Tag Archives: National Poetry Month

Pangur Bán

11 Apr

Sometime in or around the 9th century, a monk wrote a poem, in Irish, in the margins of a manuscript in the Monastery of St Paul in Lananttal, Austria. The poem, entitled “Pangur Bán”, compares the life of the monk to the life of his white (bán) cat, Pangur. There have been many translations and Jo Ellen Bogart explains in the author’s note at the end of The White Cat and the Monk, that she has drawn on several of these for the text she uses in the book.

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The simple text is elegant, distilling the poem’s ideas to language young readers can appreciate and enjoy. The book opens wordlessly as we follow the white cat into the monastery and the cell of the monk, to whom we are then introduced

“I, monk and scholar,

share my room

with my white cat, Pangur.

 By candle’s light, late into the night

we work, each at a special trade.

The monk goes on to compare and contrast his life and scholarly pursuits to the cat’s life and feline pursuits. And yet, in the end they are not so different. The final pages show the monk and cat, together at a window.

In our tiny home,

Pangur finds his mouse…

and I find light

in the darkness.

The illustrations are beautiful, modern, yet evoking a time and place long ago.

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This is a quiet book, contemplative even, but I think  many young readers would enjoy it. I think it would make an excellent bedtime read aloud for people of all ages. You can hear the poem, read it is original Irish in the clip below, from Seamus Heaney’s Memorial Service.

 

 

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Out of the Frying Pan….#SOL15

31 Mar

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The end of the Slice of Life Challenge means that NaPoWriMo is about to begin.

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NaPoWriMo,National Poetry Writing Month,  is an annual project in which participating poets attempt to write a poem a day for the month of April. My Literacy differentiation group actually started today, since we only meet on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Th kids groaned when I told them about NaPoWriMo. We talked about what poetry is and how you get to bend the rules sometimes. I showed them my previous NaPoWriMo journals, but refused to read anything out of it yet. I gave them their NaPoWriMo journal (just a cover page on a bunch of folded pages) and their first prompt: write a poem with a lie.

They knew they had to take some time to quietly think, then write. It took them a bit to get settled, but I could tell when it happened, when the grumblers had turned into poets.

When they seemed to be getting restless again I announced it was time to share. They knew that sharing would be optional but that I would share my writing. I just wouldn’t share it before they started. I read my poem from today:

I didn’t take your toy.

OK, I touched your toy, but I didn’t take it.

Maybe I took your toy, but I didn’t play with it.

So, I played with it a little, but I didn’t have fun.

It was sort of fun, but I wasn’t rough.

I guess I might have been a bit rough, but I certainly didn’t break your toy.

Honestly!

The kids laughed and a few volunteered. I read my poem form last year, and then almost everyone volunteered.

By the end, I think I had them all convinced it wouldn’t be too bad a month.

Out like a lion

30 Apr

National Poetry Month is almost over, but it went out like a lion last night at Verselandia, the   high school poetry slam presented by Literary Arts.

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It is the Grand Slam for individual school slams hosted by PPS high school library media specialists. I got to see some old friends and some great, young slam poets. You can see an  interview and short performance with last night’s winner, Bella Trent, and runner up, Sam Burnett if you want to learn more.

The emcee was Anis Mojgani who might just be my new poetic crush! He was the final performer, make us laugh and think while the judges tabulated the results. Intermission also saw a performance by Mahatma Poe and we were treated to a sacrificial poet, Doc Luben,  at the beginning to help the judges  establish a baseline.

It was my first poetry slam. Now, I want to figure out a way to get my students to slam their poetry.

 

 

 

 

Poetry Comes Alive

24 Apr

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In honor or today,Poem in Your Pocket Day, I have collected a pocketful of online poetry resources you can use.

1. NaPoWriMo  or National Poetry Writing Month, is an annual project in which participating poets attempt to write a poem a day for the month of April. Although designed for an older audience, there are some daily prompts that can be adapted for younger writers. 

2. Scholastic has some fun resources to use with younger students.

3. Poets.org (The Academy of American Poets) has a page for educators. Activities are suitable for students of all ages.

4. Poetry Out Loud has a downlodable teachers guide and other resources.

5. The BBC also has some great resources.

6. The Poetry Foundation also has tons of resources for teachers.

7. Teachervision has slideshows, printables, activities that connect poetry across the curriculum…..

8. The Poetry Archive has a wealth of information, lesson plans and ideas.

9. The Favorite Poem Project  is dedicated to celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry’s role in Americans’ lives. It has resources for all levels. 

10. Read Write Think has lesson plans for k-12 teachers.

11. Reading Rockets has videos & lesson ideas suitable for elementary grades.

12. The National Writing Project offers an impressive array of resources to help teachers and students celebrate National Poetry Month, an annual 30-day event that celebrates and promotes the achievement of American poets.

13. You’d expect the NAtional Council of Teachers of English to have some good resources. You can select information based on

14. The NYC Department of Education has lesson  and unit plans you can use.

15.Eductopia provides some online and interactive poetry resources.

16. Education World editors have gathered poetry resources from our archive of lesson plans, activities, projects, articles and Resources.

17. You can learn more about  Verselandia on their blog.

If you have some favorite online  resources, please share them in the comment section below. I will add them to my list.

