New Children’s Poet Laureate

Hi everyone,

If you haven’t heard the news, J. Patrick Lewis has been named by Poetry Foundation as its new Children’s Poet Laureate. The post lasts two years. Pat is the third poet to be so honored and follows Jack Prelutsky and Mary Ann Hoberman. Here’s the link to read a most insightful interview of Pat by Sylvia Vardell. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/children/article/242020

I hope you will read the interview and remember to send Pat well earned congratulations.  Don’t forget that Pat also serves as one of the judges for Word of the Month Poetry Challenge.

Speaking of which, we haven’t seen anything yet this month from students! With end of school year activities looming, teachers don’t have much time this month. But I remain optimistic that at least a few steadfast young poets will come through.

Yesterday I had cataract surgery. This morning the patch comes off so I’ll see what I shall see.

David

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Partner poems and word from Nile Stanley

BULLETIN: Happy Birthday, Robin! I love you. Dad

BULLETIN: This in from our friend Nile Stanley: his poetry calendar for May. Thanks for sharing it, Nile.

The May Reading Calendar is a wonderful resource that is “just a click away” for teachers, librarians, parents, and children. Creator Nile Stanley has compiled a set of multimedia activities, hyperlinks to online lessons, games and videos that help children learn to read, to enjoy reading and to engage with the new literacies. Every day of each month contains an activity that children can do on their own, with siblings, or with guidance from a teacher or parent.

The May, 2011 calendar and previous months are available for free as a PDF file at http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/show.php?i=1270824&cat=1  To view a document click on its name in black.

If the sound is not on when you open the PDF, click the sound control in upper left hand corner and be sure your speaker volume is on.

Hi everyone,

Day in and day out the most popular post I’ve done is the one I’m re-posting here today. It seems that most people like the idea of poems that feature more than one voice. The book I did with Tim Rasinski and Gay Fawcett (both of whom you’ve met as Featured Guests on my blog) continues to do well and I frequently read my poems from it when I visit schools.

At the International Reading Association conference in Orlando this Sunday, May 8. I’ll be part of an all-day institute. My topic is, “Poems for Multiple Voices — Writing and Performing.” On Monday, Tim Rasinski and I will co-present a demonstration of reading partner poems from our book. Anyway, here’s the repeat post. By the way, I chose a different poem this time.

Our new book

Our new book

You may have heard Tim Rasinski speak if you’ve attended conferences where reading fluency was discussed. He’s a professor at Kent State University and is one of our leading authorities on the subject. I have a new book out with Tim and another expert on reading fluency, Gay Fawcett, of Kent State and other universities.

The book, published by Scholastic Teaching Strategies, is called PARTNER POEMS FOR BUILDING FLUENCY, GRADES 4-6. I co-wrote the introduction and created 40 original multiple-voice poems. Let me correct that. My friend Terry Bond, teacher and former high school curriculum coordinator, co-wrote one, and two others were inspired by my one-upmanship conversations with my young friend Ryan Brinkerhoff, who was ten or twelve at the time. The other 37 were all mine! The idea is that children improve reading skills, including fluency, by sharing aloud poems for two or more voices.

If you have an interest in such a book, it’s now on the market. Confusingly, Scholastic has another book with an almost identical name with poems by Bobbi Katz. I don’t mind if you get her book too!

Here’s an example from our book. If you haven’t tried writing a poem for two voices, give it a whirl. It’s a great way to talk to yourself!

BRUSSELS SPROUTS
2 voices

(child)
What’s that green thing?

(parent)
Brussels sprouts.

(child)
I don’t want no Brussels sprouts.

(parent)
Any.
Come on, try some Brussels sprouts.

(child)
I don’t want no Brussels sprouts!

(parent)
Any.
These are special Brussels sprouts.

(child)
I don’t want no Brussels sprouts!

(parent)
Any.
Just one taste of Brussels sprouts.

(child)
If I taste these Brussels sprouts,
then can I have something else?

(parent)
Sure!

(child)
Ugh!
I hate these Brussels sprouts!

(parent)
Here’s some yummy cottage cheese, pickled beets, cauliflower,
lima beans, and chicken liver.

(child)
Please pass the Brussels sprouts.
I don’t want no chicken liver.

(parent)
Any.

Poems for Two Voices

Hi Everyone,

If you are interested in a new writing challenge, here’s a good one.

