Category Archives: Library Programs
…and this one even rhymes!
Click on images to link to sources.
“Poets in the modern world don’t enjoy the elevated social status they did a century or two ago. Wordsworth, Byron, Keats and Shelley were the rock stars of their time. Their poetic skills earned them adulation, celebrity and even a touch of wealth.
These days, poems and poetry are sadly relegated to sparsely attended coffeehouse readings or the obscure pages of tiny literary magazines.
On the other side of the proverbial coin, there are wonderful opportunities available in today’s music industry for talented poets who successfully adapt their writing style to song lyric writing. Songs are the popular lyrical medium of our time. That’s where the status is. That’s where the money is.”
The above quote is from the introduction to “Poetry and Song Lyrics” by Carla Starrett. She goes on to describe the similarities and differences between poetry and song lyrics. Both use potent language, engage readers and listeners on an emotional level and require skilled use of words and rhyming. Beyond the basic contrast of reading a poem and listening to a song, Starrett observes that a poem can be more complex (re-read for understanding) and can be any length, and can be read silently standing alone without voice or accompaniment.
In the lesson Seeing Poetry Through Song Lyrics, on Outta Ray’s Head’s Poetry Page, former teacher librarian Ray Saitz explains how he taught his students that modern poetry can often be seen or heard through song lyrics. Some poetic devices as applied to lyrics are discussed in this post on Pardon My Ducks.
Bob Woodward explores the origins of poetry and asks if poetry and song lyrics have diverged into to completely different forms of expression in the article Lyrics Poetry?.
“Long before the written word there was poetry, and it was through this oral tradition that much of the form and feel of today’s verse was developed; its melodies and rhythms, and the rhymes which until recently were such an integral part of the discipline, all have their roots in a poetry that, in some sense, was meant to be sung. Though I’m not daring enough to attempt a definition of poetry here, I’d argue that the feature that sets it apart most definitely from prose is this musicality. However, since the advent of writing, a poetry that is written primarily for the printed page has evolved down some very different paths from its oral counterpart. “
Perhaps, considering the challenge in inspiring a connection in our students to poetry, the form has simply begun to revert to its origins. Our students identify with song lyrics, many of them can recite (or sing) the words to multiple songs without effort. I suspect that for most, we could identify poetic devices used and appreciated deliberately or instinctively by writer and listener.
Therefore, I have decided to employ their connection to song lyrics to engage my students in thinking about poetry for Poetry Month.
I took this decision, without any other specific plans to my Library Advisors Group and asked for their ideas. Within minutes they had decided to create a poetry poster contest adjusted slightly by grade division. Students will be asked to create a poster with their favourite and most poetic (in their own opinion) song lyrics: individually from Grades 7-9 and as a class in Grades 1-6. The winning posters in Division 1 (Grades 1-3) and Division 2 (Grades 4-6) will win dance parties for their class. One poster in Junior High and one in Senior High will each win for their maker a $25.00 gift certificate from a music store.
The advisor’s group is going to make an example/contest announcement poster and record announcements with music to promote the contest. I am very proud of how they have embraced this project.
Teachers who want to embrace this project can get more ideas from the sites linked above and the Song Analysis Webquest, which, after the lesson, encourages students to ” …take some time to be aware of the poetry in the music you hear every day. The next time you turn on the radio, listen closely! You’ll hear similes, metaphors, alliteration, and all of the devices we’ve been learning about during our unit. Imagine that!”
- Put a Poem in Your Pocket colour printable from Scholastic
- 8 pages of printable poetry fun with Shel Silverstein
- Poetry Terms from Education Oasis
- A selection of bookmark poems (example at left) from J. Patrick Lewis
- ‘Oops’ bookmark by Shel Silverstein
- Printable Poetry by Apples 4 the Teacher
- Poetry and Songs (most with colouring pages and/or crafts to go with) for Children from DLTK
- Poems in the classroom, Hands-on poetry & Shape poems from Scholastic
- Acrostic and Cinquain poem instructions and forms from The Teacher’s Guide
- Laura Candler’s Teaching Poetry page
Canadian Children’s Book Week 2012 will be celebrated May 5-12th this year. If you are planning on ordering posters or bookmarks, you might want to get on it.
This site contains valuable information about the history of Book Week; the plans for this year’s touring program; the costs involved in hosting a reading; information about the touring authors, illustrators and storytellers and the presentations they do; contact information for the Book Week Coordinators who are organizing the tours in your province or territory; and information about our popular Book Week materials which can be used to celebrate Canadian books in the classroom, library or at home.
