Thursday, March 31, 2011

National Poetry Month Resources for 2011


Poetry Writing with Writers (Main Page)

Poetry Writing with Jack Prelutsky (Grades 1-4)

Writing I Spy Riddles with Jean Marzollo (Grades 2-5)

Poetry Writing with Karla Kuskin (Grades 4-8)

Poetry Idea Machine


Celebrate Poetry…all year long!: Find some great poetry ideas for teachers from award-winning poet Kristine O’Connell George.

Favorite Poem Project’s Poetry Lesson Plans and Projects: Find ideas for poetry activities developed by teachers who participated in the Summer Poetry Institutes for Teachers, which were sponsored by Robert Pinsky’s Favorite Poem Project and the Boston University School of Education.

Representative Poetry Online from the University of Toronto: This site includes more than 3,000 English poems by 500 poets, a glossary of poetic terms, and a link to the Canadian Poetry website.

Teach Now! National Poetry Month (From Scholastic): Here you will find a wealth of poetry ideas and resources under the following headings: Poems and Classroom Activities, Poetry Writing Workshops and Events, and Poetry Resources.

Poetry Resources: Tricia Stohr-Hunt provides links to more than two dozen websites with poetry resources at Open Wide, Look Inside, her blog about using poetry and children’s literature across the curriculum.

April Is National Poetry Month! (From Read Write Think): Includes links to poetry lesson plans and other resources.

30 Ways to Celebrate (From the Academy of American Poets)

National Poetry Month and the National Writing Project

Poetry Teaching Resources (NEA)


From Crayola: Poems and Paintings

From Crayola: Poem in My Pocket

From Poem in Your Pocket Day (April 29, 2010)

Magnetic Poetry

From Harcourt Trade Publishers: Free Classroom Kit for Julie Larios’s poetry book Imaginary Menagerie


New Poetry Books for Young People 2005-2010 (Compiled by Sylvia Vardell, Professor at the School of Library & Information Studies at Texas Woman's University)

CCBC Words to Share: A Bibliography of Poetry for Children and Teens (Compiled by Megan Schliesman)

From RIF: Judy Freeman’s 40 Favorite Poetry Books for Children

From The Horn Book: Recommended Poetry Books

From Scholastic: Poetry Month Booklist

From Pick a Peck of Poems


2011—J. Patrick Lewis

2009—Lee Bennett Hopkins

2006—Nikki Grimes

2003—A Poem Is a House for Words: NCTE Profiles Mary Ann Hoberman

2000—X. J. Kennedy

1997—Eloise Greenfield

1994—Barbara Juster Esbensen

1991—Valerie Worth

1988—Arnold Adoff

1985—Lilian Moore

1982—John Ciardi

1981—Eve Merriam

1980—Myra Cohn Livingston

1979—Karla Kuskin

1978—Aileen Fisher

1977—David McCord

Printable Poetry Winner Sheet


A Poetry Workshop in Print (From Teaching PreK-8) At this site, you will find brief articles about many different children’s poets written by Lee Bennett Hopkins. (Many thanks to Tricia Stohr-Hunt for the link to this site)

From Scholastic: Interview with Nikki Giovanni


Linda Ashman

Calef Brown

Leslie Bulion

Kalli Dakos

Rebecca Kai Dotlich

Ralph Fletcher

Betsy Franco

Kristine O’Connell George

Nikki Grimes

Anna Grossnickle Hines

Mary Ann Hoberman

Bobbi Katz

J. Patrick Lewis

Deborah Ruddell

Laura Salas

Joyce Sidman

Marilyn Singer

Eileen Spinelli

Janet Wong


Jeannine Atkins

Douglas Florian

Linda Kulp

Julie Larios

Heidi Mordhorst

Laura Salas

Toby Speed

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater


The Academy of American Poets (Main Page) & National Poetry Month Page

American Life in Poetry

Favorite Poem Project

The Poetry Foundation

NPR Poetry Page

Poetry Daily

Poetry Out Loud

Poetry 180


The Children’s Poetry Archive

The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor


(Listed Alphabetically)

Rebecca Kai Dotlich

Douglas Florian: Part 1 & Part 2

Lee Bennett Hopkins

Paul Janeczko

J. Patrick Lewis

Joyce Sidman

Janet Wong


POETRY FRIDAY: The Poetry of Mary Ann Hoberman

More Mary Ann Hoberman

New Children's Poet Laureate Announced!

