natural history museum has guest speakers available, invite them to visit and bring inspect specimens to show.

For a completely different collection, look for Joyce Sidman’s book, Eureka! Poems About Inventors (Millbrook 2002), with sixteen poems describing a range of people who have created something new through imagination, investigation, and pure persistence, with subjects such as scientist Marie Curie and the inventor of the Frisbee. Link these poems with the fascinating profiles of incidental inventions in Charlotte Foltz Jones’ Mistakes That Worked (Doubleday 1994) and Accidents May Happen (Delacorte 1998) or Judith St. George’s humorous nonfiction book, So You Want to Be An Inventor? (Puffin 2005). Look for J. Patrick Lewis’ poems about famous accomplishments in A Burst Of Firsts (Dial 2001) for another connection.

These are just a few details and ideas for sharing Sidman's work-- and we haven't even covered her clever concrete poem book,  Meow Ruff, or her popular poetry "apology" guide, This is Just to Say, or her brilliant book of color and season poems, Red Sings from Treetops, or the philosophical and probing Ubiquitous-- each a unique gem in its own right. And don't forget Swirl by Swirl, poetic, if not poetry per se, a gorgeous window into the presence of the swirl shape in nature.

Check out Joyce Sidman’s web site for in-depth guides full of activities for using her books with children. She provides information, photographs, links, and even printable resources like a lovely bookmark with an original poem about books to share.

Joyce Sidman's books for young readers (so far):
  1. Sidman, Joyce. 2000. Just Us Two: Poems about Animal Dads. Ill. by Susan Swan. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook.
  2. Sidman, Joyce. 2002. Eureka! Poems about Inventors. Ill. by K. Bennett Chavez. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook.
  3. Sidman, Joyce. 2003. The World According to Dog: Poems and Teen Voices. Ill. by Doug Mindell. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  4. Sidman, Joyce. 2005. Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems. Ill. By Beckie Prange. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  5. Sidman, Joyce. 2006. Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow. Ill. by Beth Krommes. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  6. Sidman, Joyce. 2006. Meow Ruff: A Story in Concrete Poetry. Ill. by Michelle Berg. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  7. Sidman, Joyce. 2007. This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness. Ill. by Pamela Zagarenski. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  8. Sidman, Joyce. 2009. Red Sings From Treetops; A Year in Colors. Ill. by Pamela Zagarenski. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  9. Sidman, Joyce. 2010. Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors. Ill. by Becky Prange. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  10. Sidman, Joyce. 2010. Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night. Ill. by Rick Allen. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  11. Sidman, Joyce. 2011. Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature. Ill. by Beth Krommes. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

I had the privilege and pleasure of spending a week at the Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota not too long ago studying Joyce's work and poring over the original manuscripts and notes that helped shape her books. I'm working on creating a teaching resource that shares some of the back-story behind her works for educators and students. Stay tuned and I'll keep you posted on when that's ready. Meanwhile, CONGRATULATIONS, Joyce, on this wonderful achievement in earning this award.


Friday, December 07, 2012

Poetry Books for Hanukkah

Hanukkah begins this weekend and you may be surprised to learn there are several collections of poetry for young people that recognize and celebrate this Jewish Festival of Lights. Here is my list of poetry for children featuring Hanukkah (drawn from my Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists). In some cases, the entire book features Hanukkah, but most of the time it is the topic of a few of the poems in the collection. (Please let me know if I've missed any other poetry books with Hanukkah poems.)

Poetry Books for Hanukkah

Gathering with family and friends to celebrate Hanukkah is the focus of several collections of poetry including these.

  1. Chorao, Kay. 2009. Rhymes Round the World. New York: Dutton Children’s Books.
  2. Florian, Douglas. 1999. Winter Eyes: Poems and Paintings. New York: Greenwillow.
  3. Jules, Jacqueline. 2001. Clap and Count! Action Rhymes for the Jewish Year. Rockville, MD: Kar-Ben.
  4. Hines, Anna Grossnickle. 2005. Winter Lights: A Season in Poems & Quilts. New York: Greenwillow.
  5. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2004. Hanukkah Lights: Holiday Poetry. New York: HarperCollins.
  6. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2005. Days to Celebrate: A Full Year of Poetry, People, Holidays, History, Fascinating Facts, and More. New York: Greenwillow.
  7. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 1992. Ring Out, Wild Bells: Poems about Holidays and Seasons. New York: Harcourt Brace.
  8. Jules, Jacqueline. 2001. Clap and Count! Action Rhymes for the Jewish Year. Rockville, MD: Kar-Ben.
  9. Livingston, Myra Cohn. Ed. 1986. Poems for the Jewish Holidays. New York: Holiday House.
  10. Peters, Andrew Fusek. 2000. Poems about Festivals. London, UK: Hodder Wayland.
  11. Roemer, Heidi. 2004. Come to my Party and Other Shape Poems. New York: Henry Holt.
  12. Whitehead, Jenny. 2007. Holiday Stew; A Kid’s Portion of Holiday and Seasonal Poems. New York: Henry Holt.
  13. Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet. Eds. 2011. Gift Tag. PoetryTagTime.com.
  14. Yolen, Jane. 1998. Snow, Snow:  Winter Poems for Children. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills.
  15. Ziefert, Harriet. 2008. Hanukkah Haiku. Maplewood, NJ: Blue Apple Books.

Just a few days left to enter our poetry e-book giveaway! Note the details below.

Meanwhile, dash over to Read, Write, Howl for Poetry Friday hosted by the lovely Robyn Hood Black. See you there!

Friday, November 30, 2012

NCTE and my Pink Poets

As many of you know, I was all set to attend the annual convention of the National Council of Teachers of English in Las Vegas two weeks ago and then had to cancel at the last minute. Such a disappointment after not missing this wonderful conference for nearly 30 years! But my presentation panel forged ahead without me and did a wonderful job! Headed by the amazing and generous, Janet Wong, who videotaped the entire session, along with Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Laura Purdie Salas, Lesléa Newman, Irene Latham, and Mary Lee Hahn, the audience was treated to each poet talking about her work and creative process in the session entitled, "Theme – Collect – Excite: Where Do Poems Come From?"

And in case you missed it, they also ALL WORE PINK in my honor-- as a tribute to my fight with breast cancer (which is now done, thank you very much!)-- the sweetest gesture ever. Here's a picture of them (along with Janet Fagal who also helped out). These ladies are rockin' the pink, don't you think?! They were even featured in Publishers' Weekly last week!


