Friday, February 17, 2017

Poetry Award-a-rama

All of a sudden, I've seen a pile up of poetry awards announcements and it's time to pause and celebrate each one of them. It's always nice to see poets and poetry books get recognition. I hope these awards also help teachers and librarians add to their poetry book collections and cast a wider net in reading and choosing new books to share with students. So please indulge me as I share the latest installments for several recent awards. 

The Cybils Award for Poetry went to The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan (Random House, 2016). All the Cybils winners are listed HERE and you can find a teaching guide for Laura's lovely novel in verse HERE (created by yours truly). 

The Claudia Lewis Poetry Award this year went to When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano (Roaring Brook Press, 2016). You can find more info about this award at a "toolbox" I created several years ago that shows all the winners and honor books and provides some mini-lessons and digital trailers created by my wonderful students. Click HERE for the Claudia Lewis Poetry Award Teaching Toolbox.

The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award went to Somos como las nubes/ We are Like the Clouds by Jorge Argueta (Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2016). Once again, you can find more info about this award at a "toolbox" I created several years ago that shows all the winners and honor books and provides some mini-lessons and digital trailers created by students. Click HERE for the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Teaching Toolbox.

The Lion and Unicorn  Award for Excellence in North American Poetry went to TWO books, Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems About Just About Everything by Calef Brown (Henry Holt, 2015) and My Seneca Village by Marilyn Nelson (nameless, 2015). I also created a Teaching Toolbox for this award with the assistance of my graduate students. You can find the Lion and Unicorn Poetry Award Teaching Toolbox HERE

The American Library Association (ALA) announced the recipient of the Laura Ingalls Wilder award for a "substantial and lasting contribution to children's literature" is poet Nikki Grimes. You can find more information about this year's Wilder award HERE.

And finally, ALA also announced that the person who will deliver the 2018 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture is poet Naomi Shihab Nye. Now that she has been selected, libraries and universities can apply to host Naomi's lecture. You can find more information about the Arbuthnot lecture HERE

Did you notice how each of these awards recognized a DIFFERENT book or poet? I love that! Poetry offers such richness and diversity that it's wonderful seeing many, many books get lots of love and support. Be sure to check them ALL out!

Now head on over to Jone's place at Check It Out for more Poetry Friday goodness. 

Friday, February 03, 2017

HERE WE GO: Teaching poetry skills

I have recently been tooting the horn about my latest book with Janet Wong, Here We Go: A Poetry Friday Power Book. This is the second book in the Poetry Friday Power Book series. Book 1 in the series, You Just Wait: A Poetry Friday Power Book, was published in September 2016 and was recently selected as a 2017 NCTE Poetry Notable.  Here We Go: A Poetry Friday Power Book for children, tweens, and teens, features 12 PowerPack sets that combine: 1) diverse anchor poems; 2) new original response poems and mentor poems by Janet Wong; 3) PowerPlay prewriting activities; and 4) Power2You writing prompts. 

The twelve anchor poems for HERE WE GO were written by: Naomi Shihab Nye, Ibtisam Barakat, Joseph Bruchac, David Bowles, Eileen Spinelli, David L. Harrison, Kate Coombs, Robyn Hood Black, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, Renée M. LaTulippe, Margaret Simon, and Carole Boston Weatherford. Their poems are joined together with twenty-four new poems by Janet (Wong) that form a story featuring a diverse group of kids who are concerned about social justice. In addition, I created PowerPlay activities to launch each PowerPack and Power2You writing prompts to conclude. There is also extensive back matter resources for readers and writers. 

Several of my favorite bloggers have been kind enough to write their own posts about Here We Go and what they like about it. (Thank you, friends!)

What is NOT obvious is that Janet (Wong) and I also incorporated skill instruction and modeled 12 skills in each of the PowerPacks (based on frequently taught poetry skills and CCSS). I'd like to demonstrate what that looks like. But first...

Here's one example PowerPack to demonstrate how this works. This is PowerPack 10.   

The skill focus for PowerPack 10 is alliteration. 

There are 11 different skills woven through the poems in this book with one skill focus for each PowerPack. Each PowerPack infuses that skill through each component of the PowerPack-- from the PowerPlay activity, through the three poems, to the final Power2You writing activity.
First, students "play" with language. In PowerPack 10, they choose one of these letters: P M N S T F W and then circle all the words that begin with their chosen letter-- setting the stage for pointing out what alliteration is. PLUS, all the words come from the poems in the book. "P" words are highlighted here.

After students have read the poems and talked about them, you can go back and read them together and look for examples of alliteration-- the repeated use of initial consonants. There are examples in each of the three poems in this PowerPack highlighted here.

Finally, students also have the opportunity to write a poem and experiment with alliteration in their own poems in the final Power2You activity page. 

Now head on over to Penny's place for the Poetry Friday gathering.