All posts filed under: Arts

Great Poetry Books for Kids of All Ages

As a poet and literacy teacher, I am always on the lookout for great books of poetry as well as poetically written stories that encourage kids to explore and play with language.  Poetry is the perfect way to teach phonological awareness, and wordplay is beneficial for all students, but especially those who are diagnosed with language learning disorders. Check out these resources at your local library or bookstore for use at home or in the classroom!  All of these books have been selected for their wonderful poetry and visual art. Most can be used for teaching broad language skills such as phonological awareness and phonics.  I’ve included target grade levels for each. Great Poetry Books for Kids (Young & Old!) I have used this book of poetry for years in my teaching. It’s a delightful collection of all kinds of poems (including some great concrete & personification poems) organized by theme.  Meilo So’s watercolor illustrations are a wonderful accompaniment.  This is a must-have for any bookshelf at home or school! Grades 2-12   A gorgeous book …

What’s in your Pocket?

Here’s hoping it’s a poem that pulls at you all day.  If you’ve not yet found one, take a moment, press pause, and sit with a poem before you rush off to life’s next very important calling. Here’s my pick: blessing the boats (at St. Mary’s) may the tide that is entering even now the lip of our understanding carry you out beyond the face of fear may you kiss the wind then turn from it certain that it will love your back       may you open your eyes to water water waving forever and may you in your innocence sail through this to that –Lucille Clifton, from quilting, poems 1987-1990 Find poems at The Poetry Foundation, The Writer’s Almanac

Music for Spring & Educational Resources

What song could be better than jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard’s “Up Jumped Spring” for this, the first weekend of spring? This morning, I was reintroduced to an old favorite as a bright blue sky filled my window and I awoke to the Abbey Lincoln and Stan Getz version from 1991. Here is their version and the classic Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers recording with the giants Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), Cedar Walton (piano), Jymie Merritt (bass), and Art Blakey (drums). Listen while taking in the playful dance of crocus and daffodil, cherry blossom and forsythia, and new green below and high above your feet! Want to learn more about Jazz? Check out these sites & books: PBS Kids GO! Jazz  Nicky the Jazz Cat: A fabulous book for kids of all ages, but especially K-3, by photographer Carol Friedman.  I recently used this with a student to both reinforce phonological awareness (the book has wonderful rhymes) and introduce him to some pretty cool jazz cats like Abbey Lincoln, Lionel Hampton, Ella Fitzgerald, Quincy Jones …