Monday, April 12, 2021

NPM 2021 - Found Poem 12

Today's poem comes from p. 8, 12, 14, 16, 30, 41, 50, 144, 161, 163, and 168 of The Slowest Book Ever, written by April Pullley Sayre and illustrated by Kelly Murphy.


Slow Thoughts

count to one thousand
 ponder a lifetime
  imagine transforming
   experience time in slow motion

the entire world can be amazing
 open fields
  feathers
   the sky
    a handful of soil
     animals on Earth
      millions of people

the universe is a great mystery
 impossibly big
don't worry 
if you do not understand
that we are seeing the past
when we see the light of stars

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2021. All rights reserved.

I hope you'll come back tomorrow and see what new poem I've found. Until then, you may want to read previous poems in this series. I'm also sharing these found poems as images on my Instagram in case you want to see them all in one place. 
April 1 - Flotsam
April 2 - A Warm Wind
April 3 - Zentangle Poem
April 4 - Soap Bubbles
April 6 - Mount St. Helens
April 8 - Muir in California
April 9 - Night on the Reef

Sunday, April 11, 2021

NPM 2021 - Found Poem 11

Today's poem comes from p. 24-25 of The Dirt on Dirt, written by Paulette Bourgeois and illustrated by Martha Newbigging.


Archaeologists Look for Clues

mounds of dirt
can be signs of
places 
long covered over

begin digging
in a grid
of numbered squares

trowels and brushes 
remove topsoil
each strata reveals 
secrets
from a different time

keep digging!
piece together bits
of potsherds
remake bowls and cups
put our past together

a puzzle
with pieces missing

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2021. All rights reserved.

I hope you'll come back tomorrow and see what new poem I've found. Until then, you may want to read previous poems in this series. I'm also sharing these found poems as images on my Instagram in case you want to see them all in one place. 
April 1 - Flotsam
April 2 - A Warm Wind
April 3 - Zentangle Poem
April 4 - Soap Bubbles
April 6 - Mount St. Helens
April 8 - Muir in California
April 9 - Night on the Reef

Saturday, April 10, 2021

NPM 2021 - Found Poem 10

Today's poem comes from p. 15, 80-81, 99, and 160 of Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry, written by Neil deGrasse Tyson with Gregory Mone.

The Greatest Story Ever Told

big bang
gravity working to bring
   everything together
expanding universe working to 
   spread everything out
galaxies
stars
planets 
people
   matter all

big bang
forged one-of-a-kind
elements
unbelievably strange
yet atoms and particles
that make our bodies
are spread across the universe
   making us one
   and the same

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2021. All rights reserved.

I hope you'll come back tomorrow and see what new poem I've found. Until then, you may want to read previous poems in this series. I'm also sharing these found poems as images on my Instagram in case you want to see them all in one place. 
April 1 - Flotsam
April 2 - A Warm Wind
April 3 - Zentangle Poem
April 4 - Soap Bubbles
April 6 - Mount St. Helens
April 8 - Muir in California

Friday, April 09, 2021

Poetry Friday and NPM 2021 - Found Poem 9

Welcome Poetry Friday friends! This year for National Poetry Month I'm writing and sharing found poems, most of which are science- or nature-themed. You can learn more about this form and my plans in this post describing the project. I'm also sharing these found poems as images on my Instagram in case you want to see them all in one place. 

Today's poem comes from pages 7, 20, and 48 of Project Seahorse, written by Pamela S. Turner with photographs by Scott Tuason.

Night on the Reef

pony-faced fish
hover and flutter
reach out with
monkey-like tails

beautiful and vulnerable
the only fish
that holds your hand

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2021. All rights reserved.

I hope you'll come back tomorrow and see what new poem I've found. Until then, you may want to read previous poems in this series.
April 1 - Flotsam
April 2 - A Warm Wind
April 3 - Zentangle Poem
April 4 - Soap Bubbles
April 6 - Mount St. Helens

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference. Happy Poetry Friday all!

Thursday, April 08, 2021

NPM 2021 - Found Poem 8

Today's poem comes from Chapter 5 of John Muir: America's First Environmentalist, written by Kathryn Lasky and illustrated by Stan Fellows. 

Muir in California

he boarded a ship
for San Francisco
didn't like the city
but did notice
flowers 
on windowsills

pointed in the direction 
of the mountains
he set off
swept up in the thrill
of the wilderness
drawn as if by 
magnetic force

found music in 
everything
water, wind
vibrations of pine needles
crescendos of a thunderstorm

entranced by 
snow and ice
secrets of nature
wild places
he cherished beauty

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2021. All rights reserved.

I hope you'll come back tomorrow and see what new poem I've found. Until then, you may want to read previous poems in this series.
April 1 - Flotsam
April 2 - A Warm Wind
April 3 - Zentangle Poem
April 4 - Soap Bubbles
April 6 - Mount St. Helens

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

For the Love of Spiders and Spi-ku

I've been a fan of spiders for ages, long before I became a faculty member at the only college in the country with a spider mascot. As a classroom teacher I had a tarantula in my classroom and often shared spider-related humor with my students. A particular favorite was this Calvin and Hobbes strip. 
If you can't quite make out the text, here's what Calvin opines.
Like delicate lace,
so the threads intertwine,
Oh, gossamer web
of wondrous design!
Such beauty and grace
wild nature produces … 
UGHH, look at the spider
suck out that bug’s juices! 

