Joy!

Joy
I bought these cookies at an after-Christmas-sale for $1 nearly 7 years ago. They have a shelf life in common with Peeps!

I keep them tucked in a drawer with my poetry trinkets. I take a peek every now and then when I need a reminder.

Much more than stale crumbs,

this is the wonder of chemistry

chuckling,

“Joy is intrepid!”

 

 

-Kim

Fox, Crow, and Mistletoe

Fox_Crow

Inspired by this Native Vermont image discovered while poking about on Pinterest, take inspiration from a food chain. Take inspiration from the “>”mathematical sign, from the chain of dominance in games such as rock-paper-scissors. Now, write a poem!

 

Example:

 

Rock Paper Scissors

 

Rock is greater than scissors,

Crushing is greater than slicing,

Stoic stone crumbles the sharp

Metal beaks of plastic cranes

 

Scissors are greater than paper,

Slicing is greater than folding,

Sharp metal beaks chew through

The crumpled skin of a dry lotus

 

Paper is greater than rock,

Folding is greater than crushing,

Long petals stretch their crumpled

Flesh over the face of stoic stone

 

-Constance 

Haiku of Thanksgiving

 


These pumpkins don’t grow on vines but they have something in common with fortune cookies and piñatas.

The Recipe:
1. Take a lunch-sized paper bag and fill the bottom with torn paper.
2. Before twisting closed, insert a handcrafted thanksgiving haiku or two.
3. Twist the top of the bag tight.
4. Paint using pumpkin colors.
5. After the paint is dry, use ribbon and raffia to decoratively seal the stem.

Display during the Thanksgiving season and tear open when it’s time to celebrate gratitude.

 

-Kim

Earlybird for the Month of Poetry

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April is just around the corner. It’s time to think poetry.

When is a flounder like a dish?

Who reads the Newt News?

How many lumps on the Bactrian’s back?

How many words rhyme with weevil?

What does the hawk remind the reader to be thankful for?

In our Earlybird Douglas Florian Discovery unit, students will explore beautifully illustrated collections of 21 poems. Each poem is pure silly fun blending science and whimsy to teach the reader about life in the sea, scaly slimy creatures, mammals, spiders, insects, and our fine-feathered friends.

Winner of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award and recipient of an ALA Notable Children’s Book Award, Douglas Florian is the author and illustrator of many children’s books. He believes there is only one rule when it comes to poetry: There are no rules. Douglas Florian gives credit to his father as his first art teacher, who taught him to love nature. He begins his poems with research of the real thing and then uses that information to create an imaginary poem. Douglas Florian lives in New York City with his wife and five children.

Your 1st and 2nd grade students will not only write and illustrate poems inspired by the Florian poems, they will explore the traits of characters, acquire new words, and practice making sentences. More importantly, they will enjoy exploring the art of poetry.

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Shark Shape Poems

To begin this project, go the the library and gather a collection of shark-picture-books. Read and enjoy at a safe distance. Sharks have sharp teeth.

Next, write a sentence or two about a shark incorporating some true facts and some not-so-true facts (after all, this is poetry). Be sure to include a simile (use the word "like" or "as" to compare the shark to something).

Sketch a few simple shark shapes, no details, just the outer contour. Choose a favorite to enlarge. Using light pencil draw the shark on a sheet of watercolor paper. Trace the light pencil drawing with black Sharpee.

Now write the shark sentences around the shark shape in, once again, very light pencil. When the sentence is spaced and spelled well, trace the words in black Sharpee.

Finally, the fun part… Mix up some deep-sea-watercolor blue and wash it right over the whole thing. Swish, swash, that's right! 

Shark

And when your shark poem is dry, beware of the blur that is caused when it swims right off the page as all good poems should.
Whale

 

-Kim

It’s April… Read and Write Poetry!

Douglass Florian

A collection of five Douglas Florian illustrated thematic books of poetry.

Winner of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award and recipient of an ALA Notable Children’s Book Award, Douglas Florian is the author and illustrator of many children’s books. He believes there is only one rule when it comes to poetry, that there are no rules. Douglas Florian gives credit to his father as his first art teacher, who taught him to love nature. He begins his poems with research of the real thing and then uses that information to create an imaginary poem. Douglas Florian lives in New York City with his wife and five children.

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Love That Dog

What is a poem anyway?

I don't want to
because boys

don't write poetry.

