Inspired by the lively Poetry Friday community in the blog world, this year I decided to bring that magic into my work as a Literacy Coach in a K-3 school.
Each Friday, I share a poem via email to our school community. Teachers can choose to share the poem on a screen or print it out so that children can illustrate it. To make it even better, the poem is read aloud each Friday during morning announcements!
The kick-off poem was “Circle of Sun” by Rebecca Kai Dotlich from the wonderful anthology HERE’S A LITTLE POEM. Last week it was Deborah Ruddell’s “The Cardinal.” The week before, Molly Lorenz’s poem about making friends with a new kid was a big hit– “Lunch” from the book What is a Friend? (edited by Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell of Pomelo Books).
Weaving poetry into the school day is academically sound, and good for the heart and soul… Happy Poetry Friday, everyone!
On Fridays, I love taking part in Poetry Friday when I can, where writers share resources about children’s poetry. This week, poet Buffy Silverman hosts the Poetry Friday Roundup today at her blog. Check out the celebration of poetry there today!
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!