I would also like to share just a teeny clip of each poet from the video that Janet captured of the session. It's always a treat to hear the poet speak and read her work aloud-- I never get tired of that. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy these juicy tidbits.

Janet Wong
video



Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
video



Laura Purdie Salas
video



Lesléa Newman
video



Irene Latham
video



Mary Lee Hahn
video


Each of these poets has published her own work as well as poems featured in The Poetry Friday Anthology that Janet and I edited and published in September.  What a talented crew, don't you agree?! 

Janet told me to post this disclaimer too :-)
"Janet apologizes for the poor visual quality of these videos and asks you just to imagine that it is 1967 and your TV set's antennae just won't work, even with their little balls of tin foil . . . oh, well: please enjoy the show!"

Now head on over to the Poem Farm hosted by the very same Amy Ludwig VanDerwater (featured above).   See you there!

And don't forget to enter our poetry e-book giveaway (which ends Dec. 12). Details below.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Jan Greenberg, the Arts, and BOOK LINKS

The November 2012 issue of Book Links features a focus on literature and the arts. I was fortunate enough to interview Jan Greenberg, author and collaborator on many nonfiction and biographical books about contemporary artists, as well as two fantastic ekphrastic (art-based) poetry collections, Heart to Heart and Side to Side. She shared the roots of her interest in art, back-stories on the creation of several books, including Ballet for Martha, the benefits of collaboration, her research process, and her views on the importance of art education. Look for "Talking with Jan Greenberg" (pp. 19-23) along with Common Core Connections and activities based on some of her works.

Here are a few extra nuggets that were not included in the print article!

More about her collaboration with Sandra Jordan--

Jan Greenberg: Once a guard at MOMA asked us why we were standing in front of a Jackson Pollock for such a long time. Most people, he said, last around 20 seconds in front of a painting. I might add that these field trips are accompanied by some delicious meals, much laughter, and visits to both our families. I feel as if Sandra’s Aunt Gay and her sister Nancy are my relatives too.

There are studies from the Getty and other research institutions that perception in the arts improves critical thinking skills. Although I believe in the arts for their own sake, I know what a wonderful teaching tool the visual arts are for stimulating discussion in the classroom. That there has been renewed interest in nonfiction in the Common Core curriculum is gratifying to me. I write for a nonfiction children’s literature blog. I.N.K, which has introduced me to authors who share many fascinating insights about their books, classroom activities, and technical information.


I also asked her about  the ideal role of technology in creating and/or promoting art and poetry for young people in this digital age.

Jan Greenberg:
The electronic media is very important. Google any artist, artwork, or poet or poem of note and up they pop on the computer screen. One of the most valuable parts of my education was memorizing poetry and reciting it in class. I still remember the lines to Wordsworth’s “Daffodils,” Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and the first stanza of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The rhythms, figurative language, and emotional qualities of poetry are enhanced by speaking the words out loud, by taking them in, and making them one’s own.

And here is a sampling of suggested activities based on her works.

In the classroom:
After reading selections and sharing art images from Greenberg’s Heart to Heart: New Poems Inspired by Twentieth-Century American Art and Side by Side: New Poems Inspired by Art from Around the World, invite students to talk about their favorite poem selections.

Which key aspects of the art does the poem showcase in the poem?
The image itself?
The story behind the art?
The emotional impact of the art?
How does the poet arrange the words, lines, and stanzas to create the poem?

Poets arrange words on the page much like artists use various media to create their art. Discuss the choices in spacing, line breaks and stanzas the students notice in the poems. Then invite students to try creating their own ekphrastic poems in response to artworks.

Begin by looking for compelling images from print resources like magazines, newspapers, or family photos or online resources like Flickr, Google images, or the GoogleArtProject. Students can work with a partner to choose a favorite piece, talk about the art, and create a poem inspired by the art. Then come together as a group to share art selections and new poems and post the pairs together in a class display.

Common Core Connections
RL.5.5. Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.
RL.5.7. Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).

Friday, November 16, 2012

Poetry Books for Thanksgiving

Looking for poetry to share for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday? Here is my list of poetry books for Thanksgiving from my recent resource book, The Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists. Enjoy!


Poetry Books for Thanksgiving

Here is a sampling of poetry books about giving thanks, celebrating Thanksgiving, and enjoying food, friends, and family times.

  1. Alarcón, Francisco X. 1999. Angels Ride Bikes and Other Fall Poems. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press.
  2. Bruchac, Joseph. 1996. The Circle of Thanks. Mahwah, NJ: BridgeWater Books
  3. Carlstrom, Nancy White. 2002. Thanksgiving Day at Our House: Thanksgiving Poems for the Very Young. New York: Aladdin.
  4. Child, Lydia Maria. 2004. Over the River & Through the Woods. New York: Hyperion.
  5. Florian, Douglas. 2003. Autumnblings: Poems & Paintings. New York: Greenwillow.
  6. Grimes, Nikki. 2006. Thanks a Million: Poems. New York: Amistad.
  7. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 1992. Ring Out, Wild Bells: Poems about Holidays and Seasons. New York: Harcourt Brace.
  8. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 2000. Yummy! Eating Through a Day: Poems. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  9. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2005. Days to Celebrate: A Full Year of Poetry, People, Holidays, History, Fascinating Facts, and More. New York: Greenwillow.
  10. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2009. Countdown to Summer: 180 Poems for every day of the School Year. New York: Little, Brown.
  11. Livingston, Myra Cohn. Ed. 1985. Thanksgiving Poems. New York: Holiday House.
  12. Melmed, Laura Krauss. 2001. This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story. New York: HarperCollins.
  13. Mora, Pat. 2007. Yum! Mmmm! Que Rico!: America's Sproutings. New York: Lee & Low.
  14. Mordhorst, Heidi. 2009. Pumpkin Butterfly; Poems from the Other Side of Nature. Honesdale PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
  15. Philip, Neil. 2004. Hot Potato: Mealtime Rhymes. New York: Clarion.
  16. Prelutsky, Jack. 2007. It’s Thanksgiving!  New York: HarperCollins.
  17. Rogasky, Barbara. Ed. 2001. Leaf by Leaf. New York: Scholastic.
  18. Rosen, Michael, J., Ed. 1996. Food Fight:  Poets Join the Fight Against Hunger with Poems about Their Favorite Foods. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
  19. Salas, Laura Purdie. 2008. Shrinking Days, Frosty Nights: Poems About Fall. Minneapolis, MN: Capstone.
  20. Schnur, Steven. 1997. Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic. New York: Clarion.
  21. Shore, Diane. 2008. This is the Feast.  New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
  22. Swamp, Chief Jake. 1995. Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message. New York: Lee & Low.
  23. Thomas, Joyce Carol. 1995. Gingerbread Days. New York: HarperCollins.
  24. Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet. Eds. 2011. Gift Tag. PoetryTagTime.com.
  25. Weinstock, Robert. 2009. Food Hates You, Too. New York: Disney-Hyperion.
  26. Whitehead, Jenny. 2007. Holiday Stew; A Kid’s Portion of Holiday and Seasonal Poems. New York: Henry Holt.
  27. Wilson, Karma. 2007. Give Thanks to the Lord. Grand Rapids, MI: Zonderkids.
  28. Wing, Natasha. 2001. The Night Before Thanksgiving. New York: Grosset and Dunlap.
  29. Wong, Janet. 1996. A Suitcase of Seaweed, and Other Poems. New York: McElderry.
  30. Young, Ed. 1997. Voices of the Heart. New York: Scholastic.