The Poetry of Rebecca Kai Dotlich





Welcoming Spring...with Poetry

POETRY FRIDAY: Summersaults and Lemonade Sun

Fall into Poetry

POETRY FRIDAY: Winter in Poems & Paintings

POETRY FRIDAY: 'Tis the Seasons


Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems

POETRY FRIDAY (Includes reviews of Busy in the Garden & Beware, Take Care: Fun and Spooky Poems)

Red Sings from Treetops: A Book Review & An Invitation

Book Bunch: It's All about the Weather

Poetry Books about Winter

Children's Poetry Books for Halloween

ONE BIG RAIN: A Poetry Book Review & Some Original Poems


Stella, Unleashed: Poetry Book Review

Poetry Book Review: On the Farm

Butterfly Bonanza

Poetry Friday: Toad by the Road

Leaping Lizards! It's the Year of the Frog

Into the Sea Once More

Over in the Garden

POETRY FRIDAY: Animal Poems by Valerie Worth

Poetry Book Review & Videos: Our Farm by Maya Gottfried

The Frogs and Toads All Sang: A Book of Poems by Arnold Lobel

Poetry Friday: Animal Haiku

Ubiquitous by Joyce Sidman & Beckie Prange

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman


Poetry Friday: Going Back to School...with Poetry

More School Poems: Review of School Supplies

Hamsters, Shells, and Spelling Bees: School Poems

Poetry Friday: Swimming Upstream

Stampede! Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School

Countdown to Summer: A Poetry Book Review

Going back to School…with Poetry (Messing Around on the Monkey Bars)


Poetry and Science, Part I

Poetry and Science, Part II

POETRY FRIDAY: Science & Poetry

POETRY FRIDAY: Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars

UPDATE: Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars...and Pluto

POETRY FRIDAY: Joyce Sidman, Part I

POETRY SATURDAY: Joyce Sidman, Part II

The Sun in Me: Poems about the Planet

The Tree That Time Built: A Celebration of Nature Science and Imagination

Book Review: Sky Magic Compiled bt Lee Bennett Hopkins

Ubiquitous by Joyce Sidman & Beckie Prange

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman


POETRY FRIDAY: Happy Haiku to You

Poetry Book Review: Yum! Mmmm! Que Rico!

Poetry Friday: Animal Haiku


The World's Greatest: Poems--A Book Review

Book Bunch: Looking at Langston Hughes

Poetry and Art

Words...Wonderful Words, Words, Words

POETRY FRIDAY: Here's a Little Poem

POETRY FRIDAY: Yoga Poems (Includes an interview with author Janet Wong and illustrator Julie Paschkis)

POETRY FRIDAY: This Is Just to Say

POETRY FRIDAY: Fairy Tale Poems

Poetry about City Life

Button Up!: Wrinkled Rhymes by Alice Schertle

My Cat Is in Love with the Goldfish and Other Loopy Love Poems

Poetry Book Review: Incredible Inventions Complide by Lee Bennett Hopkins


Recipe & How to Make... Poems, Part I

Recipe & How to Make... Poems, Part II

Recipe Poem: How to Make a Morning

How to Bring Spring: An Original Poem


Children’s Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman Presents: Laughing Time Mary Ann Hoberman reads from William Jay Smith’s Laughing Time (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1990), a favorite children’s poetry collection of the Poet Laureate and her family.

The Hypnotizer by Michael Rosen—This may be the world’s first video poetry book. Here’s Rosen’s explanation of The Hypnotizer: "I wrote a book of poems for children called 'The Hypnotiser' some years ago and then it went out of print. I couldn't get anyone to reprint it, so I asked my son Joe to film me performing the book for this website."

