Thursday, March 30, 2017

Poetry at NSTA

Janet (Wong) and I are in Los Angeles for the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference all set to share POETRY with this gigantic group of science teachers. This is our third or fourth time to join an NSTA conference and we’re always so pleased about how open they are to infusing poetry into the science curriculum. After our first NSTA conference, the editor of SCIENCE AND CHILDREN invited us to submit an article which resulted in this article HERE. We really tried to make the case for how many wonderful works of poetry lent themselves to the teaching of science.

The next conference led to a spot on the Science Friday radio program. So cool! Poetry Friday meets Science Friday! Then we scored a monthly “Poetry of Science” column in SCIENCE AND CHILDREN. Here's just one recent example:

I share this not to brag, but to highlight how science folks are actively seeking ways to connect science content and promote literacy too. So cool! (I find it harder to convince reading and language arts teachers to share science-focused poetry than it is to get science teachers to consider sharing poetry! What?) 

Here are a few highlights of our upcoming presentation at NSTA. We’re particularly connecting with the very popular Picture-Perfect series by Emily Morgan and Karen Ansberry that suggests using picture books as anchors for science lessons—and we’re adding poetry to that mix! Science-focused picture books + science-focused poetry! 

Here's on example from ONE of the first three books in the series, More Picture-Perfect Science Lessons:

This sample lesson focuses on the human heart and how it works and what things affect it. The educational objective for their lesson is:

The pair of science-focused picture books that Ansberry and Morgan selected for this topic are:

What poetry book might you connect with this topic and with these particular picture books? 

And what poem from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science might extend this lesson even further?

Ansberry and Morgan also just launched two new books in this Picture-Perfect series with a focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics):

STEM topics in these two books include:

Poetry to match with some of those science topics might include:

Finally, my Book Links article for April suggests poetry to match with their selections of science picture books in each of the Picture-Perfect resource books. You’ll find that HERE

That's just a sampling of what we shared. The main point is: if you're using picture books with a science focus for a science lesson, why not include a science poem (or poetry book) to extend the lesson even further? Start or end the lesson with a poem. Or offer another way of viewing a science topic through the eyes of a poet!

Now go see what Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has in store for us this Poetry Friday over at the Poem Farm.


jan godown annino said...

Allan Wolf and Ann Whitford Paul are leading the way along with
this lab table of titles we can experiment with when making presentations in class.
Appreciations for testing & proving the theorem that

Poems + Science = Young Brains, Gain!

Happy Poetry Month a thousand times to you & Janet
out there in Science Land, Sylvia.


Unknown said...

Anything that helps kids feel connected to STEM is great, and poetry seems the perfect vehicle for doing that for verbal kids. And maybe STEM can connect some STEM-y kids back to poetry and writing. :-) Synergy = Connection + Success! Great work!

Mrs. Merrill said...

Sylvia, I love this post! What great resources! I'm already planning to teach the heart lesson next Feb. in my library in collaboration with the PE teacher when she does her heart healthy unit & Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser for the American Heart Association! Yay! Can't wait to share with her! I've been using my elementary library classes as a "lab" of sorts to "test" out lessons I've created around the STEAM approach - which of course highlight kidlit & poetry! I designed a day-long workshop for this and presented it to a group of K-6 teachers here in upstate NY.

Jane @ said...

I love this post - so many incredible resources!

Linda B said...

You make me want to be back in the classroom. Congratulations on the push and your collaboration in helping others to see what poetry can do in science learning. One poet's books I used with students in aiding non-fiction writing were Douglas Florian's books. Thanks for the full post, will pass it on to former colleagues!

Amy LV said...

Utter wonderfulness. Thank you both for all of the many ways you connect poems to children, poets to teachers, books to science study, and well...everything! Many congratulations on all of this. Science Friday - supercool!! Happy almost Poetry Month! xx

Kay said...

I love all these poetry and science connections. I have long felt that poets and scientists share many things in common--not just topics but also in their careful observation of the world.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

So cool! My heart is lub-dubbing just thinking about all the different ways science and poetry can work together in the classroom!

Bridget Magee said...

This is a great resource to be able to come back to again and again. Thank you! =)

Catherine said...

As Linda said, your post makes me wish I still had my own class. As it is, I encourage all the teachers in our building to weave poetry into their lessons. I'll be sharing this wealth of resources with everyone, Sylvia. Thank you so much for sharing!

Liz Steinglass said...

Wonderful! I just love the combination of science, poetry and picture books. I've got to share this!

Kortney Garrison said...

Looking forward to digging in to the Booklist article, Sylvia!

Mary Lee said...

Thank you for keeping poetry on the radar...even/especially the science radar!

Sylvia Vardell said...

Hey, y'all! Thanks so much for stopping by and for all the kind comments. I'm kinda surprised there's so much love for the science + poetry connection. But I shouldn't be!!!!! Keep on...

Anonymous said...

Wonderful collection of science poems, thanks for sharing them all. BTW I'm a big fan of Science Friday, I don't think I heard the spot you had, I'll have to check it out on their website. Thanks for all!