Friday, July 24, 2015

Poetry Friday - My New Favorite Resource

At The Farmers' Market
by Buffy Silverman

A peach,
a pear, 
a bag of beans,

lettuce greens.

juicy, sweet...

Pick your 
veggie treat!

One of my goals for the upcoming school year is to use poetry more within our community for literacy work and enjoyment.  Over the years I have been better with finding poems to match our unit of study in content areas and finding poems to help us study word study features.  I've used poetry for reading mini lessons and taught units of poetry writing.  However, last year when I switched grade levels poetry was a sprinkle here or there.  Yikes!  The first step in using poetry more is to rebuild a poetry collection to use in second grade.  My students will keep their own poetry notebook and receive copies of the poems we read together and discuss.  I decided last spring I wanted my collection of poetry to focus on celebrations, content area learning, and word study features.  Poems selected in any of these three areas can be used for literacy mini lessons.  

The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong is one of my new favorite resources to help me with my goal of using poetry more.  There are 156 poems by 115 different authors, all written for children.  Each poem has a Take 5! mini-lesson that suggestions for using a particular poem with students.  These suggestions are wonderful.  They begin with a suggestion for introducing/connecting the poem to the students.  Then suggestions for engaging the students are offered along with a discussion idea for following the shared reading.  Each poem is paired with a picture book, which opens doors for all kinds of thinking and comparisons.  The last suggestion involves connecting this poem with another poem or poetry book.  We are blessed to have so much thought and guidance for using these poems with students.

The introduction/guide that begins this text is filled so much valuable information for educators.  You won't want to miss out on their ten easy tips for reading poetry aloud, thinking about using picture books with poetry, or the thinking behind lexiles and leveling poetry.  I just love this quote.

"Poetry for children begs to be heard, to be shared out loud, to be talked about.  
It is a social connection as well as a language experience."

Thank you Margaret at Reflections on the Teche for hosting this week.



  1. I have the 2012 edition and just looked this one up on Amazon-I can't wait to get it! I'm excited to follow you this year and see what you do with poetry with your second grade students. I teach 2nd as well and one of my daily read alouds is always poetry. I usually have 2 or 3 chapter books going and the kids really enjoy verse novels. A few of our favorites: Moving Day by Eileen Spinelli, Love That Dog by Sharon Creech, Gone Fishing by Tamara Wissinger. How do you build your poetry notebooks? A spiral and glue them in? I use manilla folders they paint the first week of school and we brad fastener them in. I see a lot of teachers use spirals.

    1. Kim, Thank you for sharing some book titles with me. I have always used a three ring binder. I also retype my poems for more white space between words and lines. It also allows some space for mental images etc.

  2. I love ALL of these Poetry Friday Anthology books. So many great poems. If you don't have the National Geographic ANIMAL POETRY book, look for that one- tons of gorgeous photographs and poems. And I'm not big on celebrity books, but Caroline Kennedy's poems to Learn by Heart is a terrific resource.

    1. Carol, Thank you for the book suggestions. I do have the Caroline Kennedy book but I need to look at it more closely. Thanks for the nudge.

  3. Mandy! I love that you are doing this and also look forward to following your journey with poetry notebooks. Such treasures for these students to keep... xo

  4. Buffy's poem is making my mouth water for some fresh veggies! I love all the Poetry Friday Anthologies. Do you have the PF Anthology for Science? It's terrific!

  5. This, plus the others, are wonderful resources. We are lucky indeed to have so many resources to share with students. It's great to hear what you'll be doing this year, Mandy.

  6. Catherine, I just got that on my kindle. I will spend some time looking at it. Thanks for letting me know it's terrific!

  7. It's going to be a great year in second great! Celebrate!!