Friday, March 01, 2013

Poetry Friday Anthology for MIDDLE SCHOOL launches today!

I’m pleased as punch to announce a new poetry collaboration with my amazing poet colleague, Janet Wong. It’s The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School (grades 6-8), officially available today! (The purple version on the right features the Common Core poetry standards and the red version on the left features the TEKS standards in Texas.) We’re so proud to showcase 110 never-before-published poems by 71 of the best poets writing for tweens and teens today. You’ll find heaps of information at our book blog here including links to ALL the poets in the book and details on our book giveaway contest! What? A free book?! YES! Want the book now? Details here.

Once again, we provide a “Take 5” set of 5 activities for every poem incorporating the Common Core standards (and TEKS in Texas) and presenting the poem in ways that are particularly meaningful and engaging for middle school students. How do you help connect tweens and young teens, in particular, with poetry? Here are a dozen of my favorite approaches featured in the Take 5 strategies in this book:
  • make poem Wordles, slide shows, and “poem movies,”
  • pose in poetry tableaux,
  • create a poem glog,
  • text and tweet favorite poem lines,
  • sketch Pictionary-style poem drawings,
  • grab a designated poetry prop,
  • create a quick graphic “novel” rendering of the poem in panels,
  • make cross-genre connections with nonfiction books, newspaper/magazine articles, and TED talks,
  • do quick collaborative research related to the poem,
  • create poetry-based graphs and polls,
  • incorporate sign language in poem performances, and
  • connect with relevant web sites like the CloudAppreciationSociety, Video.NationalGeographic, VoiceThread, IMDB,, HowStuffWorks,, HealthyPet, (Smithsonian), SoundCloud, Photography.NationalGeographic, Howcast, AllPosters, and Shorpy.
Each of these activities helps highlight poetry skills from the standards such as the use of hyperbole, repetition, sensory language, alliteration, metaphors, personification, internal rhyme, line breaks, and more.

I hope you’ll check it out and help us spread the word to all middle school teachers, librarians, students, and parents of students—just in time for National Poetry Month (in April).  Buy the book (in paperback and/or e-book form) from Pomelo Books here. And let us know what you think!

Posting by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2013. All rights reserved.


Renee LaTulippe said...

Congratulations, Sylvia and Janet! I'm so pleased to be a part of this wonderful book! :)

Anonymous said...

Glad to see that. Great blog
foster care

Janet Wong said...

I really love the variety and inventiveness of your Take 5 strategies. I know you worked hard to come up with fresh activities that would really appeal to middle school students--and you succeeded!!

Charles Waters said...

Bravo! And now onto THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY HGH SCHOOL edition, and ladies I have some poems for you to consider. VARDELL AND WONG POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

laurasalas said...

Yay, yay, yay! As soon as my current round of school visits and assessment assignments end, I am going to sit and read this start to finish. Can't wait! Another winner!