Wednesday, April 9, 2008

April is National Poetry Month!

Poetry comes in all forms, shapes, languages, and sizes; from rollicking and rhyming to slow and thoughtful, from narrative to imagistic. In April, we will be celebrating the glorious world of poetry by reading poems during library time.

Here are some of the wonderful poetry books that we've been reading during library this month:Touch the Poem by Arnold Adoff is a collection of poems and photographs about the pieces of our everyday lives, including bathtime, gardening, and lying down after a big meal. Kindergarten and first grade really enjoyed this collection of poems about things we all enjoy.
Second and third graders sat close up to see the concrete poems in A Poke in the I, collected by Paul Janeczko and illustrated by Chris Raschka. Concrete poems are poems that take the shape of an aspect of the poem, and we had a great time thinking about the shapes while listening to the words.

The third grade and first grade heard Verla Kay's Rough, Tough Charley, a poem-biography. Charley Parkhurst was a "rough, tough" 19th-century stagecoach driver who dressed and passed as a man until her death. Charley Parkhurst was also the inspiration for Pam Munoz Ryan's fictionalized biography, Riding Freedom. We had a great discussion about equal rights and gender stereotypes.

Third,fourth, and fifth graders also got to see and compare two very different versions of Lewis Carroll's classic Jabberwocky: one traditional version illustrated by Joel Stewart, and an exciting new re-imagined version illustrated by the awesome Christopher Myers.

In fourth and fifth grade, we've been loving Chess Rumble, a novel in verse by G. Neri. (Mr. Neri, we can't WAIT for your next book to come out!!)

Some fourth and fifth graders have also heard Cool Melons Turn to Frogs!: the life and poems of Issa and Jon Scieszka's hilarious (and scientifically accurate!) Science Verse.

Yes, April is full of poetry excitement. In fact, we've enjoyed all this poetry so much that next year Ms. Claire plans to read a poetry book at least once a month.

What's your favorite way to celebrate National Poetry Month?

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