I'm wishing all my poetry-loving friends and readers the happiest of Thanksgivings. I've had my own health struggles this fall, so I am especially grateful for all the many good things in my life.

Meanwhile, the lovely Anastasia Suen is hosting Poetry Friday at her blog, Booktalking. See you there!

And don't forget to enter our drawing for a free poetry e-book-- details below!





Monday, November 12, 2012

Free poetry e-book!

CHECK IT OUT!

Here's an opportunity to win a copy of one poetry e-book from the PoetryTagTime series:



































Decide which book you'd like to win and post your 12 word comment at the blog for that book. Choose from:

PoetryTagTime (for children)
or
P*TAG (for tweens and teens)
or
Gift Tag (for all ages)

Remember, 12/12/12 is the deadline!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Poetry panel at upcoming NCTE conference

 

Are you heading to the annual convention of the National Council of Teachers of English in Las Vegas next week? It's one of my favorite events and I haven't missed it in nearly 30 years. Unfortunately, I have to miss this one. Darn it! So my illustrious presentation panel is moving on without me. But as you can see (above) our session is in excellent hands with an amazing group of talented poets. Note the day and time: Saturday, Nov. 17 at 4:15-5:30pm. And just in case you cannot attend-- just like me-- we're hoping to have some video snippets of the session to share with you later on this blog, so stay tuned. 


Meanwhile, head on over to Think, Kid, Think for the weekly Poetry Friday get-together.

 

Friday, November 02, 2012

Poetry Text Sets (Ages 13 and up)

Here's the final installment in my series on poetry "text sets." This one is for young adults (ages 13 and up). Once again, each mini set includes 3 or more poetry books authored by one poet, focused on a single topic or theme, and formatted to be very similar in design and appearance which helps promote discussion, comparison, and analysis. This list is drawn from my recent book, The Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists available here.

FOR YOUNG ADULTS (Ages 13 and up)

Global poetry
Nye, Naomi Shihab. Ed. 1992. This Same Sky: A Collection of Poems from Around the World. New York: Four Winds Press.
Nye, Naomi Shihab. Ed. 1995. The Tree is Older than You Are: A Bilingual Gathering of Poems and Stories from Mexico with Paintings by Mexican Artists. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Nye, Naomi Shihab. Ed. 1998. The Space Between Our Footsteps:  Poems and Paintings From the Middle East. New York: Simon & Schuster.

African American History
Nelson, Marilyn. 2001. Carver: A Life in Poems. Asheville, NC: Front Street.
Nelson, Marilyn. 2004. Fortune's Bones: The Manumission Requiem. Asheville, NC: Front Street.
Nelson, Marilyn. 2005. A Wreath for Emmett Till. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Nelson, Marilyn. 2008. The Freedom Business. Asheville, NC: Front Street.

Poetry paradoxes
Vecchione, Patrice. Ed. 2001. Truth and Lies. New York: Henry Holt.
Vecchione, Patrice. Ed. 2004. Revenge and Forgiveness. New York: Henry Holt.
Vecchione, Patrice. Ed. 2007. Faith and Doubt. New York: Henry Holt.

Poetry anthologies
Rosenberg, Liz. Ed. 1996. The Invisible Ladder. New York: Henry Holt.
Rosenberg, Liz. Ed. 1998. Earth-shattering Poems. New York: Henry Holt.
Rosenberg, Liz. Ed. 2000. Light-gathering Poems. New York: Henry Holt.
Rosenberg, Liz. Ed. 2001. Roots & Flowers: Poets and Poems on Family. New York: Henry Holt.

Poetry, people & history
Philip, Neil. Ed. 1995. Singing America. New York: Viking.
Philip, Neil. Ed. 1996. Earth Always Endures: Native American Poems. New York: Viking.
Philip, Neil. Ed. 1998. War and the Pity of War. New York: Clarion.
Philip, Neil. Ed. 2000. It’s a Woman’s World: A Century of Women’s Voices in Poetry. New York: Dutton.

Poetry by teens
Franco, Betsy. Ed. 2001. Things I Have to Tell You: Poems And Writing by Teenage Girls. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
Franco, Betsy. Ed. 2001. You Hear Me? Poems and Writing by Teenage Boys. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
Franco, Betsy. 2008. Ed. Falling Hard: 100 Love Poems by Teenagers. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.

Novel in verse trilogies
Wolff, Virginia Euwer. 1993. Make Lemonade. New York: Scholastic.
Wolff, Virginia Euwer. 2001. True Believer. New York: Atheneum.
Wolff, Virginia Euwer. 2009. This Full House. New York: Harper Teen/The Bowen Press.

Hopkins, Ellen. 2004. Crank. New York: McElderry.
Hopkins, Ellen. 2007. Glass. New York: McElderry.
Hopkins, Ellen. 2012. Fallout. New York: McElderry.

Please let me know if you have any additional text sets to recommend for the secondary level.

And be sure to swing by Mainely Write for the Poetry Friday gathering. See you there!


Posting by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2012. All rights reserved.



Friday, October 26, 2012

Poetry Text Sets (Ages 11-14)

For our third installment on text sets, we turn our attention to poetry books for middle school (ages 11-14). Once again, we're looking at groups of three or more poetry books by the same poet that focus on a single topic or theme and are formatted to be very similar in design and appearance. This helps in guiding discussion, comparison, and analysis and can help pinpoint the use of poetic voice, stylistic choices, etc. Poets in this group include: Margarita Engle, Marilyn Singer, Paul Fleischman, Charles R. Smith, Jr., Sara Holbrook, Valerie Worth, James Stevenson, and Carmen T. Bernier-Grand. Topics include:
*Historical novels in verse set in Cuba
*Earth, water, and fire
*Poetry for reading aloud with multiple voices
*Basketball
*About middle school angst
*Free verse poem collections
*Poetic memoirs
*Biographical poetry
Just a reminder that this list is drawn from my new resource book, The Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists. For more information, go here.

FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL (ages 11-14)


Historical novels in verse set in Cuba

Engle, Margarita. 2006. The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano. New York: Holt.
Engle, Margarita. 2008. The Surrender Tree. New York: Holt.
Engle, Margarita. 2009. Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba. New York: Holt.
Engle, Margarita. 2010. The Firefly Letters; A Suffragette's Journey to Cuba. New York: Henry Holt.
Engle, Margarita. 2011. Hurricane Dancers; The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck. New York: Henry Holt.

Earth, water, and fire
Singer, Marilyn. 2002. Footprints on the Roof: Poems about the Earth. New York: Knopf.
Singer, Marilyn. 2003. How to Cross a Pond: Poems about Water. New York: Knopf.
Singer, Marilyn. 2005. Central Heating: Poems about Fire and Warmth. New York: Knopf.

For reading aloud with multiple voices
Fleishman, Paul. 1985. I Am Phoenix: Poems for Two Voices. New York: Harper & Row.
Fleishman, Paul. 1988. Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices. New York: Harper & Row.
Fleishman, Paul. 2000. Big Talk:  Poems for Four Voices. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.

Basketball
Smith, Charles R. Jr. 1999. Rimshots; Basketball Pix, Rolls, and Rhythms. New York: Dutton.
Smith, Charles R. Jr. 2001. Short Takes: Fast-Break Basketball Poetry. New York: Dutton.
Smith, Charles R. Jr. 2003. Hoop Queens. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
Smith, Charles R. Jr. 2004. Hoop Kings. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.

About middle school angst
Holbrook, Sara. 1996. Am I Naturally This Crazy? Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
Holbrook, Sara. 1996. I Never Said I Wasn’t Difficult. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
Holbrook, Sara. 1996. The Dog Ate My Homework. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.
Holbrook, Sara. 1996. Which Way to the Dragon! Poems for the Coming-on-strong.  Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.

Free verse poem collections
Worth, Valerie. 1972. Small Poems. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Worth, Valerie. 1976. More Small Poems. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Worth, Valerie. 1978. Still More Small Poems. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Worth, Valerie. 1985. Small Poems Again. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Worth, Valerie. 1994. All the Small Poems and Fourteen More. New York: Farrar,

Poetic memoirs
Stevenson, James. 1995. Sweet Corn: Poems. New York: Greenwillow.
Stevenson, James. 1998. Popcorn: Poems. New York: Greenwillow.
Stevenson, James. 2002. Corn-Fed: Poems. New York: Greenwillow.
Stevenson, James. 2003. Corn Chowder: Poems. New York: Greenwillow.

Biographical poetry
Bernier-Grand, Carmen T. 2006. César; ¡Sí, Se Puede! Yes, We can! New York: Marshall Cavendish.
Bernier-Grand, Carmen T. 2007. Frida: ¡Viva la vida! Long Live Life! New York: Marshall Cavendish.
Bernier-Grand, Carmen T. 2009. Diego; Bigger Than Life.  New York: Marshall Cavendish.

If you know of other sets that are ideal for middle school, please let me know.

One other note-- I probably get more requests for poetry help from middle school teachers and librarians than from any other group. GOOD NEWS: Janet (Wong) and I are already working on a middle school version of our new book, The Poetry Friday Anthology. We hope to publish that in the spring. Stay tuned for details.

Meanwhile, head on over to Teacher Dance here for more Poetry Friday fun. 



Posting by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2012. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Poetry Text Sets (Ages 5-12)

Here is the second installment of my list of "text sets" from my resource book, The Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists.  “Text sets” of books linked in some way can prompt lessons of compare/contrast and discussion of poetic voice, stylistic choices, etc. The following sets are ideal for children ages 5-12, but can certainly crossover to other ages. Each mini set includes 3 or more poetry books authored by one poet, focused on a single topic or theme, and formatted to be very similar in design and appearance. This aids in guiding discussion, comparison, and analysis. This focus on a single poet or anthologist offers the opportunity to talk about the writer's voice and how you recognize his or her distinctive style across multiple books. So many possibilities for exploration and fun. And for more about my LIST book, go here.

FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN (ages 5-12)


The Shel Silverstein set
Silverstein, Shel. 1974. Where the Sidewalk Ends. New York: Harper and Row.
Silverstein, Shel. 1981. A Light in the Attic. New York: Harper & Row.
Silverstein, Shel. 1996. Falling Up. New York: HarperCollins.
Silverstein, Shel. 2011. Every Thing On It. HarperCollins.

The Jack Prelutsky set
Prelutsky, Jack. 1984. The New Kid on the Block. New York: Greenwillow.
Prelutsky, Jack. 1990. Something Big Has Been Here. New York: Scholastic.
Prelutsky, Jack. 1996. A Pizza the Size of the Sun. New York: Greenwillow.
Prelutsky, Jack. 2000. It’s Raining Pigs & Noodles. New York: Greenwillow.
Prelutsky, Jack. 2008. My Dog May Be a Genius. New York: Greenwillow.

School poetry
Dakos, Kalli. 1990. If You're Not Here, Please Raise Your Hand: Poems about School.  New York: Four Winds Press.
Dakos, Kalli. 1993. Don't Read This Book Whatever You Do!: More Poems about School. New York: Trumpet Club.
Dakos, Kalli. 1995. Mrs. Cole on an Onion Roll and Other School Poems. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Dakos, Kalli. 1996. The Goof Who Invented Homework and Other School Poems. New York: Dial.
Dakos, Kalli. 1999. The Bug in Teacher’s Coffee. New York: HarperCollins.
Dakos, Kalli. 2003. Put Your Eyes Up Here: And Other School Poems. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Dakos, Kalli. 2011. A Funeral in the Bathroom and Other School Bathroom Poems. Albert Whitman.

Humor and nonsense
Brown, Calef. 1998. Polkabats and Octopus Slacks: 14 Stories. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 
Brown, Calef. 2000. Dutch Sneakers and Flea Keepers: 14 More Stories. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Brown, Calef. 2006. Flamingos on the Roof. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Brown, Calef. 2008. Soup For Breakfast. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Identity and friendship
Grimes, Nikki. 1994. Meet Danitra Brown. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard.
Grimes, Nikki. 2002. Danitra Brown Leaves Town. New York: HarperCollins.
Grimes, Nikki. 2005. Danitra Brown, Class Clown. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard.

