In recent weeks, lots of people have found their way to Wild Rose Reader searching for “back to school” poems.” I have included the links to the following Wild Rose Reader posts from last August and September that have had frequent visitors:
Poetry Friday: Going Back to School with Poetry
Hamster, Shells, and Spelling Bees:
Edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa
I thought I’d also write a review of Hamsters, Shells, and Spelling Bees: School Poems, a new I Can Read anthology edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins that elementary teachers may want to add to their classroom collections. This slim volume contains twenty poems about all manner of school-related topics from the school bus driver and teacher, library and art class, show and tell and preparing for a school play--to looking through a microscope, listening to a teacher read aloud, having the measles, and making maps in the classroom.
The anthology opens with a short poem entitled Ready.
by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
Stars sleep as I wake
to this brand-new school day
It ends with Linda Kulp’s True Love, a poem about a child returning home from school at the end of the day to be welcomed by her purring cat. You can read Linda’s poem here at her blog Write Time.
The poems included in Hamsters, Shells, and Spelling Bees are short and easy to read. In addition to Dotlich, the authors of the poems include such well-known children’s poets as J. Patrick Lewis, Jane Yolen, Alice Schertle, and Lee Bennett Hopkins. There are also poems by less familiar writers.
Jane Yolen’s poem Maps would be an excellent one to share with students before embarking on a map-making unit. Here’s how the poem begins:
by Jane Yolen
We are making maps:
maps of our classroom,
maps of our school,
maps of our town.
We let our fingers walk
the straight lines
from window to door,
that gently curve,
along town streets…
Here’s a haiku that would be good to read to students before a poetry-writing activity. It was written by Alice Schertle, one of my favorite children’s poets.
by Alice Schertle
Pencil stub, I must
ask myself: How many more
poems are in you?
Hamsters, Shells, and Spelling Bees hits the mark for an I Can Read anthology of poems about school for young children. It has a good variety of poem topics and poetic voices. It’s a “comfy pair of slippers” kind of collection that, I think, early elementary teachers will enjoy having close at hand in the classroom--and one that most early readers won’t have to struggle to read independently. Sachiko Yosikawa’s colorful, uncluttered illustrations add to the humor and light-hearted tone of the poems.
At Blue Rose Girls, I have Three Songs at the End of Summer by Jane Kenyon.
The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Charlotte’s Library.
P.S. I’ll be in charge of the Poetry Friday Roundup next week.