Thursday, May 04, 2017

Happy Star Wars Day!

May 4 is Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You) and since I'm a big Star Wars fan, I have to share a poem, of course. I always like to remix an existing poem and frame it against a Star Wars motif to think about it in a new way. So, here's Carmen Tafolla's "Everyday Astronaut" from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science. 



And just for fun, here are some photos from our family's time at Star Wars Celebration last month (that's the convention for big-time Star Wars nerds like us).


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Día today!

It's time for Día!


Children’s Day, Book Day or El día de los niños, el día de los libros—often known as Día (day in Spanish)—is a year-long commitment to linking all children and families to books originated by author and literacy advocate Pat Mora. Día, a collaboration of national literacy organizations, presses, and readers, creatively celebrates all our children and the the importance of "bookjoy" in their daily lives, and promotes Children’s Day, Book Day celebrations. April book fiestas are held in schools, libraries, parks, homes, and elsewhere on or near April 30. 

Here's Pat speaking briefly about Día:



Pat also wrote a poem about celebrating Día for The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations:



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

1. While reading this poem aloud, be sure to clap (in the first stanza), tap (in the second stanza), snap (in the third stanza), and do all three in the final stanza.
2. Share the poem aloud again, inviting children to join in on the clapping, tapping, and snapping, too. 
3. Use the resources at Dia.ALA.org to plan a Día celebration program for Children’s Day/Book Day, such as hosting a book club or downloading quick coloring pages and activity sheets.
4. Pair this poem with the picture book Book Fiesta! Celebrate Children's Day/Book Day/Celebremos El día de los niños, el día de los libros by Pat Mora (Rayo, 2009) and encourage children to join in on the cheers.
5. Connect with another poem that celebrates reading, “At Our House” by Virginia Euwer Wolff (November, pages 286-287), and with the bilingual poems of Colors! Colores! by Jorge Luján (Groundwood, 2008). 



Saturday, April 29, 2017

Dallas Book Festival

I am so pleased to be invited to speak at the Dallas Book Festival and give a little glimpse into the history of children's literature (in 45 minutes!). I decided to use the lens of poetry (of course) to talk about how children's literature has evolved-- a chance to look back, to revisit some old favorites, and to share poetry with a new audience. Here are just a few nuggets from my slide show. Enjoy!
 

Did you know one of the earliest books published in the U.S. for children included the poem that most people know as the song, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"?
 Probably the best known American poem is this holiday classic:
 A.A. Milne gave us Winnie the Pooh and many witty poems for children. This is also the first children's book I owned as a child-- given to me by my dad.
Langston Hughes published one book intended for young people (in his lifetime) and this is one of my favorite books of poetry of all time and by any poet. 


This British couple brought scholarly study to the world of children's oral folklore, collecting thousands of children's rhymes and games from the playground. 

The best-selling book of poetry for young people OF ALL TIME is this one:
This study helped us see that children really love funny, rhyming poetry. (But not JUST funny, rhyming poetry.) 
The first award for children's poetry was established by the National Council of Teachers of English in 1977. 
Only 5 children's books have been awarded the Newbery medal since it was established in 1922 and this was the first one. 
According to Ann Terry's study, this was children's all-time favorite poem at that time: 
Jack Prelutsky had authored several books of poetry before compiling this MAJOR anthology and followed with many additional wonderful works of his own. 


The SECOND book of poetry for young people to win the Newbery medal:
The third book of poetry for young people to win the Newbery medal, a novel in verse:
An award is established for the Poet Laureate who writes for young people!
The fourth book of poetry for young people to win the Newbery medal:
The fifth book of poetry for young people to win the Newbery medal, a novel in verse: 
And indulge me as I promoted the Poetry Friday series too... 