Poems and quilts
Hines, Anna Grossnickle. 2005. Winter Lights: A Season in Poems & Quilts. New York: Greenwillow.
Hines, Anna Grossnickle. 2011. Peaceful Pieces: A Year in Poems and Quilts. New York: Greenwillow.
Hines, Anna Grossnicle. 2001. Pieces: A Year in Poems and Quilts. New York: Greenwillow.

The seasons (bilingual Spanish/English)
Alarcón, Francisco X. 1997. Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems/Jitomates Risuenos y Otros Poemas de Primavera. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press.
Alarcón, Francisco X. 1998. From the Bellybutton of the Moon and Other Summer Poems/Del Ombligo de la Luna y Otros Poemas de Verano. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press.
Alarcón, Francisco X. 1999. Angels Ride Bikes and Other Fall Poems. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press.
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.

More seasonal poems
Schnur, Steven. 1997. Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic. New York: Clarion.
Schnur, Steven. 1999. Spring: An Alphabet Acrostic. New York: Clarion.
Schnur, Steven. 2001. Summer: An Alphabet Acrostic. New York: Clarion.
Schnur, Steven. 2002. Winter: An Alphabet Acrostic. New York: Clarion.

Holiday poems
Livingston, Myra Cohn. Ed. 1985. Easter Poems. New York: Holiday House.
Livingston, Myra Cohn. Ed. 1985. Thanksgiving Poems. New York: Holiday House.
Livingston, Myra Cohn. Ed. 1986. Poems for the Jewish Holidays. New York: Holiday House.
Livingston, Myra Cohn. Ed. 1987. Valentine Poems. New York: Holiday House.
Livingston, Myra Cohn. Ed. 1988. Poems for Mothers. New York: Holiday House.
Livingston, Myra Cohn. Ed. 1989. Halloween Poems. New York: Holiday House.
Livingston, Myra Cohn. 1985. Celebrations. New York: Holiday House.
Livingston, Myra Cohn. 1989. Birthday Poems. New York: Holiday House.

Food poetry (bilingual Spanish/English)
Argueta, Jorge. 2009. Sopa de frijoles/ Bean Soup. Ill. by Rafael Yockteng. Toronto, ON: Groundwood.
Argueta, Jorge. 2010. Arroz con leche; Rice Pudding. Ill. by Fernando Vilela. Toronto, ON: Groundwood.
Argueta, Jorge. 2012. Guacamole; Un poema para cocinar/ A Cooking Poem. Ill. by Margarita Sada. Groundwood.

Animals
Florian, Douglas. 1996. On the Wing: Bird Poems and Paintings. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
Florian, Douglas. 1997. In the Swim: Poems and Paintings. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
Florian, Douglas. 1998. Insectlopedia: Poems and Paintings. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
Florian, Douglas. 2000. Mammalabilia: Poems and Paintings. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
Florian, Douglas. 2001. Bow Wow Meow Meow. San Diego: Harcourt.
Florian, Douglas. 2003. Lizard, Frogs, and Polliwogs. San Diego: Harcourt.
Florian, Douglas. 2004. Omnibeasts. San Diego: Harcourt.
Florian, Douglas. 2005. Zoo’s Who. San Diego, CA: Harcourt.
Florian, Douglas. 2009. Dinothesaurus. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Birds
Yolen, Jane. 2002. Wild Wings: Poems for Young People. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
Yolen, Jane. 2004. Fine Feathered Friends: Poems for Young People. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
Yolen, Jane. 2010. An Egret’s Day. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
Yolen, Jane. 2011. Birds of a Feather. Ill. by Jason Stemple. Boyds Mills Press.

Ecosystem poems
Sidman, Joyce. 2005. Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems. Ill. By Beckie Prange. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Sidman, Joyce. 2006. Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow. Ill. by Beth Krommes. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Sidman, Joyce. 2010. Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night. Ill. by Rick Allen. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

U.S. history and poetry
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 1994. Hand in Hand: An American History through Poetry.  New York: Simon & Schuster. 
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 1999. Lives: Poems about Famous Americans. New York: HarperCollins.
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2000. My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 2008. Ed. America at War. New York: McElderry.

Famous historical figures
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2005. Vherses: A Celebration of Outstanding Women. Mankato, MN: Creative Editions.
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2005. Heroes and She-Roes: Poems of Amazing and Everyday Heroes. New York: Dial.
Lewis, J. Patrick.  2000. Freedom Like Sunlight: Praisesongs for Black Americans. Mankato, MN: Creative Editions.
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2012. When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders. San Francisco: Chronicle.

Poems of place
Siebert, Diane. 1988. Mojave. New York: Crowell.
Siebert, Diane. 1989. Heartland. New York: Crowell.
Siebert, Diane. 1991. Sierra. New York: HarperCollins.
Siebert, Diane. 2000. Cave. New York: HarperCollins.

Native American perspectives
Bruchac, Joseph. 1992.  Thirteen Moons on Turtle’s Back: A Native American Year of Moons. New York: Philomel Books.
Bruchac, Joseph. 1995. The Earth under Sky Bear's Feet: Native American Poems of the Land. New York: Philomel Books.
Bruchac, Joseph. 1996. Between Earth and Sky:  Legends of Native American Sacred Places. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.

Poems and music
Myers, Walter Dean. 1997. Harlem: A Poem. New York: Scholastic.
Myers, Walter Dean. 2003. Blues Journey. New York: Holiday House.
Myers, Walter Dean. 2006. Jazz. Ill. by Christopher Myers. New York: Holiday House.

Poem riddles
Lewis, J. Patrick. 1996. Riddle-icious. New York: Scholastic.
Lewis, J. Patrick. 1998. Riddle-Lightful: Oodles of Little Riddle-Poems. Knopf.
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2004. Scientrickery: Riddles in Science. San Diego: Harcourt.
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2009. Spot the Plot! A Riddle Book of Book Riddles. San Francisco: Chronicle.

Poem forms
Janeczko, Paul B. Ed. 2001. A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
Janeczko, Paul B.. Ed. 2005. A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
Janeczko, Paul. 2009. A Foot in the Mouth; Poems to Speak, Sing, and Shout. Ill. by Chris Raschka. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.

Poetry e-books
Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet. Eds. 2011. P*TAG. PoetryTagTime.
Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet. Eds. 2011. PoetryTagTime. PoetryTagTime
Vardell, Sylvia and Wong, Janet. Eds. 2011. Gift Tag. PoetryTagTime.

