Saturday, April 30, 2011

Poetry in the Classroom - All About Poetry

It's the last day of April and that means the poetry in the classroom series is about to come to a close. To wrap things up I'm sharing one last thematic list. Here are some great books for kids on reading and writing poetry. You'll find titles describing poetic forms, advice from poets, suggestions for writing poetry, and much more.
Fly With Poetry: An ABC of Poetry, written and illustrated by Avis Harley, uses the alphabet to organize 26 different poetic forms (two for the letter A and none for Y). Each page includes a poem written in the named form with information at the bottom of the page describing the form. Additional poetic forms are included in the end notes.

Leap Into Poetry: More ABCs of Poetry, written and illustrated by Avis Harley, is a companion to FLY WITH POETRY that uses the alphabetic format to introduce a variety of poetic forms and techniques. Each letter introduces an arthropod in a poem that uses the stated form or technique. Facts about each animal are included in the end notes.
Write Your Own Poetry, written by Laura Purdie Salas, is a book that provides a thorough introduction to the process and tools of writing poetry. There are chapters on poetic forms, language of poetry, imagery, point of view, meter and rhyme, and more. Jam-packed with sample poems, helpful tips and advice from poets, this is a comprehensive introduction to writing poetry.

A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms, compiled by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Chris Raschka, is a book that explains and provides examples for 29 different poetic forms. Each form is accompanied by some kind of visual clue in the top corner of the page. For example, the page for couplet shows two birds on a wire, epitaph shows a headstone, and ode shows a Grecian urn. Once the form has been identified, readers find a short informational description and poetic example. This volume not only contains many familiar forms, such as haiku, cinquain, acrostic and limerick, but also forms such as aubade, pantoum, villanelle, and double dactyl. At the end of the book readers will find a bit more background information on each of the forms.

R is For Rhyme: A Poetry Alphabet, written by Judy Young and illustrated by Victor Juhasz, is a book that examines poetic forms, as well as some of the "tools" that poets use, such as onomatopoeia, metaphor, end rhyme and more. Each alphabet page contains a poetic or literary term and includes a poem. The "sidebar" on each page contains informational text that describes the form or tool and includes some tips for reading and writing poems.
Immersed in Verse: An Informative, Slightly Irreverent & Totally Tremendous Guide to Living the Poet's Life, written by Allan Wolf and illustrated by Tuesday Morning, is a how-to guide for middle grades and young adults on becoming a poet. The book is divided into five major sections, each color-coded for ease of use. Poetry & You offers readers a quick guided tour of poetry, nine habits of successful poets, a writing pledge and more you. Your Poetry Toolbox explains the tools of the trade, such as poetic devices and the anatomy of a poem. The Poet's Decisions delves deep into the process of writing, providing lessons on point of view, tense, form, playing with structure, revising and much more. Always Something to Write About provides ideas for journaling and writing prompts. Ta Da!: Presenting Your Work is about reading, performing and publishing poetry. Liberally sprinkled throughout the text are examples and lots of poems from a range of poets. The book ends with appendices of selected poems and poets, as well as publishing resources for young writers.

Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme, selected by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Meilo So, is an interactive book in which readers are presented with poems arranged thematically and a sidebar box that includes an unfinished verse (called a poemstart) and suggestions for how to go about completing the poem. In some cases a list of rhyming words in included. Poem themes include dogs, food, birthdays, bugs, cows, friends, snow, turtles, rain, and self.

Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem
, written by Jack Prelutsky, includes 20 writing tips, a variety of sample poems, and poemstarts for the beginning poetry writer. Readers will learn how to turn their experiences and stories about family, friends and pets into poems.

How to Write Poetry, written by Paul Janeczko, is a Scholastic Guide that organizes the poetry writing process in easy-to-follow steps. The chapters on starting to write, writing poems that rhyme, and writing free verse poems all offer a wealth of information, sample poems, and "try this" suggestions. Different poetic forms are introduced along with checklists to keep writer's focused on important features. Includes an extensive glossary.

Poetry from A to Z: A Guide for Young Writers, written by Paul Janeczko, is a collection of 72 poems arranged alphabetically by subject. Also included are 14 poetry-writing exercises that show how to write specific types of poems and advice from more than twenty poets on becoming a better writer.
Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem From the Inside Out, written by Ralph Fletcher, is a good guide to writing poetry from the heart. Chapters deal with imagery, rhythm, crafting poems, wordplay, and more. Major poetic forms are defined and there is a section on ways to share your work. Interviews with Kristine O'Connell George, Janet Wong, and J. Patrick Lewis are included. A number of poems written by Fletcher are included as examples in these chapters.

Seeing the Blue Between: Advice and Inspiration for New Poets, compiled by Paul Janeczko, contains a collection of letters and poems by children's poets. Written to and for aspiring writers, this volume provides advice and inspiration.

The Place My Words Are Looking For: What Poets Say About and Through Their Work, selected by Paul Janeczko, is a collection of poems, advice, anecdotes, and recollections of 39 poets. Following their poems, poets describe their inspirations, memories, where they get their ideas, their writing processes, and how they go about translating their ideas in to poetic form.

If you are looking for additional resources on poetry writing, try these sites.
April may be ending, but that doesn't mean the poetry goodness must stop. I hope you'll revisit some of the posts from this month and think about using these terrific books in your classroom.

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