It's hard to believe that National Poetry Month is over. Like others who bemoan the fact that we trot out certain subjects and peoples for monthly celebrations instead of making them part of the fabric of our lives and teaching throughout the year, I have mixed feelings about a month devoted to poetry. While I am appreciative that it exists and that it generally compels teachers and others to pay attention, I want more for poetry. More reading, more writing, more consideration beyond the 30 days in April. I hope that through my poetry pairings teachers will find poetry creeping into the classroom all year round.
Here's a recap of the month with links to the topics presented and a few reflections thrown in.
- Darwin and the Galapagos - I'm mortified that I failed to include Jason Chin's amazing book ISLAND: A STORY OF THE GALAPAGOS. I may just go back and add it so that the post becomes a book trio.
- Frogs and Toads
- Nature of Science
- Going Green
- Dinosaurs - In many states dinosaurs are not part of the elementary curriculum. I probably should have mentioned that in my post. However, in the last revision of our state standards, a standard was added to second grade that read "fossils provide information about living systems that were on Earth years ago." That works for me!
- Birds - I could have easily created two posts (or more!) featuring birds. Next time around I'll be sure to include the books BEAKS! by Sneed Collard III and FEATHERS: NOT JUST FOR FLYING by Melissa Stewart.
- Nocturnal Animals
- Food Chains
- The Ocean
- Animal Senses
- Animal Dads
- The Moon - This post included two books of poetry and one nonfiction title. This is another topic that could have garnered two posts. I wish I had done this so that I could have included a book about space exploration, like IF YOU DECIDE TO GO TO THE MOON by Faith McNulty, or ASTRONAUT HANDBOOK by Meghan McCarthy. I also failed to include Gail Gibbons and THE MOON BOOK.
- Butterflies - I'm very happy with the nonfiction titles I chose for this one, but I was remiss in not including Nic Bishop's book BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS.
- Bugs - Do you have any idea how many poetry books there are about bugs? LOTS! This topic also could have encompassed two posts. My son was upset I didn't include his favorite, ULTIMATE BUGOPEDIA: THE MOST COMPLETE BUG REFERENCE EVER from National Geographic Kids.
- Animal Collectives
- African Animals
- Animal Homes
- The Human Body - Steve Jenkins already had a number of books in my pairings by the time I wrote this one, but I should have included his work BONES: SKELETONS AND HOW THEY WORK.
- Water (Again!)
- Assorted Science In Poem and Verse
- All Things Science
I wish I had written posts on trees (not to be confused with forests!), deserts, inventions, and numbers.
Despite that fact that I always feel like I can do better, reflecting on the month and recapping has taught me that there is much ground left to cover. I look forward to exploring it with you.