Poems with audio CDs of poets reading
Giovanni, Nikki. Coll. 2008. Hip Hop Speaks to Children. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks.
Paschen, Elise and Raccah, Dominique. Ed. 2005. Poetry Speaks to Children. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks.
Paschen, Elise and Raccah, Dominique. Ed. 2010. Poetry Speaks; Who I Am. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks.

Are there any poetry text sets that I have missed that you have found meaningful for sharing with students at the elementary level (ages 5-12)?

I'll be sharing similar lists for middle school and high school in the next two weeks. Stay tuned.

Join the rest of the Poetry Friday gathering hosted by Irene Latham at Live Your Poem here.


Copyright Sylvia M. Vardell 2012. All rights reserved. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Poetry Text Sets

Once we get comfortable sharing poetry with young people, it can be especially meaningful to share SETS of poetry books gathered around similarities. Such “text sets” can prompt lessons of compare/contrast and discussion of poetic voice, stylistic choices, etc. This is emerging as a very popular approach for infusing poetry throughout the reading/language arts curriculum and for addressing the new Common Core standards.

In my recent Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists, I have gathered lists of poetry text sets in four categories: for very young children (ages 0-5), for elementary aged children (ages 5-12), for middle school (ages 11-14), and for young adults (ages 13 and up). However, these are general recommendations based on overall readability and appeal. These poetry selections are certainly suitable for a much wider age range. Each mini set includes 3 or more poetry books authored by one poet, focused on a single topic or theme, and formatted to be very similar in design and appearance. This aids in guiding discussion, comparison, and analysis.

I'll share these lists in installments for ease of access. So, here are the poetry text sets I would recommend for sharing with very young children. Please let me know if you have other favorites that I should add.

FOR VERY YOUNG CHILDREN (ages 0-5)

Folk-based rhymes (bilingual Spanish/English)
Ada, Alma Flor and Campoy, Isabel. 2010. Muu, Moo! Rimas de animales/Animal Nursery Rhymes. Rayo/HarperCollins.
Ada, Alma Flor, and Isabel Campoy. Ed. 2003. Pio Peep! Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes. New York: HarperCollins.
Ada, Alma Flor and Campoy, F. Isabel. 2011. Ten Little Puppies; Diez perritos. Rayo/HarperCollins.

Song-based rhymes (bilingual Spanish/English)
Delacre, Lulu. Ed. 1992. Arroz con Leche: Popular Songs and Rhymes from Latin America. New York: Scholastic.
Delacre, Lulu. Ed. 1992. Las Navidades: Popular Christmas Songs from Latin America. New York: Scholastic.
Delacre, Lulu. 2004. Arrorró Mi Niño: Latino Lullabies and Gentle Games. New York: Scholastic.

Folk songs and fingerplays (bilingual Spanish/English)
Orozco, José Luis. 2002. Diez Deditos: Ten Little Fingers and Other Play Rhymes and Action Songs from Latin America. New York: Dutton.
Orozco, José Luis.1994. Fiestas: A Year of Latin American Songs of Celebration. New York: Dutton.
Orozco, Jose-Luis. 1994. De Colores and Other Latin-American Folk Songs for Children. New York: Dutton.

Animal rhymes
Elliott, David. 2008. On the Farm. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
Elliott, David. 2010. In the Wild. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
Elliott, David. 2012. In the Sea. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.

Poems to read aloud with a parent/adult
Hoberman, Mary Ann. 2001. You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You; Very Short Stories to Read Together. Ill. by Michael Emberley. Boston: Little, Brown.
Hoberman, Mary Ann. 2004. You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You; Very Short Fairy Tales to Read Together. Ill. by Michael Emberley. Boston: Little, Brown.
Hoberman, Mary Ann. 2005. You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You; Very Short Mother Goose Tales to Read Together. Ill. by Michael Emberley. Boston: Little, Brown.
Hoberman, Mary Ann. 2007. You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You; Very Short Scary Tales to Read Together. Ill. by Michael Emberley. Boston: Little, Brown.

Any other groupings of poetry books that you find particularly effective for sharing with young children? Or favorite activities? I welcome suggestions!

Join the rest of the Poetry Friday fun at Teaching Young Writers. See you there!

Friday, October 05, 2012

Halloween poetry

It's October and I hope to get my Halloween decorations out this weekend. I just love the big, round pumpkins and even the jangling skeletons and spooky black cats. But mostly, I have always loved planning the costumes for trick-or-treating and had so much fun helping my kids create whatever they could imagine-- my daughter has been a pioneer girl, a flapper, Jane Austen, Princess Leia, and an elephant (a two-person endeavor with a friend) and my son has been Luke Skywalker, a vampire, a hobo, a Ninja Turtle, and various X-Men. We would work all month to decide on our "character" and make the outfit ourselves. Good times! I don't have many occasions for costumes nowadays (although I do like wearing my crazy colored tights any day!), but I love seeing the children in their costumes when they come to trick or treat at my door.

I know Halloween is a bit more problematic these days, particularly in the schools, with a shift to focusing on "harvest festivals" or autumn celebrations. We're anxious about going door to door with children at night or encouraging candy fests in favor of healthy snacks. And we don't want to scare kids with ghosts and horror. I understand. There are some unsavory elements to Halloween (part of its appeal) and better minds than mine have analyzed the religious, psychological, and sociological implications of this "holiday." But if you're nostalgic about Halloween and enjoy some of its traditions, you may surprised to learn that many poets have explored this topic too. In fact, I think there are more poetry books about Halloween (and autumn) than any other holiday or season, with the exception of Christmas (and winter holidays). Obviously, something about this "dark" holiday has been compelling for a long time!

Enough of my philosophizing and reminiscing. Time to share my list of Halloween-themed poetry taken from my recent book, The Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists. Hope you find it useful-- and please let me know if I've omitted any of your favorites.

Poetry Books for Halloween

Halloween is a popular topic for poetry books for young people, along with a look at fall and autumn seasonal changes. Here is just a sampling.