Since I posted the book below on September 18, 2009, it has been viewed 972 times.

Our new book

Our new book

I often find that reciting poems for two or more voices is not just good for emerging readers, it’s fun for adults as well. I’ve been meaning to return to this subject and this seems like a good time.

So here’s the challenge. As a writer, composing a poem for more than one voice requires a different approach than the usual one. You need to see the subject as two people might. Think of it as a mini-production with actor one facing actor two (or three or four) as they discourse poetically about your chosen subject. I’ll give you two examples. The first one is a conversation found in THE MOUSE WAS OUT AT RECESS and is titled “Have It Your Own Way.”

(Isabelle)
Me and Sally are pals!

(Teacher)
Sally and I are pals.

(Isabelle)
I didn’t know you knew her!

(Teacher)
I don’t.

(Isabelle)
Then why did you say,
“Me and Sally are pals?”

(Teacher)
Sally and I are pals.

(Isabelle)
You said it again!
You said,
“Me and Sally are pals!”

(Teacher)
Sally and I are pals!

(Isabelle)
Have it your own way.
You and her are pals.
But I don’t believe it,
And Sally won’t neither!

The second poem comes from the book shown above that I co-authored with Tim Rasinski and Gay Fawcett. It’s a poem in which each of the two parties tries to outdo the other.

IT’S A LOLLITY POPITY DAY, 2 voices

(1st)
It’s a lollity popity day

(2nd)
It’s a lollity popity
hide-and-go-seekity day.

(1st)
It’s a lollity popity
hide-and-go-seektiy
read a good bookity day.

(2nd)
It’s a lollity popity
hide-and-go-seekity
read a good bookity
roll in the grassity day.

(1st)
It’s a lollity popity
hide-and-go-seekity
read a good bookity
roll in the grassity
talk with a friendity day.

(2nd)
It’s a lollity popity
hide-and-go-seektiy
read a good bookity
roll in the grassity
talk with a friendity
sit on a lapity day.

(1st)
It’s a lollity popity
hide-and-go-seekity
read a good bookity
roll in the grassity
talk with a friendity
sit on a lapity
play with your petity day.

(2nd)
It’s a lollity popity
hide-and-go-seektiy
read a good bookity
roll in the grassity
talk with a friendity
sit on a lapity
play with your petity
happy-go-luckity day.

(both)
Hooray!

I’m going to leave this post up for today and tomorrow to make sure that plenty of visitors see it. If you feel like trying your luck at writing a poem with two or more voices, go for it! And by all means share it with the rest of us. That’s why we have these convenient comment boxes below.

Good luck and have fun.

David

Poems for two voices

Our new book

Our new book

You may have heard Tim Rasinski speak if you’ve attended conferences where reading fluency was discussed. He’s a professor at Kent State University and is one of our leading authorities on the subject. I have a new book out with Tim and another expert on reading fluency, Gay Fawcett of Kent State and other universities.

The book, published by Scholastic Teaching Strategies, is called PARTNER POEMS FOR BUILDING FLUENCY, GRADES 4-6. I co-wrote the introduction and created 40 original two-voice poems. The idea is that children improve reading skills, including fluency, by sharing aloud poems for two or more voices.

 

If you have an interest in such a book, it’s now on the market. Confusingly, Scholastic has another book with an almost identical name with poems by Bobbi Katz. I don’t mind if you get her book too!

Here’s an example from our book. If you haven’t tried writing a poem for two voices, give it a whirl. It’s a great way to talk to yourself!

BRUSSELS SPROUTS
2 voices

(child)
What’s that green thing?

(parent)
Brussels sprouts.

(child)
I don’t want no Brussels sprouts.

(parent)
Any.
Come on, try some Brussels sprouts.

(child)
I don’t want no Brussels sprouts!

(parent)
Any.
These are special Brussels sprouts.

(child)
I don’t want no Brussels sprouts!

(parent)
Any.
Just one taste of Brussels sprouts.

(child)
If I taste these Brussels sprouts,
then can I have something else?

(parent)
Sure!

(child)
Ugh!
I hate these Brussels sprouts!

(parent)
Here’s some yummy cottage cheese, pickled beets, cauliflower,
lima beans, and chicken liver.

(child)
Please pass the Brussels sprouts.
I don’t want no chicken liver.

(parent)
Any.