Girls do.

Meet Jack, who tells his story with a little help from some paper, a pencil, his teacher, and a dog named Sky.

Although this guide includes many of the same elements as the other Level 1 guides, such as vocabulary and comprehension, the format is unique.Each week, your student will be encouraged and guided to write poems in the style of each poet being introduced in the story.

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Locomotion

When Lonnie Collins Motion – Locomotion – was seven years old, his life changed forever.

Now he's eleven, and his life is about to change again. His teacher, Ms. Marcus, is showing him ways to put his jumbled feelings on paper. And suddenly, Lonnie has a whole new way to tell the world about his life, his friends, his little sister Lili, and even his foster mom, Miss Edna, who started out crabby but isn't so bad after all

 

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Out of the Dust

Will the dust ever end?

This gripping story, written in sparse first-person, free-verse poems, is the compelling tale of Billie Jo's struggle to survive during the dust bowl years of the Depression. With stoic courage, she learns to cope with the loss of her mother and her grieving father's slow deterioration. But, there is hope at the end.

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Exploring Poetry

Discover the poet within you!

This guide will help you discover the craft of writing poems and the delight of reading poetry. Over the course of seven weeks you will be introduced to some of the basic techniques used by poets, explore excellent poetry, and practice writing original poems. Each section is designed to be completed in about two, one hour sittings.


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Metamorphosis for April

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Butterflies are blossoming for the month of poetry!

These lovely creatures began with a lesson on the life cycle of this intricate insect and the book, A Blue Butterfly: A Claude Monet Story by Bijou Le Tord.

From there, with a bit of imagining, we were able to construct a singular sentence: Imagine you are a butterfly... What do you see? What do you sense? What do you wonder? What are you glad about?

Each sentence was thoughtfully considered. Each word matters in a tiny poem! I find that offering little phrases such as, "Butterfly, you…" or "My wings flutter…" or "I am flitting…" (and I'm sure you will come up with a few of your own…), help students overcome the "I Can't" road block. Thing is, they CAN! Most often the sentence starters disappear, over taken by the unique creativity of each writer's unique voice.

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Next, we traced a simple butterfly shape and set it free from sheets of watercolor paper. We used only shades of blue—blue watercolor, blue colored pencil, blue pipe cleaners.
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And the result is poetic. 
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-Kim

Write a Triangular Poem

Triangles

On observation,

I see triangles so often in nature.

This is a mystery to me..

I wonder why?

 

Where do you see triangles?

 

Write a "triangle" poem. Your poem will begin with an idea in sentence form. Transforming it to a line-break poem is fun and easy. Here's how:

Line Breaks:

  • Create “snapshots”
  • Guide your readers through images
  • Help you meander an idea in rhythmic pieces

Write a sentence:

Green plums frolic from their box onto the stage swinging their stems in rhythm to a juicy tune.

Break your sentence into “snapshots”

Green plums frolic                   OR              Green plums

from their box                                              frolic

onto the stage                                             from the box

swinging their stems                                   onto the stage

in rhythm                                                     swinging

to a juicy tune.                                             their Stems

                                                                    in rhythm

                                                                    to a juicy tune

 

-Sara & Kim

 

 

Bagpipes and Pajamas

Puddles

Are you following our Write it…! board on Pinterest? This images is all inspiration and puddles, perfect for February poetry.

Take a rainy day walk (imagine weather if climate does not permit) around your neck of the woods. Go people watching like this artist did. Write about a particular person or group you come across. What do you think that person’s backstory might be? Who are his/her friends? Where is he/she going? What does he/she hope for? What is he/she afraid of? Does that person call to mind certain memories, either childhood memories or recent experiences? Weave those memories into your narrative!

 

Example:

 

Bagpipes and Pajamas

Perhaps my craziest memory

is that of the man who sat in the quad

sometimes, playing bagpipes in his pajamas.

I don’t remember why he would do that—

perhaps I never knew. Perhaps

he was a transfer from Scotland,

and missed home while walking in the tangle

of graffitied metal of downtown warehouses.

Perhaps he always wanted to travel abroad,

and spent his nights drinking in the sound

of shafts of sunlight breaking through grey clouds

onto green hills: all I can recollect is his music

wafting around town at midnight some nights,

hearing those sweetly broken bagpipe

notes float out into the night,

starless with impenetrable smog.

 

-Constance