  1. Alarcón, Francisco X. 1999. Angels Ride Bikes and Other Fall Poems. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press.
  2. Brown, Calef. 2010. Hallowilloween: Nefarious Silliness. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  3. sDahl, Roald. 2005. Vile Verses. New York: Viking.
  4. Farrar, Sid. 2012. The Year Comes Round: Haiku Through the Seasons. Ill. by Ilse Plume. Chicago: Whitman.
  5. Florian, Douglas. 1993. Monster Motel: Poems and Paintings. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.
  6. Florian, Douglas. 2003. Autumnblings: Poems & Paintings. New York: Greenwillow.
  7. Frank, John. 2003. A Chill in the Air: Nature Poems for Fall and Winter. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  8. Ghigna, Charles. 2003. Halloween Night: Twenty-One Spooktacular Poems. Philadelphia: Running Kids Press.
  9. Gibbs, Susie. Ed. 2003. Poems to Make Your Friends Scream!. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  10. Gibbs, Susie. Ed. 2007. Scary Poems to Make You Shiver. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  11. Gibbs, Susie. Ed. 2006. Revolting Poems to Make you Squirm. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  12. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2005. Days to Celebrate: A Full Year of Poetry, People, Holidays, History, Fascinating Facts, and More. New York: Greenwillow.
  13. Hopkins, Lee Bennett. 2006. Halloween Howls; An I Can Read Book. New York: HarperCollins.
  14. Hopkins, Lee. Bennett  Ed. 2010. Sharing the Seasons. Margaret McElderry.
  15. Katz, Bobbi. 2009. The Monsterologist; A Memoir in Rhyme. Ill. by Adam McCauley. New York: Sterling.
  16. Kutner, Merrily. 2007. The Zombie Nite Café. Ill. by Ethan Long. Holiday House.
  17. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2009. Countdown to Summer: 180 Poems for Every Day of the School Year. New York: Little, Brown.
  18. Livingston, Myra Cohn. Ed. 1989. Halloween Poems. New York: Holiday House.
  19. McNaughton, Colin. 2002. Making Friends with Frankenstein. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  20. Mecum, Ryan. 2008. Zombie Haiku. Cincinnati, OH: How Books.
  21. Mecum, Ryan. 2009. Vampire Haiku. Cincinnati, OH: How Books.
  22. Merriam, Eve. 2002. Spooky A B C. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  23. Moore, Lilian. 1973. Spooky Rhymes and Riddles. New York: Scholastic.
  24. Mordhorst, Heidi. 2009. Pumpkin Butterfly; Poems from the Other Side of Nature. Honesdale PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
  25. Neugebauer, Charise. 2002. Halloween Circus. New York: NorthSouth Books.
  26. Prelutsky, Jack. 1976. Nightmares:  Poems to Trouble Your Sleep. New York: Greenwillow. Reprinted, New York: Mulberry Books, 1993.
  27. Prelutsky, Jack. 1977. It’s Halloween. New York: Greenwillow.
  28. Rex, Adam. 2006. Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich. San Diego, CA: Harcourt.
  29. Rex, Adam. 2008. Frankenstein Takes the Cake. New York: Harcourt Houghton Mifflin.
  30. Rogasky, Barbara. Ed. 2001. Leaf by Leaf. New York: Scholastic.
  31. Salas, Laura Purdie. 2008. Shrinking Days, Frosty Nights: Poems About Fall. Minneapolis, MN: Capstone.
  32. Sierra, Judy. 2005. Gruesome Guide to World Monsters. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  33. Rogasky, Barbara. Ed. 2001. Leaf by Leaf. New York: Scholastic.
  34. Schnur, Steven. 1997. Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic. New York: Clarion.
  35. Sierra, Judy. 2008. Beastly Rhymes to Read After Dark. Ill. by Brian Biggs. New York: Knopf.
  36. Singer, Marilyn. 2001. Monster Museum. New York: Hyperion.
  37. Singer, Marilyn. 2004. Creature Carnival. New York: Hyperion.
  38. Sklanksy, Amy E. 2004. Skeleton Bones & Goblin Groans: Poems for Halloween. New York: Henry Holt .
  39. Swaim, Jessica. 2010. Scarum Fair. Ill. by Carol Ashley. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
  40. Whitehead, Jenny. 2007. Holiday Stew; A Kid’s Portion of Holiday and Seasonal Poems. New York: Henry Holt.
If you like this list, you'll find even more lists in my Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists, including a list of poetry books about monsters, poetry books about superstitions, beliefs, luck, magic, dreams, and nightmares, poetry books about cats, poetry books about weather, poetry books for Thanksgiving, poetry books for Hanukkah, poetry books for Christmas, and a list of versions of "The Night Before Christmas." Check it out here and there's more info about the book and ALL the lists here. A recent review in IRA's Reading Today noted, "If you are looking for one book to help improve your teaching of poetry, then this is the one for you! This book is a treasure trove.... It would be hard to imagine a better resource for teachers and librarians. Anyone anxious about including poetry in the classroom will have all fears alleviated by this thorough book."

And the lovely Laura Purdie Salas is hosting Poetry Friday today. Join her at Writing the World for Kids. See you there!



Posting by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2012. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 28, 2012

JPL, CPL in BL

Have you see the September issue of ALA's Book Links magazine?

J. Patrick Lewis, the current Children's Poet Laureate, agreed to an interview and shares his thoughts about history, research, and mixing humor and poetry. As a bonus, here are few of his responses (and questions) that we didn't have room for in the magazine.


SV: Two of your social studies-themed poetry works are collaborations (Castles: Old Stone Poems with Rebecca Kai Dotlich and Self Portrait with Seven Fingers: A Life of Marc Chagall in Verse with Jane Yolen). Is collaborating with a fellow poet any different when the topic is historical in focus?

JPL: What I did with Rebecca and and am doing with Jane (as well as other poets, forthcoming) is not true back-and-forth rewriting of a single poem. An exception was Birds on a Wire:  A Renga ‘Round the Town, in which Paul B. Janeczko and I follow each other’s short Japanese verses, one after another, to tell a story. But a better description would be to say that most of these two-author books  were simply co-authored. Each poet wrote approximately half of the poems in the collection. Occasionally, one of us might raise a question or make a suggestion to the other poet, but in general it was not anything so grand as a T.S. Eliot-Ezra Pound kind of give-and-take.

Deciding on the topic or tone is mostly a matter of knowing each other’s body of work, and therefore knowing what will or will not work. When Douglas Florian and I decided to do a collection together (forthcoming in 2013), it was obvious from the start that we would not choose a “serious” theme. Until our latest endeavor (our seventh, just finished), Jane Yolen and I had written six manuscripts, only half of them accepted for publication. Jane and I are both attracted to themes that range from the serious (Marc Chagall) to the humorous (twins, animal epitaphs), so one of us comes up with a book idea, and we jaw about it until our excitement grows to fever pitch, and then we’re off and running.

[Look for two additional collaborations between Lewis and Yolen out this year: 
1.    Lewis, J. Patrick and Yolen, Jane. 2012. Last Laughs: Animal Epitaphs. Ill. by Jeffrey Timmins. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.
2.    Lewis, J. Patrick and Yolen, Jane. 2012. Take Two! A Celebration of Twins. Ill. by Sophie Blackall. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.]