Hatchling’s Song from Judy Sierra’s Antarctic Antics (Weston Woods)

April Rain Song—by Langston Hughes (Animated Poem from the Poetry Foundation’s Classical Baby Video Series)

A Very Valentine—written & read by Gertrude Stein (Animated Poem from the Poetry Foundation’s Classical Baby Video Series)

Mariposa—written by Federico Garcia Lorca & read by Andy Garcia (Animated Poem from the Poetry Foundation’s Classical Baby Video Series)

Chromosome Poem—written & read by J. Patrick Lewis (Scholastic)


Audio Poetry: A Call to Words by Kristi Jemetegaad (May/June 2005)

On Originality in Children’s Poetry by J. Patrick Lewis (May/June 2005)

“Writing poetry for children is a curious occupation”: Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath by Lissa Paul (May/June 2005)

Purposeful Poetry by Susan Dove Lempke (May/June 2005)

On Poetry and Black American Poets by Ashley Bryan (February 1979)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Here & There: March 28, 2011

QUESTION: Is anyone else having trouble with Blogger lately? I originally typed the following links in a list--but when I published the post, everything was all squished up together. I've had to add HTML line breaks. I've also been having a problem uploading pictures.

Women’s History Book Resources (The Horn Book)

Notes from the Horn Book (March 2011 Issue)

Includes a link to the following:

- Five questions for Lee Bennett Hopkins

- Passing the poetry

- New books for young readers

Fall Children’s Books Sneak Previews(Publishers Weekly)

About Children’s Illustrator Sophie Blackall (Publishers Weekly)

ALSC & YALSA 2011 Book Picks (School Library Journal)

Top 10 Graphic Novels for Youth: 2011 (Booklist)

Everyday Poetry: Poetry Tag (Booklist)

Classroom Connections: Discovering the Magic of Books—through Books (Booklist)

Books and Authors: Talking with Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer (Booklist)

Chris Van Allsburg: Stories enlightened by ‘Higglety Pigglety Pop!’ (The Boston Globe)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Crocus Poems: Variations on a Theme

Sometimes, I like to write different types of poems on the same subject. Today, my subject is crocuses. I posted three of these poems previously at Wild Rose Reader--the acrostic, haiku, and tanka. I just wrote rough drafts of the cinquain and mask poems this morning.

Coming up, I’m coming up,
Reaching through the softening soil, poking my petals
Out of the earth,
Collecting sunlight in my purple cup.
Up, I’m coming up.
Spring is on the way!

Look! A starting line
of crocuses ready
to sprint into spring

Tanka (3/5/3/5/5)

pierce the softening
soil, push up
purple periscopes,
search for spring’s warm face.

Cinquain (Rough Draft)

Can’t wait for spring,
Pokes its purple head out
Of the ground. Showers in sunshine
All day.

Crocus Mask Poem (Rough Draft)

I poked my head up.
What I found:
A snow quilt
Covering the ground.
I think I’ll stick around.

The Poetry Friday Roundup is at A Year of Reading.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic--A Book by Robert Burleigh & Wendell Minor

If you’re looking for an excellent nonfiction picture book about one of America’s most daring and courageous women to share with children during Women in History month, I highly recommend Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic. The book was written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Wendell Minor. It is an outstanding package of text and art that provides a gripping account of Earhart’s historic transatlantic flight from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, to a pasture in Northern Ireland in May 1932.

Burleigh’s text is lively and lyrical. Here is how he describes the takeoff of Earhart’s Vega—her Little Red Bus:

The plane swoops like a swallow
Over dark puddles and patches of tundra.

The shore gleams in waning light.
The waves are curls of cream-colored froth.

As the pilot flies east into the darkness, Burleigh describes how the sky appears to her:

The moon peeks between wisps of shimmering clouds.
Distant stars flicker and fade. Her mind soars.

Earhart’s flight appears to be off to an auspicious start—but around midnight it becomes an adventure fraught with danger. That’s when her plane is pummeled by rain during a thunderstorm. About an hour later, her altimeter breaks. Earhart tries to climb above the storm. Her plane becomes sluggish because ice has formed on its wings. It begins to pitch and spin. Then the plane starts to nose-dive downward. Earhart finally gains control of it after it bursts through the lowest clouds. She manages to level her Vega just ten feet above the surface of the Atlantic Ocean!

