New YA books by Amanda Gorman, Lois Lowry and Margarita Engle are all written in verse, says Katie Caprino, yet each tells a story in a different way. One is a poem to America. Another is memoir. And the third is historical fiction, set in 1990s Cuba, with a singing dog.
Teaching poetry can give students a sense of connection, collaboration, and creativity as they express themselves and read the expressions of others. During National Poetry Month, teacher-author Marilyn Pryle shares fun activities from her classroom that touch on all three.
Whether your classes dive into poetry in April or throughout the year, teacher Megan Kelly has lots of activities to enrich your students’ experience. Her latest unit has kids collaborating on visual analysis, horoscope haiku, matching teachers to their poems, and more.
Dina Strasser finds more poets are writing about climate change and other social justice issues. Such poems can provide alternatives to middle schoolers when themes aren’t too entangled in complex structures. She suggests some options students can “hook into easily.”
If every elementary, English and history teacher did even one of the book’s activities each year, our understanding of our students would deepen immeasurably, as would their appreciation of their families and their communities, both local and global, writes Sarah Cooper.
Megan Kelly always intends to integrate poetry across her units, but somehow ends up scrambling each year as National Poetry Month approaches. This fall she has a list of activities to hold herself accountable. Try some of her ideas in your own ELA, history, science or math classes.
Stambaugh and VanTassel-Baska focus on purposeful planning, finding stories to engage young readers, and discovering ways to use readings to get the most impactful writing from students while increasing their overall comprehension, says teacher Erin Corrigan-Smith.
When Lauren Brown left her history classroom and became a teacher educator, she always shared a page of advice when pre-service teachers finished her course. Three years after returning to middle school, Brown updates her tips with fresh insights from the front lines.
What sets this book apart from many other professional books is that it not only gives a rational for using its strategies, it explicitly offers step-by-step instructions on how to unlock elusive teaching dilemmas. Janice Rustico recommends it to literacy leaders.
Reading Nancie Atwell and Anne Atwell Merkel’s The Reading Zone, 2nd edition, is like getting a letter from a good friend and mentor, says ELA teacher Amy Matthes. Find reading workshop case studies to help readers become passionate, skilled, and habitual.