Tuesday, April 18, 2017

SOL & NPM Day 18: The Letter P

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, Beth, Kathleen, Deb, Lisa, Melanie, and Lanny
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

I can't help it!  I'm obsessed with poetry.  My alphabetic stroll for NPM 2017 is an effort to share some of my favorite poems, poets, and resources with other teachers.  When I look back to trace my obsession with poetry, two teachers from elementary school stand out.  My second grade teacher, Mrs. Trutman created "The Sugar-Plum Tree" in her display window.  And at the end of the day, we would get a treat from the display.  It was magical.  In fourth grade, we memorized poems, performed poems, and wrote poems in Mrs. Lewallyn's classroom.  

And with that little peek into
my obsession with poetry, 
I'll continue my alphabetic stroll
through National Poetry Month
with today's focus on the letter "P."

When my own children were young, I realized that my teaching certificate had expired.  I signed up for a 3 credit, one week summer graduate course - Reading '89.  One of the presenters was David Booth, co-author with Bill Moore of Poems Please!  My copy is autographed by David Booth and the emphasis on poetry during our course led me to create a Poetry for Preschoolers presentation as my project for the course.  I presented it to the teachers at my children's preschool and several times to mothers' groups.  

I can't write about the Ps of poetry without mentioning the Poetry for Young People series.  Each picture book in the series focuses on the classic poems of one poet with beautiful illustrations, helpful definitions and commentary, and a short biography of each poet.  My students loved these books and I have quite a few of them in paperback and two favorites in hardback:  Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost.  

And I simply must mention the pied piper of children's poetry - Jack Prelutsky.  I have three favorite anthologies that are favorites to give as shower gifts:  Read Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young, The Random House Book of Poetry for Children, and The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury.  

My favorite April event is Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 27th this year.  You can find resources for this day here.  When I was still in the classroom, it was a day for my students to share poetry.  I required my students to retrieve the poem from a pocket before sharing.  For the past three years, members of our after school book club share poems during lunch.  We roll them scroll-like and tie them with ribbon before gifting them to other students.  Pocket Poemsan anthology selected by Bobbi Katz, is filled with short poems, perfect for putting in your pocket, reciting, and sharing.  Another favorite, "Pocket Poem," is in John Grandit's book, Blue Lipstick.  It begins with these lines:  
"It's a good idea to carry a poem in your pocket
in case of an emotional emergency."  
and then goes on to explain that some days you might need "The Cremation of Sam McGee" or a sonnet or a silly little kid's poem.  It ends with these two lines:
"Yes, it's a good idea to carry a poem in your pocket.
It's a little snack for your soul."

Finally, I must mention a professional book in my WTR (want to read) stack,  Poetry Mentor Texts:  Making Reading and Writing Connections, K-8 by Lynne R. Doorman and Rose Cappella.  I will make time to read this book soon that I purchased at the Stenhouse booth at NCTE.  Lynne and Rose are both fellow slicers.  


  1. Oh Rmona, I loved this post. Your passion shines through loud and clear. Next year, our district is putting poetry front and center. Beyond the simple enjoyment of poetry, I am certain that studying poetry will help our students with interpretation as well as craft. Thanks for sharing so many resources!

  2. I am thinking this alphabet stroll and your reflections on poetry could become a book...
    You are a writer, you know!

  3. It is addictive, isn't it! You've inspired me to add a poetry element to my alphabet countdown for the last 26 days of school. Thanks! -- Christie @ https://wonderingandwondering.wordpress.com/blog/

  4. This post is filled with poetry goodness. Titles I know and own but a few I need to explore. Thank you.

  5. What a great list of sources. Once we make a place for poetry it is essential. Thanks for the list of resources. I'm adding Lynne and Rose's book to my TBR list!

  6. This post confirms it. You are a hero of mine.

  7. I give out poems at the bookstore for Poem In Your Pocket day & it was such fun when I taught, definitely a favorite day. I agree with Diane, your posts really could be a wonderful book so filled! Thanks Ramona, again day after day!

  8. Thanks for all these great resources. I must now do poems in the pockets next week! Your passion for poetry is evident in your post, and I love how you share your early experiences with us. It makes me feel like poetry is a powerful thing for young people.
    ~Deborah (djvichos)