Here is the booklist from the OASL Regional conference April 26th.

Poems to Learn by Heart 

Leave your Sleep: A Collection of Classic Children’s Poetry

Firefly July

The Crossver by Kwame Alexander

We Go Together by Calef Brown

Your Skeleton is Showing by Kurt Cyrus

The Lightning Dreamer by Margarita Engle

Shiver Me Timbers – Pirate Poems  by Douglas Florian

A Dazzling Display of  Dogs  by Betsy Franco

Dear Hot Dog  by Mordicai Gerstein

I, Too, an America by Langston Hughes

Requiem by Paul B. Janeczko

Poems I Wrote When No One Was Loking by Alan Kurtz

The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub by Susan Katz

Against Butterflies by Ann Lauinger

When Thunder Comes  by J. Patrick Lewis

World Rat Day by J. Patrick Lewis

Cat Talk by patricia MacLachlan

Dizzy in Your Eyes  by Paat Mora

Hi, Koo!  by Jon Muth

How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson

Stardines Swin High Across the Sky by Jack Prelutsky

Bookspeak by Laura Purdie Salas

My Brother’s Book by Maurice Sendak

Swirl by Swirl  by Joyce Sidman

What the Heart Knows  by Joyce Sidman

Follow Follow  by Marilyn Singer

Everyone Out Here Knows  by William Stafford

Digger Dozer Dumper  by Hope Vestergaard

Literally Disturbed  by Ben H. Winters

The Watch that Ends the Night  by Alan Wolf

Pug and Other Animal poems  by Valerie Worth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outside the Box

10 Apr

What do you get when you take a best-selling picture book author’s poems and combine them with a Caldecott winner’s illustrations?

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This is a collection of edgy, affirming, silly, and poignant verse. The book looks like  Shel Silverstein book. I suspect that’s intentional because it is dedicated to him. “The Shel S. , who encouraged every child to play with words, and in doing so, encouraged them to learn how to love, fight, and reach others with words as well”

The poems play with typography, talk about awkward situations, and allow readers to use their imagination. Here are a few samples. Enjoy.

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Things are looking up: A Slice of Life Story

8 Apr

I had a great idea. Celebrate poetry at the April 25th conference Kiva & I were planning for the Oregon Association of School Libraries. We could celebrate the William Stafford centennial. We could invite Oregon;s poet laureate. It would be fantastic.

But everyone I asked to present said no, or didn’t get back to me. I promise to be better about getting back to people. Slowly things started to come together. Then we had some technology glitches with the registration. Is the universe out to doom this conference?

Fortunately, we have a full slate.

On Saturday, April 26, 2014, the place to be is Parkrose High School for a day-long workshop centering around National Poetry Month! Our fabulous conference runs from 8:00-3:00 and the cost of $30 (with the early bird special–otherwise, it’s $35) covers breakfast, lunch, and a variety of poetry-themed sessions. Check these out:
  • Learn how to start a poetry slam at your school! Nancy Sullivan, librarian at Madison High School, will present her journey in bringing slam poetry to Madison, and how it has evolved into an all PPS high schools slam! 
  • Poetry Out Loud is in the house! Come hear from these pros about their state-wide poetry performance competition and how to teach kids of all ages to take the stage!
  • Adrienne Gillespie will present some quick and easy ideas for NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month). Get your students fired up about this nation-wide celebration!
  • Idea Share Swap Meet! Bring your favorite, most successful poetry lesson, large or small, and leave with tons of ideas that have worked in other libraries.
  • Come browse the best of new poetry books for students of all ages. Leave with lists of your new favorite Must Haves!
  • Poetry Webliography: check out a glittering array of the best of poetry web sites! We’ve curated sites sure to fire up your poetry muscles!
  • Ready to get crafty? Come and create a bedazzling pocket to celebrate Poem In Your Pocket Day! We will have you covered with denim, hot glue guns, and decorations galore. Come make a denim masterpiece which you can then stuff with poems for your students to choose from. Craft it up!
  • Vendors! Visit with our fabulous vendors, there to assist you with every library need you can imagine.

 

And today, finally, we have a registration link that works.

Things are looking up.

 

Seasonal Poetry for Poetry Season

7 Apr

It is April, and it is poetry season. What better time to look at poems about seasons.

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Koo the panda, along with Jon Muth, present this delightful collection of haiku.Twenty-six haiku celebrate the unique natural wonders of each of the four seasons in this charming picture book. Some of the verses will prompt smiles while others will bring readers up short and gently nudge them to look at things from a different perspective. The watercolor illustrations are as expressive as the poems.

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Firefly July and Other Very Short Poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, looks out over a year in very short poems.

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The poets in this collection range from Emily Dickinson and William Carlos Williams  to the unfortunately named Adelaide Crapsey (creator of the cinquain) and former poet laureate Ted Kooser.

There is much to love here. The selection of poems is a place to start. Each of the 30+ little gems can be enjoyed for its own sake. Couple with Melissa Sweet’s illustrations, they are astounding. As a reader, I want to linger with each poem, think of what I would illustrate, want to memorize that poem so I can share it at just the right time.

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If you are nervous about poetry, start with one of these two books. They will ease you in. If you are already a fan, just simply enjoy.

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