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  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!

2 voices

What’s that green thing?

Brussels sprouts.

I don’t want no Brussels sprouts.

Come on, try some Brussels sprouts.

I don’t want no Brussels sprouts!

These are special Brussels sprouts.

I don’t want no Brussels sprouts!

Just one taste of Brussels sprouts.

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


I hate these Brussels sprouts!

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

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



BULLETIN: I discovered additional pictues of Charles Waters, who was featured yesterday in What Are the Pros Up To? scroll down one post to see some neat additional photos. You’re looking good, Charles!

BULLETIN: This just in from my friend, Dr. Nile Stanley (Nile the Crocodile). As always, Nile is out their promoting poetry. Thanks, Nile! April Reading Calendar (animated & sound) Nile, I’m sorry to be so slow. Traveling does that to me. David

Hi everyone,

As you may recall, Sandy Asher and I agreed to take off this month from our regular Tuesday chats about writing. We’re both hanging onto the last knot in our ropes so this seemed like our best option. We’ll be back, hopefully in May, but for now we’re busy elsewhere.

If you want to review our previous topics, you can go scroll down to the box with previous subjects and tags in red and click on WRITERS AT WORK.

You can also go to America Writes for Kids (  and read them by the month, which is easier.

Thanks for understanding.


Announcing upcoming guest: Gary Dulabaum

BULLETIN: Tomorrow I’ll post Poetry Tip #7: THE QUATRAIN. I hope you will find it useful.

On April 2, Nile Stanley appeared as my guest and one of those who commented on Nile’s fascinating contribution was Gary Dulabaum. I’ve met Gary and enjoyed his enormous talent as a writer, performer, musician, wit, and all-around charismatic personality so I asked if he would be my guest sometime when his schedule allows.Now I can tell you that Gary has agreed. It may be a while before we get him posted here on a Friday but I’m already looking forward to hosting him when he’s ready.

Don’t forget to vote for your selections for May Hall of Fame Poet and May Hall of Fame Young Poet. Polls close on May 30. Here’s the link: 

Nile Stanley today

Yesterday I introduced Dr. Nile Stanley as my guest for today. One of the most interesting aspects of Nile’s presence is the digi-poem that gives us a chance to see the good poet at work. Technology is grand when you know how to harness it!

Now I am pleased to yield the page to Nile. If you have comments or questions for him, please leave them in the comment section below this page. Thanks, Nile.


Nile StanleyDigital poetry is a form of electronic literature I am really enjoying exploring. Digital poetry contain some mixture of computer-based images, text, recorded audio narration, video clips, and music.

Words Baby Brother Blues Climbing the Poet-Tree

Click on the links to see my poems on YouTube:

Baby Brother Blues
Climbing the Poet-Tree

Digitize Poetry with Movie Maker

So how does one evoke the electronic muse and get started composing digital poetry? Windows Movie Maker software is easy to use and comes already installed on many PCs. You can use the Google Image search engine to find free, non-copyrighted pictures that support your student’s electronic remaking of poetry classics by their favorite authors, or record performances of students’ original poetry with a digital video camera. Download the videos to Movie Maker, use a microphone to do voice-over narration where necessary, and add music (either free downloads or original songs if you’re musically inclined). Final E-poem projects can be published on DVD, BlackBerry, I-Pod, YouTube or Teacher Tube. You can view several examples of digital poetry on my YouTube channel, NileCrocodilePoet

What Are the Benefits of Digital Poetry?
There are many types of digital poetry that address multiple literacies. Here are some specific benefits:

Personal expression. Students harness the power of poetry to define their identities, share their ideas and ideals, entertain, inform and influence larger audiences .By adding the digital component to poetry, students acquire even more tools to magnify their voices and extend them to the global stage.

Literary connection. Many children’s book authors have digitized their poetry. E-books and animated poems are appealing to kids—many of these are children who grew up with a computer mouse in hand.

Media literacy. To do digital poetry well, students learn the skills needed for success in the 21st century: how to use the computer, software, the Internet, a digital camera, a scanner, microphones, and more.

What do you think of digital poetry? Do you prefer pixels to print? Can we have it both ways? Do you have an e-poem to share?

Again, my thanks to Nile. The floor is open.


Nile Stanley tomorrow

BULLETIN: I’m an early bird for a change. My spring poem just went up on the W.O.M. page.

Happy April Fools Day! If anyone has a poem on the subject to share, please post it under comments below this page. We can always use a good grin.

Today it’s my pleasure to share the bio that Nile Stanley sent. He has kept it briefer than it would be if he began listing his many activities and accomplishments, but check out his sites and you’ll learn much more. Tomorrow you’ll read (and hear) from Nile himself and that will be a treat.

Affectionately known as “Nile Crocodile, the Reading Reptile,” Dr. Nile Stanley  is a reading specialist, performance poet, storyteller, musician, researcher, and professor of education at the University of North Florida. Nile is the author  of the books, Creating Readers with Poetry (2004), and Performance Literacy: Reading and Writing with Storytelling (2009).

Our sympathy is extended to residents of Rhode Island who have been devastated by flooding. Steven Withrow has had his share of woes although not as severely as many others. We hope things begin to improve soon.