If You’re Not Here, Please Raise Your Hand: Poems About School

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Bibliographic Information: Dakos, Kalli, and G. Brian Karas. If You’re Not Here, Please Raise Your Hand: Poems about School. New York: Four Winds, 1990. Print.

Brief Annotation: This book is a collection of many different poems about school. It covers a wide range of topics from homework to lunch, from favorite teachers to a death of a classmate. Some poems are silly, others sad, but all will touch the hearts and minds of elementary students.

Genre: Poetry

Grade Level: 1-4

Readers who will like this: Children who enjoy poetry and rhymes.

Rating/Response: 4  This book is full of poems, both funny and sad. It might be fun to read one a day to your students after lunch. There is a wide variety of subjects and styles of poetry represented, as well as some small pen and ink drawings about each poem.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What can you write poems about? Could you write a poem about school?

Posted by: Maria Muellerleile

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Winter Lights: A Season in Poems & Quilts

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Bibliographic Information: Hines, Anna Grossnickle. (2005). Winter Lights. New York: Greenwillow Books

Brief Annotation: This is a book of poems about the winter season. Every page has a poem and a quilt on it.

Genre: Poetry

Grade Level: 1-2

Readers who will like this: Students that like poetry, students that are interested in quilts

Rating/Response: 4, I like the poetry in this book a lot. It also has very beautiful quilts. It would be a good book to read during the winter.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What kind of poems do you think would be in this book about winter?

Posted by: Alyssa Timmerman

Where the Sidewalk Ends

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Bibliographic Information: Silverstein, Shel. Where the Sidewalk Ends. New York: Harper & Row, 1974. Print.

Brief Annotation: This collection of poems opens the mind of Shel Silverstein and his imagination.  Ranging from short to long, the poems and illustrations create stories and provoke thinking about the world in new lights.

Genre: Poetry

Grade Level: Grades 1-3

Readers who will like this: This is a book that will hook students who don’t like poetry, as well as keep the passion going for those that do.  The silly style allows readers to make poetry seem less boring and more of something that can be fun.

Rating/Response: 5. Shel Silverstein is a fantastic poet that allows kids to see that poetry doesn’t need to be scary.  Personally, this book was one that helped me in my writing and I believe can be the same helpful source for others,

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Who thinks poetry is boring?

Posted by: Natalie Hager

Dinothesaurus

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Bibliographic Information: Florian, Douglas. (2009). Dinothesaurus. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Brief Annotation: This is a book of dinosaur poems. Every poem is about a different type of dinosaur and gives information about the dinosaurs.

Genre: Poetry

Grade Level: 1-4

Readers who will like this: Students who like dinosaurs, students who like poetry

Rating/Response: 4, This is a fun book that is great for dinosaur lovers. It has real facts in the poems about dinosaurs.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What do you know about dinosaurs?

Posted by: Alyssa Timmerman

Touch the Poem

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Bibliographic Information: Adoff, Arnold. (2000). New York: The Blue Sky Press.

Brief Annotation: This is a book of poems about many different things. Some examples are; taking a bubble bath, eating food and playing outside. All of the poems are about one of the 5 senses.

Genre: Poetry

Grade Level: K-1

Readers who will like this: Students who like poems, students who are interested in the 5 senses

Rating/Response: 3, I thought a lot of the poems in the book were not that good and written very weirdly. I don’t think the poems flowed the way poems should. However, I do think it’s a good way to teach students about the 5 senses that’s more fun than just information.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What are the 5 senses?

Posted by: Alyssa Timmerman

Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts About Peace

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Bibliographic information: Grossnickle Hines, A. Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts About Peace. (2011). New York: Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

Annotation: This is a compilation of poems about peace, and historical peacemakers are included in them, along with brief descriptions of their lives at the end of the book.  Poem titles include “Calming the Busy Brain,” “Weapons,” “Dominoes,” and “No In-Between.”

Genre: Poetry

Grade level: 2-6

Readers who will like this book: Readers who are natural peacemakers will enjoy this.

Rating/Response: 5. I loved this, and it could totally be used in a history unit on historical peacemakers such as Gandhi, MLK, Mother Theresa, and more.  The illustrations, quilts, are very intricate and interesting.

One question you would ask before a read aloud? How many of you have ever seen a quilt before or helped make one?  Do any of you know someone who makes them?  What do you know about them?  How could the idea of a quilt relate to peace?

Posted by: Iliya Hoffert

Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems

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Bibliographic information: O’Connell George, K. Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems. (2001). New York: Clarion Books.

Annotation: This is a compilation of a bunch of poems about camping.  There is a loose rhyme scheme to some of the poems, but most of it is very free.  Poem names include “Campfire,” “Sleeping Bag,” and “Abandoned Cabin.”

Genre: Poetry

Grade level: K-4

Readers who will like this book: Readers who like camping and/or poetry.

Rating/Response: 4. This is a cute little book that I think will be enjoyed by young students.  It is a good introduction into poetry, and its extremely loose rhyme scheme can help mitigate false perceptions of poetry early on.

One question you would ask before a read aloud? How many of you have ever been camping before?  What things did you bring and what things did you do?  Where did you go?

Posted by: Iliya Hoffert

Little Dog Poems

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Bibliographic information: O’Connell George, K. Little Dog Poems. (1999). New York: Clarion Books.

Annotation: This is a compilation of a number of very short poems about Little Dog and his daily activities.  It presents normal things such as a dog barking at the mailman from a dog’s point of view.  The poems do not rhyme, which likely contradicts most children’s first conceptions of poetry.

Genre: Poetry

Grade level: K-2

Readers who will like this book: Readers who like dogs and/or poetry.

Rating/Response: 4. I really liked this one.  Reading it as an adult, I actually enjoyed seeing the perspective of a dog in normal dog activities like curling up in a sunny spot, burying a bone, or barking at an airplane.  I think very young children will also enjoy it.

One question you would ask before a read aloud? How many of you have heard of “poems” before?  What do you know about them?

Posted by: Iliya Hoffert

Love that Dog

Love That Dog

Bibliographic information: Creech, Sharon. Love That Dog. New York: HarperCollins, 2001. Print.

Annotation: Jack thinks poetry is boring and only for girls. After looking at poetry more in depth, Jack begins to enjoy poetry and even writes his own poem.

Genre: poetry

Grade level: 2-5

Readers who will like this book: readers who enjoy poetry incorporated into a longer story.

Personal response rating: 4- I have never read a poetry book that was more that just individual poems. It was great to read a longer poetry book that had a more complex plot.

Questions before reading: What is your personal opinion about poetry?

Posted by: Mikayla Curtis

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Bibliographic information: Silverstein, Shel. Where the Sidewalk Ends. New York: Harper & Row, 1974. Print.

Annotation: The poems in this book are about what many children frequently worry about. Shel Silverstein incorporates humor and stories into the poems.

Genre: poetry

Grade level: K-4

Readers who will like this book: Readers who enjoy humorous poems with illustrations.

Personal response rating: 5- These poems were hilarious and I think kids would enjoy them equally as much.

Questions before asking: What authors do you associate with poetry?

Posted by: Mikayla Curtis