It’s here! HOP TO IT: Poems to Get You Moving has arrived!
Janet (Wong) and I are so excited to see this poetry anthology full of 100 poems to get you moving, thinking, and standing up ready for readers! A big thank you to the 90 poets who shared their poems with us!
For the first time, we held an open call for poems posted here back on February 13 and received hundreds of submissions—we wish we could have accepted them all. One of the special treats of this project was getting to know some brand-new poets and we think you’ll enjoy their poems as much as we do!
We asked the poets to hop along with us and we love how ready they were!
Initially, we were focused exclusively on helping young readers and listeners get up off their chairs and moving to the words of an inviting poem because multiple research studies have found we are all becoming way too sedentary. Some have even said that “sitting is the new smoking.” EEK! And MOVING is STILL a big part of this book! But then as we continued to work on the book, our entire way of life shifted a bit and we were all dealing with a global pandemic, quarantining, and schooling from home, and at the same time, experiencing a national awakening to the social justice issues that we are still grappling with as a nation. Well, we HAD to incorporate those issues into this book, too. So, you’ll find fun, participatory hopping, jumping, tapping, and waving poems in HOP TO IT, but you’ll also find poems about wearing masks, Zooming with teachers, friends and family, AND poems about standing up for what you believe in. Here are just a few examples.
Look for poems to move to like this (by Ann Ingalls):
Look for poems about living through a pandemic like this (by Janet Wong):
Poems that inspire us to speak out and stand up like this (by Zetta Elliott):
As usual, we also love making connections between poems and teaching and learning. (It’s kinda our THING!) So, every poem is accompanied by five connected “bubbles” with
(1) a tip on performing the poem with young people,
(2) a scientific or social studies fact related to the poem,
(3) a tiny "spot" illustration,
(4) a language arts/poetry skills connection, and
(5) a recommended related picture book for a cross-genre extension.
We also have extensive backmatter with ready-to-go activities for kids like a poem hunt, poetry tic tac toe, a poetry month calendar activity, and tips for acting out poems, sharing poetry at home, poetry websites to know, a glossary of poetic forms, and booklists of other movement poetry books and poetry books about social justice.
We’ve been gathering our poets for Zoom poetry parties and they’ve been kind enough to let us record and share their poem readings. You are in for a major treat as we roll those out in the coming weeks. Here is just one fun sampling (with big thanks to poet Zetta Elliott for reading "Everyday Use" also presented in the poem graphic above):
Other bloggers and poets will be posting about HOP TO IT in the coming weeks offering their perspectives—for which we truly thank them—and we hope you’ll check out their posts and their poems! Here’s the current schedule with more serendipitous blog posts hopping up all the time!
If you’re looking for a book full of poems that speak to this moment we’re living through AND make teaching and learning connections AND help us take a “brain break” and stretch and breathe, we hope you’ll check out HOP TO IT! You can find it here at QEPBooks and at Amazon, of course. It should be available from Ingram soon, too.
Now, don’t forget to check out the rest of the Poetry Friday goodness hosted by Janice at Salt City Verse.