Sunday, April 24, 2011

Poetry Picnic

I learn so much from reading other librarians' blogs and tweets. Franki, at A Year of Reading, had the terrific idea of having a poetry picnic in the library. The idea was to create a place for the kids to explore and get their hands on different types of poetry. I thought that sounded like a fun way to celebrate Poetry Month, so I tried out some of the activities that she described and added a few of my own. Here's what we enjoyed at our picnic:

Poetry TagTime was on my Kindle. It is an e-book only collection of 30 poems by 30 of the best children's poets. I love reading the connections that they make with each other's poems. This was a great way to try out the Kindle.

Poetry for two voices is so much fun! MESSING AROUND ON THE MONKEYBARS was a favorite on our Panther Paw list. The YOU READ TO ME, I'LL READ TO YOU books are also great fun. I loved listening to the giggles as friends read with friends.

The REAL giggling happened with the "Sing a Poem" takers. I'M STILL HERE IN THE BATHTUB had some very talented singers!

POETRY SPLATTER on RIF's website was enormously popular (Thanks, Franki!) Everyone had fun dragging over words to create and print their own poems. These were terrific collaborative efforts.
I put a shortcut to GIGGLE POETRY on our library computers. This was another picnic favorite!

Everyone still remembers A SOCK IS A POCKET FOR YOUR TOES and our visit with poet/author Liz Scanlon Garton earlier this year. We used some library pockets to experiment with making "pocket poems" We had long skinny paper available for list poems like those in Georgia Heard's book FALLING DOWN THE PAGE. Paper and markers were out for those who explored DOODLE DANDIES and other collections of shape poetry. Second graders examined AFRICAN ACROSTICS and SPRING and then made their own name acrostic poem.

One first grade girl said emphatically, "We should do this Poetry Picnic EVERY year!" I think she's right.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"One Read"

Parish readers are amazing! Every year we have a "Hillcrest One Read." Jake Drake, Bully Buster by Andrew Clements was this year's pick. This book is not only a fun to read series, but the subject (bullying) makes for some great discussion. Eighty four...yes, 84 first and second graders and twenty six faculty and staff signed up for this after school meeting/celebration. Students and teachers had about three weeks to read the book, and we met in the library at the end of the school day this Wednesday. After stowing the backpacks away, we headed to the gym for "Bully Buster Cake." Next, two teachers teamed up with small groups of seven or eight readers to enjoy book related activities and to talk about the book. There was some excellent and enlightening discussion in these groups! We all met up in the library to end the afternoon with an unforgettable "Super Bully" performance co-starring two of our most talented friends from the Midway campus assisted by our amazing lower school counselor. I LOVED this celebration of reading, the excitement leading up to the event, the laughter, and the learning. I LOVED hearing teachers say to each other at the end of that l...o...n...g day, "I like doing this. It's fun!"