April is National Poetry Month so I’ve put together a few ways I share poetry in the library. Anyone else a Shel Silverstein fan? It was little surprise to find both Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic in various stages of disrepair; falling apart, but well loved. I ordered new copies to start their own journey in what will likely be constant circulation, but I couldn’t bear to toss out the hilarious, thought provoking, and sentimental poems and artwork that are uniquely Shel Silverstein. Instead, I cut out the poems and illustrations, mounted them on card stock, laminated, and decorated the circulation desk for the month of April. It was especially nice to find a first-grader sitting down at the book return reading a poem out loud this morning as I was readying our self-checkout for the day ahead. I enjoy the incredible craft of sneaking in reading wherever I can, even waiting in line to check out a book; reading while waiting to read more.
I also printed out one of my favorite poems – Kids Who Are Different by Digby Wolfe – and rolled them into tiny scrolls which – with kids for some reason – makes them instantly more appealing. I created a sign to attract and encourage patrons to put a poem in their pocket after their book check out. Hopefully these will be unrolled and used as bookmarks, found in pockets and read by moms or dads when doing laundry, or shared on the car ride to soccer or around the dinner table. Per the request of one student, I even had it translated into Spanish because she wanted to share it with her non-English speaking/reading parents. Regardless of the situation, I hope the poem clearly conveys the important message – it’s your difference that makes you unique. You can grab the sign and poems for FREE here.
A fun activity to do in the library is book spine poetry, but pulling books off the shelves can be a bit of a pain and prevent some books from being checked out if they’re being used for the activity and then put on display. Instead, I made paper book spines with popular children’s book titles that students can manipulate and move around to create poems as seen here. Printed on card stock and laminated they can be used again and again so that you’re not wasting paper. Students can record their poems on recording sheets or take a photo with a device and then share it on social media or school websites, or they can even be printed and hung in hallways or on bulletin boards. Grab a set in my TeachersPayTeachers store by clicking here.
Happy National Poetry Month!