Earhart isn’t out of danger yet. She still has many miles to go before she’ll reach land. Alone in the cockpit, she sniffs salts and sips juice from a can. Around three o’clock, flames stream out of the cracked exhaust pipe. By 6:00 a.m., Amelia’s eyes burn and her stomach “churns from the smell of leaking gas.”


Black turns to a watery silt. The gloomy sky pales.

Splinters of sunlight stab down through cloud slits
And brace themselves on the vault of the open sea.

Earhart looks out of her cockpit and sees: a boat…a drifting gull…an emerging coastline...train tracks. She finds a smooth pasture where she lands her plane safely.

Two thousand and twenty-six miles. Fourteen
Hours and fifty-six minutes.

A great peace wells up.
She knows she has crossed something more than an ocean.

Amelia Earhart had crossed over an ocean and entered into the halls of history. She was the second person to fly solo across the Atlantic—and the very first woman. She was indeed a true American heroine--a brave woman who broke down barriers and pushed the envelope.

Night Flight would be an excellent book to read aloud to children. Burleigh’s text is a concise and dramatic account of Amelia Earhart’s compelling and historic adventure. Wendell Minor’s paintings add to the tension and excitement of the story. He uses two-page spreads with no borders, changing perspectives, close-ups of the Vega and of Amelia in her cockpit, and a dark and foreboding color palette in a number of the illustrations. Minor draw us up into the wide-open sky with Amelia…into the ominous gloom of that stormy and eventful night. He takes us along with a fearless protagonist on her treacherous--and successful--fifteen-hour solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

The back matter of Night Flight includes the following:
- An afterword by the author
- A technical note by the illustrator
- A bibliography
- A list of Internet resources
- A selection of Amelia Earhart quotes.

Book Trailer

Amelia Earhart Last flight video

Amelia Earhart Audio Slideshow: Part 1

Amelia Earhart Audio Slideshow: Part 2

Amelia Earhart Tribute

Amelia Earhart Rare Interview

Amelia Earhart & Her Lockheed Vega (Smithsonian)

Learn More About Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart's Biography

Amelia Earhart's Achievements

Amelia Earhart Quotes

Friday, March 18, 2011

Early Drafts of Two End-of Winter Poems

I write a lot of poetry. I've completed several poetry collections. Yet, I rarely submit my manuscripts to publishers. Why is that? I'm one of those writers who thinks she's never finished with a poem...who thinks she can always make a poem better. It's a good thing I don't have to support myself with my writing. Then again, maybe I'd send out more of my work if I needed money!

What I like about having a blog is being able to post rough drafts of poems...or poems that haven't been polished yet.

Here are two end-of-winter poems I began work on this week. The first one was inspired by a grimy patch of snow in my front yard.

In Our Yard

Winter left behind…
one patch of snow,
littered with leaves
and crusted with grime.
It’s only time
before it melts into the past.
It will not last.
Spring arrived here yesterday
and frightened old Jack Frost away.

Winter’s fading fast.
Winter’s tuckered out.
It packed its bags. It’s leaving town.
It heard Spring’s boist’rous shout:
“Make way for me, old man…
And take your ice and snow.
Now it’s my turn to rule the land…
And time for you to go.”
At Blue Rose Girls, I have an original list poem titled Things to Do If You Are the Ocean.
At Political Verses, you'll find Scott and Dot--a feminist nursery rhyme written by J.Patrick Lewis.
The Poetry Friday Roundup is over at A Wrung Sponge.

A Women in History Month Post Featuring Author Jeannine Atkins

Here I am with author Jeannine Atkins
at the March 16th dinner meeting
of the Massachusetts PAS North Shore Council of IRA.

I hadn’t thought about something when I first invited Jeannine Atkins to be the guest speaker for our reading council’s winter dinner meeting on March 16th. March is Women in History Month. A second sense must have guided me when I chose her to speak to our council members…because Jeannine's books–whether nonfiction, historical fiction, or poetry—celebrate the achievements, intelligence, and courage of women.