Canadian Children’s Book Week Poster by Montreal illustrator Janice Nadeau, three-time Governor General’s Award winner.
The Children’s Book Council of Australia will be celebrating their Book Week August 27-23rd. 2012. The theme is “Champions Read”, but the promotional material is understandably not available yet for this coming celebration. Last year’s poster is below, but I have been unable to identify the artist. If any readers knows who created this attractive image, please let me know.
In the UK, Children’s Book Week is held during the first full week of October. Last year’s poster was by award winning author and illustrator Katie Cleminson.
If you know of any other children’s book celebrations around the world, please share.
April 2012 marks the 14th year that Poetry Month has been celebrated throughout Canada. I’ll share here the links I’ve collected as I surf around for ideas to share with teachers or program in my library.
PROJECTS & ACTIVITIES
Young Poets.ca is a project of The League of Canadian Poets. April 15-21 has been set aside for young people to share and have their poetry critiqued by established mentors online. Check out their ezine, forums and Teacher’s Lounge.
Giggle Poetry: Hundreds of Poems to Read and Rate – how to’s, poetry theatre, fill-in-the-blank poems and more.
“I Am” Prompts for Poetry and Ducking Under the Caution Tape: Approachable Poems from the Visual Thesaurus Teachers at Work column.
ETTC has “New and Improved Poetry Forms” for more fill-in-the-blank fun.
Drag and drop words in PicLits to create a poem (might be fun on a Smart Board)
POEMS & ANTHOLOGIES
Canadian and international Poetry link list from McClelland & Stewart
Poetry Portal - A directory of international poetry online
A collection of “…50 short video documentaries showcases individual Americans reading and speaking personally about poems they love” can be found at the Favorite Poem Project.
Poetry links at Curriculum Services Canada
Online Songs & Poetry for Children, part of the Children’s Literature Web Guide from the University of Calgary
Poets preform their own work at BBC Poetry Out Loud
Click on the image above for an activity page from Ted Nellen’s Cyber English on Robert Frost’s poem ‘The Road Less Taken’ including several audio and one video version.
St. Patrick’s Day (dot.com) is celebrating it’s 16th year online. Learn about St. Patrick as well as parades and other festivities including Irish songs & poems to help you celebrate.
There all all kinds of games and activities for kids at Apples4Teachers.
Picture prompts, limerick starters, border paper, and write on shapes for the St. Patrick’s Day holiday from Story-It’s St. Patrick’s Day Resources page.
The Teacher’s Guide for St. Patrick’s Day has lesson plans, interactive whiteboard resources, printables, crafts and clipart.
A list of St. Patrick’s Day books for kids at Kaboose.
Peonies and Poppyseeds has colour printables to download.
All kinds of inspiration at Pinterest.
Although limericks are apparently not originally Irish, they continue to be associated with St. Patrick’s Day.
- Limerick Poetry from DLTK’s Educational Activities
- St. Patrick’s Day Poetry Lesson Plan from Suite 101
- Limericks lesson plan from Teacher Planet
Ten minute presentation all about St. Patrick’s Day, narrated by children.
And just because it was my favourite song as a child and I’ve never heard it sung more beautifully, the Celtic Women with ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow:
It’s not much, but it makes our last library class before Christmas a bit special. I print out a variety of Bookmarks on cardstock and set out markers, crayons and pencil crayons on the tables. Any student in my K-12 school can choose a bookmark, colour it in the library or take it with them. A hole-punch and some yarn or ribbon can dress them up. If you are really brave, a little glitter makes them really special.
Here are some that I’m printing this year. Click on the links below the bookmarks for the printable files.
Go to Activity Village for the PDF file to print
These at Hello Kids
Go to Learning English – ESL for these
My thanks to the artists who have shared these.
Our school district tech department worked very hard to set up a video conference with Santa way up at the North Pole. Classes from three different schools got together virtually in the library with our Grades 1, 2 & 3. Each enjoyed a half hour visit with Santa, Mrs. Clause and even the Grinch, who at first was warned away with popsicle Grinch wavers that the kids had made, and then eventually was given a heart or two by the benevolent Claus’.
Santa showed us his sleigh, the reindeer stable and Comet as well as his office where he and Mrs. Claus read all the letters. Then by magic, he took us to many famous landmarks throughout the world as a little preview to his coming tour. He answered questions from the students and he and Mrs. Claus led a sing-along that the students happily joined in on.