Friday, April 27, 2007

Poetry Articles

Here's links to some interesting poetry articles:

Sloan, Glenna. "Perspectives: poetry and literacy, "Children's Book Council Magazine.

On how to get children to love poetry and teachers to love using it (lots of it) in the classroom.

Hopkins, Lee Bennett. "The Power of Poetry," Children's Book Council Magazine.

How poetry transformed one man's life.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Log Blog

Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes.

Sidman’s previous poetry collection, Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems, a joyous celebration of the seasonal life of a pond, won a Caldecott honor for Becky Prange’s stunning woodcut illustrations. Once again, Sidman uses a variety of poetic styles to explore the ecosystem of a meadow. Fascinated by interrelationships she saw in there, Sidman groups her poems in complimenting pairs, and, with visual clues from Krommes’ lush scratchboard illustrations, ends each poem with a riddle, inviting children to guess which flora or fauna the poem is about:

softwormtoes …”

What am I? (a toad)

From “Don’t I Look Delicious?”

The pages following each poem answer the riddle and provide basic information about the life represented in the poem. Like its predecessor, this book is a handsome blend of art, science, and poetry recommended for ages 5-9, but can be enjoyed by all.

Want more Sidman? Visit her website:

Thursday, April 19, 2007

New Nonfiction

Habitat Explorer

Using an imaginary journey as a vehicle, each title in this series invites children to closely examine the plants, animals, and organisms of a particular habitat. Children reading Desert Habitats, will board a helicopter for the Sahara Desert, where a guide and camel team await them (p. 4). Engaging and informative text (the guide is anxious to get started “… because, later in the day it will soar to near 120 F …, p. 5) is coupled with vivid photographs, illustrations, side panel information, glossaries and more recommend this series. An informative and imaginative approach to the study of the earth’s ecosystems. Other titles include Forest Explorer, Rain Forest Explorer, Mountain Explorer, and River Explorer. Recommended for grades 3-5.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

International Children's Book Day

“You open the book, take in the words and the good story explodes inside you …”From a message by Margaret Mahy, Hans Christian Andersen Award Winner on International Children’s Book Day, April 2, 2007.

This celebration is sponsored by the International Board on Books for Young People. IBBY is a non-profit organization representing people from all over the world who are committed to bringing books and children together. Celebrate International Children’s Book Day by visiting their virtual exhibition, “Books for Africa, Books from Africa” Some 80+ books from all over Africa are represented here. Select a category (picture books, folk tales, etc.) and click on a jacket cover image to read a commentary about the book and see a few pages. Book titles in the exhibit are also searchable by language. See the exhibit at

Saturday, April 7, 2007

April is National Poetry Month

Thanks to the National Academy of Poets, National Poetry Month was created to focus attention on America’s poetic heritage. Students and I will spend the month focusing on the library's poetry collection and using it in a variety of ways to strengthen reading and information literacy skills and explore how poetry can be used throughout the curriculum.

Poetry in print
We have a small, but rich and diverse collection of poetry titles for K-8 students. To explore our collection, staff and students can use the Destiny (Follett Library Resources) management program from anywhere on campus. Records display book jackets, summaries, reviews, recommended age and reading levels, and links to similar titles. In addition, users can access two poetry resource lists (bibliographies) I compiled for beginning and older readers. “State Standards” a searchable component to this database, allows users to access high quality, grade-level appropriate, web sites. I'll feature some titles in the coming days and weeks.

Teacher Resources
Rhymes and reasons; librarians and teachers using poetry to foster literacy
grades K-6
Projects and activities for teaching language and literacy with poetry, covering the alphabet, syllables, words, phrases, and more.

Teaching ten fabulous forms of poetry by Paul B. Janeczko
Projects designed to help readers learn about different forms of poetry.

Subscription Databases (passwords required)
To access click on link to Sequoyah Library Databases at right.

Student Resource Center
Comprehensive subscription database for grades 5 and up. Database includes texts of poems, explanations, criticisms, historical and cultural context, and biographical information.

NoveList (EbscoHost)
Interesting articles on novels in verse.

"A Conversation with Janet Wong"(workshop).
Poet and author Wong discussed her poetry for children and youth, answered questions about inspiration and shared ideas for teaching and writing with an enthusiastic group of teachers (and one librarian, wonder who that was?). An inspirational writer with a lovely and graceful style. We have some of her titles, including:
You have to write, a picture book for younger readers demonstrating that everyone can find something to write about.
On order: Dumpster Driver, Twist, and The Rainbow Hand (collections of her poetry).
Visit her web site to learn more about her and hear her read some of her poems.

Poetry in the Virtual World

The American Verse Project
A searchable database of American poetry published prior to 1920 (National Academy of Poets)
National Poetry Month
Great site for older children and adults. See these resources: Poem-A-Day: have a poem sent to your email address each day during April. It’s free! For educators: lesson plans, essays, great poems to teach, links to other poetry, resources and more.

The Children’s Book Council: Young People’s Poetry Week
An impressive site dedicated to encouraging reading and literacy through children’s books and programs. Links to two articles about teaching poetry.

Poetry Teacher (Meadowbrook Press)
Created to help teachers teach poetry and inspire their students with a love of poetry. A joyful, fun, and sometimes silly site perfect for the 6-10 crowd. Children learn about different poetic forms through poetry races (tongue twisters), giggle poetry, riddles, poetry based on songs, poetry theatre, etc.

Poet’s Corner (Poetry month resources from Thomson Gale)
Free resources include biographies, timelines, quiz, activities, and downloads.

Read, Write, Think (National Council of Teachers of English)
April is National Poetry Month
One of those stellar sites (after the Library of Congress, of course) all educators should consult often. Lesson plans and activities for K-12 Language Arts teachers.