While many folks focus on the "yuck factor," spiders are truly fascinating creatures. Leslie Bulion has fully captured how amazing they are in both verse and prose in Spi-ku: A Clutter of Short Verse on Eight Legs. Add in the incredible illustrations by Robert Meganck and you have a masterpiece that even arachnophobes will love.

Bulion is a master of informational texts that marry engaging, kid-friendly poetry with science. I wish her books had been around 33 years ago when I settled into my first classroom, eager to put science books in kids hands that would neither put them to sleep with their didactic approach to content, nor turn them away with the complexity of the writing. Not only were truly exceptional nonfiction science books hard to find back then, but poetry was almost nonexistent. As someone who encourages teachers to integrate poetry and children's literature into content area instruction, Leslie's books are a gift.

Let's start this review by exploring from the back. My students know how much I love back matter. It's one of the components that I believe separates good nonfiction texts from great ones. The back matter in Spi-ku consists of a glossary of 24 terms, notes on poetics forms, spider identification that includes common and scientific names (genus and species) for the 53 spiders illustrated so carefully by Meganck, ideas for going on a spider hunt, an annotated bibliography with resources for further study, the author's acknowledgements (yes, she consulted with experts!), a double-page spread showing spiders' relative sizes, and a page of close-up illustrations of the spiders that appear on the cover. Phew! See what I mean about back matter? This information adds a welcome layer of depth to the text.

While many of the poems in the text use Japanese or Japanese-inspired forms, such as haiku, tanka, dodoitsu, and cinquain, there are other forms, including limerick, double dactyl, free verse, concrete, and many more. The first poem, "Araneae All Around" provides a nice introduction to the humble spider and the volume. The poems are all accompanied by illustrations of spiders, their silks, and webs. I found myself constantly flipping between the pages and the spider identification in the back to try and determine exactly what spiders I was looking at. After the introductory poem, Bulion introduces arachnids, or the class of invertebrates that spiders belong to.

(Click to enlarge.)

I adore the word play in using mite in this poem. This is the kind of thing that students will remember. I know this one turn of phrase is a great way to remember at least one other type of organism found in the arachnid class. As pictured above, each double-page spread includes one or more verses and a block of informational text. The spiders highlighted in the text blocks appear in boldface to make them stand out. The information unfolds in a thoughtfully organized fashion, taking readers on a journey that has them learning about spider silk, spider movement, how they catch and eat their meals, their webs, how some spiders capture prey without the use of a web or snare, how spiders fool both prey and predators, spider senses, and so much more. 

I learned as much from the poems in the book as I did the nonfiction excerpts. The 3 different spreads on spider enemies all include poems for two voices and are particularly engaging when read aloud. The text ends with a final poem entitled "Appreciate Araneae!" After learning so much about them, it's hard not to appreciate all they contribute to "Our Spiderful World," which just so happens to be the heading for the last block of nonfiction text. (Go ahead, see for yourself!)

(Click to enlarge.)

There is so much to love in this volume. I encourage all you folks who are fearful or disdainful of spiders to be brave and take a peak. I guarantee that by the end of it, even the biggest spider-haters will be converts. 

For all you teachers out there, Leslie has developed a particularly useful Educator's Guide. Don't miss it!

Thanks to PeachTree for sending me a copy of the book and including me on the blog tour. You can check out the other stops this week to learn more.
You can learn more about Leslie Bulion and her books at her web site. You can also find her on social media at:
You can learn more about Robert Meganck and his art on his web site. (Turns out, he's my neighbor here in Virginia. Hi Robert!) You can also find him on social media at:
Finally, keep up with PeachTree Publishing and see what's new in their world of books at:

NPM 2021 - Found Poem 7

Today's poem comes from The Shape of the World: A Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright, written by K.L. Going and illustrated by Lauren Stringer.

Beautiful Buildings

he would learn
cubes, spheres,
cones, pyramids
cylinders
shapes built up
tall or wide
flat or round

he marveled at
the world
saw shapes
everywhere he looked
loved the shape
of the world

he never forgot
hills and prairies
chose windows
set buildings
one with the world
and the wide expanse
of sky

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2021. All rights reserved.

I hope you'll come back tomorrow and see what new poem I've found. Until then, you may want to read previous poems in this series.
April 1 - Flotsam
April 2 - A Warm Wind
April 3 - Zentangle Poem
April 4 - Soap Bubbles

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

NPM 2021 - Found Poem 6

Today's poem comes from p. 10-11 of Will It Blow? Become a Volcano Detective At Mount St. Helens, written by Elizabeth Rusch and illustrated by K.E. Lewis.

Mount St. Helens (May 18, 1980)

Earthquake!

WHOOSH!
landslide buried miles
under earth and rocks
POP!
"stone wind" blasted
ash, rocks, boulders
BANG!
erupting upward
ash-cloud
circled the globe
HISS!
gas, ash, pumice
rolled down
SPLAT!
heat melted ice
and snow
mud flowed

pristine mountain
transformed into
steaming moonscape

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2021. All rights reserved.

I hope you'll come back tomorrow and see what new poem I've found. Until then, you may want to read previous poems in this series.
April 1 - Flotsam
April 2 - A Warm Wind
April 3 - Zentangle Poem
April 4 - Soap Bubbles