I mentioned on Friday, I am "Out and About" this week, for two days of school visits where we're "Celebrating the Pleasures of Poetry." Yesterday, I gave 3 grade-level presentations to kindergartners, first-graders, and second-graders. It's amazing how much we squeezed into one hour (45 minutes for the kindergartners)! I talked about what it means to be an author and how I get ideas from real life; I read a picture book work-in-progress; and I taught them a fun song with hand signs.
National Poetry Month. We talked about ways poems are like songs, and how, even when poems don't rhyme, they have a strong rhythm. The best part came when we wrote a group poem together modeled on one I'd found in Regie Routman's Kids’ Poems: Teaching Kindergartners to Love Writing Poetry (Scholastic). The book is the first in a series which also includes Kids’ Poems: Teaching First Graders to Love Writing Poetry; Kids’ Poems: Teaching Second Graders to Love Writing Poetry; Kids’ Poems: Teaching Third & Fourth Graders to Love Writing Poetry. If you're looking for ways to introduce young students to poetry writing, I recommend all these books. What I especially like is that they include examples of poems written by students the same age mentioned in the title. By sharing these examples, we can help our students see that they, too, can write poetry. Yesterday's group poetry-writing activity was a great success. I hope today's goes as well.
During the visit, I also shared a bit of personal good news: a few days ago I learned my poem, "At the Chicago Marathon" will be published in a new anthology coming out later this year called And the Crowd Goes Wild!: A Global Gathering of Sports Poems, edited by Carol-Ann Hoyte and Heidi Roemer. The anthology will include 50 poems by poets from 10 different countries. I'm thrilled and honored to have my work included in the book, which will also feature a poem by former TeachingAuthor JoAnn Early Macken, and a number of other poets whose work I admire. I'll be sure to let everyone know when the book is available.
Meanwhile, happy writing!