Playing with poetry in the classroom– that’s one of the best parts of my job as a Literacy Coach in an elementary school.
Recently, I introduced the poem “Circle of Sun” by Rebecca Kai Dotlich in the first-grade classroom I work in each morning. It’s the opening poem in the outstanding poetry book HERE’S A LITTLE POEM, collected by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters, illustrated by Polly Dunbar. One reason I love this book for use in the classroom is that it’s a generous size, perfect for reading aloud to a group.
“Circle of Sun” is chock full of vivid images and lively verbs, with beautiful lines like “I’m earth’s many colors” and “I’m honey on toast”– perfect for the multiracial, multicultural school community in which I teach. It’s a joy to read aloud!
But then came the best part– we made a classroom book. Each child took a line from the poem and illustrated it. This made the poem more meaningful– each first grader focused on image and word choice in their line of the poem and used that as their springboard for illustrating.
Now we have a beautiful classroom book, celebrating our diversity and love of poetry. Thank you to Rebecca for crafting such a meaningful and memorable poem!
On Fridays, I love taking part in Poetry Friday when I can, where writers share resources about children’s poetry. This week, Karen Edmisten hosts the Poetry Friday Roundup today at her blog. Check out the celebration of poetry there today!