Jeannine has found inspiration for her writing in nature, in the past, and especially in the lives of women who bucked convention and carved out lives for themselves as scientists and explorers. The famous—and not so famous—women that she has written about include Maria Sybilla Merian, Anna Botsford Comstock, Miriam Rothschild, Louis May Alcott, Marie Curie, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Anne Huthchinson, Mary Anning, Rachel Carson, and Jane Goodall.

I couldn’t wait to meet Jeannine in person. I LOVED her most recent book Borrowed Names: Poems about Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C. J. Walker, Marie Curie, and Their Daughters. Once I picked up the book and started reading it I couldn’t put it down. Her narrative poetry in Borrowed Names really drew me into the lives of those three accomplished women—a popular children’s author, a wealthy black businesswoman, a famous scientist who won two Nobel Awards—and their daughters.

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Madam C. J. Walker (Sarah Breedlove)

Marie (Sklodowska) Curie

I think Borrowed Names is a perfect book to share with children during Women in History Month. So, too, are some of Jeannine’s other books—which include Aani and the Tree Huggers, Mary Anning and the Sea Dragon, Anne Hutchinson’s Way, and Girls Who Looked under Rocks.

Jeannine says that during the years when her daughter was growing up, she wrote about people who hadn’t yet found their rightful places in history books—female Arctic explorers, seventeenth century naturalists, paleontologists, pilots. In an interview with Glenn Hoveman, Glenn asked Jeannine about the women she wrote about in Girls Who Looked under Rocks: The Lives of Six Pioneering Naturalists.

Glenn: Some of the women naturalists you write about in Girls are well known, like Rachel Carson and Jane Goodall. But others are not well known at all, like Maria Merian and Anna Comstock. How did you find out about them sufficiently to really write about them, especially as children?

Jeannine: Writing about women from history often brings me to my next subject, as one life may bump into another. Both Rachel Carson and Jane Goodall wrote beautifully about their own experiences, and expressed thanks to those who taught them, which led me on paths back. For instance, Rachel Carson’s mother used Anna Comstock’s massive book to answer her daughter’s scientific questions, and since Anna Comstock had been a respected professor, her letters and notes had been saved. While a woman such as Maria Sibylla Merian isn’t a household name now, she was highly respected in her day, then essentially forgotten. I love doing the “detective work” of going back to buried records of achievement.

If you’re looking for books about women that you can read to/recommend to children during Women in History Month, I suggest you think of author Jeannine Atkins—a woman author who writes about women.
Learn more about Anne Hutchinson: The Trial of Anne Hutchinson (PBS Kids)
********************Learn more about Mary Anning here.

******************** Learn More about the Chipko Movement: India’s Call to Save Their Forests
You can see a picture of tree huggers here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Quick Poetic Thought

Hip Hooray! We're having a glorious day!!! It's sunny and nearly sixty degrees. Don't know how long this kind of weather will last here in New England. I plan to enjoy it this afternoon.

Just a quick poetic thought:
Winter cracked the door open
And Spring popped in for a visit.

Friday, March 11, 2011

An Original End-of-Winter Poem

It certainly doesn’t feel like spring is nearly here. Today, it’s gray and damp and cold around these parts. Still, I hold out hope the season will arrive before the end of April!!!
Here’s an end-of-winter poem that I wrote a couple of weeks ago. I don’t have a title for it yet.

Frozen earth thaws,
Pond ice recedes,
Icicles weep,
Snowmen bleed
As mountain brooks begin to sing.
Winter’s melting into spring!

The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Liz in Ink.

At Blue Rose Girls, I have an original cinquain.

Friday, March 4, 2011

MARCH: Two Versions of an Original Acrostic Poem

I sometimes like to write rhyming acrostics. Here’s one I wrote about the month of March last week:

Melting snow, mellower days,
A brighter sun with warmer rays,
Chirping. Beat the drum.
Hallelujah! Spring has come!

Here's a slightly different version of the March acrostic that I wrote this morning:

Melting snow, mellower days,
A brighter sun with warmer rays,
Chirping. Let’s all cheer.
Hallelujah! Spring is here!


At Blue Rose Girls, I have an acrostic poem titled Crocus.

Ben has the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Small Nouns.