Friday, April 07, 2017

School Library Month

April is National Poetry Month, of course, but it's also time to celebrate LIBRARIES with both School Library Month and National Library Week, April 9-15, 2017. So what better way to combine all these than with a poem about the library? Here's one of my favorites:

It's from The Poetry Friday Anthology (K-5), so it has a Take 5 mini-lesson to accompany the poem (just like ALL the poems in the book). Here are those steps:

1. Arrange a quick visit to the library or bring a pile, bin, or cart of library books on a variety of topics. Show students your public library card and have applications available. Then read this poem aloud. Slow down to enunciate each item in lines 5-16.

2. Read the poem aloud again, and invite students to read the last three lines in unison.

3. For discussion: What is your favorite book you’ve read (so far)?

4. Help students find the rhyming pairs of “words that sound alike.” Ask students: What are the words that rhyme? (These include: door/more; quakes/snakes; beans/machines; bats/cats; book/look/cook; poem/home; about/out.) Read the poem aloud again, but pause before the second word in each rhyming pair and wait for the students to chime in with the correct response (more, snakes, machines, cats, look, home, out).

5. Look for “Poems Are Out of This World!” by Charles Ghigna (page 55), or a poem from Please Bury Me in the Library by J. Patrick Lewis.

And you can find more poems about libraries (and reading, books, and school) in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations.

Even More Poems about Libraries

Poets have been writing about the power of reading, libraries, and books for generations. With a focus on books and reading, these poems are the perfect way to open up a storytime, lesson, or read aloud session. In fact, a favorite book-related poem can become the ritual that gathers the children together, brings a lesson to closure, or welcomes parents and adults. Here is just a sampling of selections from The Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists.

Bagert, Brod. 1999.  Rainbows, Head Lice and Pea-Green Tile; Poems in the Voice of the Classroom Teacher. Gainesville, FL: Maupin House. 

Dakos, Kalli. 2003. Put Your Eyes Up Here: And Other School Poems. New York: Simon & Schuster.

George, Kristine O’Connell. 2002.  Swimming Upstream: Middle School Poems. New York: Clarion Books. 

Glenn, Mel. 2000. Split Image. New York: HarperCollins.

Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2004. Wonderful Words: Poems about Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. New York: Simon & Schuster. 

Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 2011. I am the Book. Holiday House.

Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Ed. 1990. Good Books, Good Times! New York: HarperTrophy.  

Lewis, J. Patrick. 1999. The Bookworm's Feast: A Potluck of Poems. New York: Dial.

Pearson, Deborah. Ed. When I Went to the Library. Toronto: Groundwood Books. 

Prelutsky, Jack. 2006. What a Day It Was at School! New York: Greenwillow.

Rich, Mary Perrotta. Ed. 1998. Book Poems:  Poems from National Children’s Book Week, 1959-1998. New York: Children’s Book Council.

Salas, Laura Purdie. 2011. BookSpeak!. Ill. by Josee Bisaillon. Clarion.

Zimmer, Tracie Vaughn. 2009. Steady Hands: Poems About Work. New York: Clarion.

And for a list of poems about libraries:

Vardell, Sylvia M. (2006). A place for poetry: Celebrating the library in poetry. Children and Libraries. 4, (2), 35-41 and Vardell, S. M. (2007). Everyday poetry: Celebrating Children’s Book Week with book-themed poetry. Book Links. 17, (2), 14-15.

Now the lovely Irene Latham is gathering our Poetry Friday posts, so don't miss her blog post today HERE.

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