SV: When it comes to tackling American history in poetry, how do U.S. militarism, patriotism, and politics influence your choices?

JPL: I make no attempt to deny my unreconstructed liberalism. At the same time, the didactic poem that wears its heart on it sleeve is destined for deserved oblivion. Poems ought not to proselytize. As a Ph.D. in economics, teachers have asked me to write nonfiction books that combine economics and poetry. That’s been done but not by me. Oil and water would make better companions. And the same thing is true of poetry and politics. Though I confess I am working on a book with another poet about the march on Washington and Dr. King’s “dream speech,” a seminal event in our history.  


Lewis has nearly 100 more works of poetry for young people since then featuring everything from narrative poems to limericks, riddles, haiku, acrostics, and sonnets. He is very productive with new works published every year. Besides his collaborations with Jane Yolen (mentioned above), look for these.

Earlier this year, he published:
Brainteaser math poems:
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2012. Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie: Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems. Ill. by Michael Slack. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Clever nature riddle poems:
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2012. What’s Looking at You Kid? Ill. by Renee Graef. Sleeping Bear Press.

And new this fall, look for:

An amazing edited anthology of animal poems:
Lewis, J. Patrick. Ed. 2012. Book of Animal Poetry. Washington DC: National Geographic.
See the clever video trailer for the book here.

A hilarious Silverstein-ish collection:
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2012. If You Were a Chocolate Mustache. Ill. by Matt Cordell. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.

A moving picture book poetry showcase:
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2012. When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders. San Francisco: Chronicle.

***And I can't forget that the kind and generous Lewis the Laureate contributed poems to The Poetry Friday Anthology this fall, too!

STRATEGIES
In the Book Links article, I also included a variety of activities to engage students in reading, sharing, exploring, and expanding upon Lewis's poetry. (In Book Links, they're even linked to Common Core standards.) Here you go!

Poetry Tableaux
Make historical poetry come to life by creating frozen scenes of dramatic interpretation with poetry tableaux. Students can browse Lewis’s many collections of historically-themed poetry to select a favorite poem moment in history and then work with a small group to create a tableau, posing in a scene that reflects the “story” in the poem. For example, the photographs illustrating The Brothers' War: Civil War Voices in Verse provide clues on how to pose the scene suggested by the poem, “Down on the Plantation.” A small group of students can cluster “stooping” and poised in a pent, chopping motion. Simple props such as cotton balls, pillow case “sacks,” and straw hats can add to the impact. Or for “The Blockade of Charleston” in Lewis’s Blackbeard, the Pirate King, a small group might crouch as a band of pirates with one standing in the lead and a few “hostages” trembling fearfully. Film or photograph each tableau along with recording an oral reading of the accompanying poem.

Be the Poem
Poem biographies are a recent trend with poets like Margarita Engle, Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, Charles R. Smith and Carole Boston Weatherford telling life stories of real people in history through poetry. Add J. Patrick Lewis to that list with his many individual and collective biographies-in-poems:
  • Self Portrait with Seven Fingers: A Life of Marc Chagall in Verse (with Jane Yolen), 
  • Freedom Like Sunlight: Praisesongs for Black Americans, 
  • Galileo’s Universe, 
  • Heroes and She-Roes: Poems of Amazing and Everyday Heroes, 
  • Vherses: A Celebration of Outstanding Women, 
  • Black Cat Bone: The Life of Blues Legend Robert Johnson, 
  • Blackbeard, the Pirate King, 
  • Michelangelo’s World, and 
  • When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders.
Students can choose a poem about a favorite individual and create or assemble a simple costume to bring their person to life through a dramatic reading. Photograph them in costume and post their images alongside the poems.
 
The Art of History
Many works of poetry are illustrated with art from the time period to provide a historical connection as Lewis does with pirate paintings by N.C. Wyeth and Howard Pyle in his Blackbeard poem collection. Still other books feature artists and their art to explore the times in which they live, as Lewis does with Michelangelo’s World. Students can try “ekphrastic” writing-- poems inspired by art—beginning with pictures from history (via Smithsonian, Shorpy, or Getty Images) or current events (at Tumblr, National Geographic, or Time Magazine’s LightBox). For example, look at Lewis’s Self Portrait with Seven Fingers: A Life of Marc Chagall in Verse, co-authored with Jane Yolen. His poem, “I and the Village” shares its title with the Marc Chagall painting that inspired it and lists the items the viewer sees in the surreal artwork: a milkmaid, cow’s head, peasant, blossom sprig, green face, beginning each line with, “I”— “I hailed,” “I saw,” “I watched,” etc. Students can choose their art or photographic images and then describe them in list poems or create narrative poems suggested by the stories they imagine in the art.


Place Poems
Students can "travel by poem," as Lewis says, learning about interesting places around the globe through geography-themed poems in his books, A World of Wonders, and Good Mornin’, Ms. America: The U.S.A. in Verse as well as such anthologies as Got Geography by Lee Bennett Hopkins and Tour America by Diane Siebert. Invite students to locate these "spaces and places to be" on a (poetry) map and research them in real time via Google Earth. Mount a large paper world map on a bulletin board or wall and put pushpins in each location for which the students can find a “place” poem. Poke the pin through a small strip of paper displaying the poem title/location, such as Lewis’s “Golden Gate Bridge” and “Empire State Building” from Monumental Verses and “Tower of London” and “Catherine’s Palace” from Castles: Old Stone Poems, for example.

Oddities and Trivia
Poems can be about anything, as Lewis reminds us, even bizarre facts, strange trivia, and world records, as you’ll see in Lewis’s A Burst of Firsts and The World’s Greatest. These poems are also interactive as they invite guessing, fact checking, and “believe it or not” sharing. Students can partner with a buddy to research and write their own trivia-based poems, experimenting with creating a “found” poem using key facts and phrases. Lewis tackles oddities such as the longest traffic jam, the biggest potato, and the most live scorpions eaten by a human. Students can browse the latest Guinness Book of World Records to find their own fascinating topic. The tallest man, for example, might yield a poem based on these facts and phrases: “8 feet tall,” “only 10 cases” “widest hand span ever,” “largest feet on a living person,” “a huge surprise,” and more.


If you weren't already a fan of J. Patrick Lewis's poetry, this year's output alone should convince you on his talents!


Now, be sure to see what else is going on this Poetry Friday at Paper Tigers!


Posting by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2012. All rights reserved.