Friday, April 28, 2017

TLA Poetry Round Up 2017 Part 2

I have already shared basic info about the recent TLA conference, but I thought I'd add a few more nuggets. It's always fun to go to the annual conference of the Texas Library Association-- such a great event that's well organized, well attended, and full of opportunities to talk about books, reading, and POETRY!  I'm so pleased and proud that the Poetry Round Up continues to make the program and this year was lucky #13! :-)  And it's always fun to travel to San Antonio! 

The conference leadership was pushing to make this conference more interactive, so I prepared readers' theater scripts of each poet's work. I took an excerpt from each of their books and broke it into reading parts for various characters, highlighted the scripts for volunteers, and made goofy character signs for each volunteer to wear so the audience would find it easy to follow. Then I crossed my fingers that I could solicit volunteers from the audience and that the poets would be pleased at how that worked (since it meant they would have WAY less time to read). YAY! It all worked! Lots of people volunteered (including lots of my former students) and the poets really loved hearing their work read aloud by others. 

Then Janet (Wong) and I were lucky enough to have a proposal accepted to feature poetry and curriculum skills called "Building Blocks of Language Learning." We focused on guiding  librarians on helping teachers choose and share poetry in fun ways while still highlighting basic language skills. It was a BIG hit and I shared many of the slides last week. 

Finally, I also represented my university in several ways-- working the TWU booth and supporting a former student who won a service award-- the lovely Rose Brock. Here are a few more glimpses of those busy 3 days. Enjoy! And think about coming to TLA next year. It will be in Dallas-- just 15 minutes from my house! 




















Thursday, April 27, 2017

Learning from students: Emojis

Here's another example from my adult students sharing poetry with young people in my "learning from my students' students" series. 

Here, Ashley got the students involved in the final section of the book, Here We Go, PowerPack 12 and they had fun with it.

First, she tried the PowerPlay activity with students which involved using emojis to create a rebus-style note to a friend.


Then she created original digital poem postcards for each of the three poems in the PowerPack. Here is a digital postcard for the anchor poem by Robyn Hood Black.






Here is the digital postcard she also created for one of the response poems written by Janet Wong. This is also the title poem for the whole book, "Here We Go."


Finally, Ashley also recommended additional resource books that students might enjoy in her final slide:


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Learning from students: The list poem

Here's another example from my adult students sharing poetry with young people in my "learning from my students' students" series. 

Here, Mayra got the students involved in PowerPack 11 of Here We Go and they had fun with it.

First, she tried the PowerPlay activity with her high school students. They considered a list of possible community service activities, chose one, and created a poster or model for carrying out that activity.


Then she created original digital poem postcards for each of the three poems in the PowerPack. Here is a digital postcard for the anchor poem by David L. Harrison:


Then, she shared the response poem a student wrote in relation to the mentor text poem in free verse. 






Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Learning from students: Alliteration

Here's another example from my adult students sharing poetry with young people in my "learning from my students' students" series. 

Here, Christi got the students involved in PowerPack 10 of Here We Go and they had fun with it.

First, she tried the PowerPlay activity with students circling all the words with start with one letter (in this case "m") in a long list of words. Here's what Charlotte (in 4th grade) found:


Then she created original digital poem postcards for each of the three poems in the PowerPack. Here is a digital postcard for the anchor poem by Renee La Tulippe.

Then, she shared the response poem the student wrote in relation to the mentor text poem-- full of alliteration!

Finally, Christi also recommended additional resource books that students might enjoy in her final slide:




Monday, April 24, 2017

Learning from students: Free verse

Here's another example from my adult students sharing poetry with young people in my "learning from my students' students" series. 

Here, Mary got the students involved in PowerPack 9 of Here We Go and they had fun with it.

First, she tried the PowerPlay activity with students. They drew pictures and made lists of their favorite foods.


Then she created original digital poem postcards for each of the three poems in the PowerPack. Here is a digital postcard for the anchor poem by Joseph Bruchac.

Then, she shared the response poem a student wrote in relation to the mentor text poem.

Finally, Mary also recommended an additional resource book of food-related poetry and a helpful website that students might enjoy in her final slide: