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.