Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Poetry Creation Stations Recap and Templates

Sometimes I'll be reading a post about an elaborate or complicated library program and wonder, "Gee, how did he/she manage to have all those things going on at the same time?" So today I'm going to do a recap of my Poetry Creation Stations program last week in our Kids' Writing Workshop, and start with how I set up the room.

We had four tables set up with the four different activities: Paint Chip Poetry, Reverse Poetry, Haikubes and Blackout Bookmarks.

Near each table, I put up a poster with instructions for what to do:

I created template handouts for the kids sitting at the Paint Chip Poetry and Reverse Poetry tables:

The kids had so much fun! Cleanup took a while, but I would definitely do this program again. The games and activities inspired a lot of great images from the kids. One child wrote a reverse poem about killing in self-defense:

Another wrote a reverse poem about telling the truth:

There was a Paint Chip Poetry poem about boundaries being a challenge "like a seedling" that has not ceased to grow:

Kids got a lot of great imagery from the games Haikubes and Paint Chip Poetry, including "red velvet tears" and "a pool of simple riches:

They had a harder time with blackout poetry. Some thought you were just supposed to find interesting words and others had trouble making their lines coherent. That's always been a challenging style for tweens and may be more ideal for teens. But they had fun doing it. I really liked this kid's poem:

Visit http://pasadena-library.net/kids/2018/poetry-month-creation-stations-kids-writing-workshop to see more photos and videos of kids reading their poems!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Poetry Creation Stations

This Friday, I'll be trying something a little different for my obligatory National Poetry Month session of our Kids' Writing Workshop. I purchased a few cool items that I want to share with the kids:


These are cubes or dice that have a variety of words you can choose from to make a haiku. The game is that you are supposed to roll a red cube that will give you a prompt, but I might leave it more open-ended for the kids. I liked exploring what words were available to me and tweaking them until I felt I had made a satisfactory haiku.

moonlight dripping, shines
her precious fire, licks the
surface of your heart

Paint Chip Poetry

This works even more like a game: first, each player draws twelve paint chips from the deck, and then draws a prompt card. Then you use as many of those paint chips as you would like to make a poem that responds to the prompt.

Blackout Bookmarks

In a twist on blackout poetry, we will be trimming our blackout poetry and laminating them to make them into bookmarks. The bookmarks are larger than standard bookmarks, but still a great size for using with even a small paperback book.

When I prep this for the kids, I grab a few of my favorite middle grade novels and photocopy a few pages from each. I look for pages with a lot of dense paragraphs and rich diction. I always try to encourage kids to scan the page and simply circle a few words that jump out at them. Just make connections, and you don't have to find a relevant word or phrase on every line.

Once they've done their circling in pencil, and tweaked it until they feel they'll have a strong poem, they are ready for the black markers!

Here's my sample. I was so jazzed to find a page that had lots of references to books, stories, and even a library! (This was page 394 from Marvels by Brian Selznick.)

Kids will be moving from one station to the next. I don't have a room with tables to work with tomorrow but we'll use clip boards and try to make it comfortable. I hope the kids have as much fun with this stuff as I did!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Newly Discovered Music for Storytimes

Do you ever feel like once in a while you are just desperate to change up your storytime music? I get that way once every few years. So this year, in January 2018 I went through my library's CD collection looking for some new songs that would inspire me. The result was this list--maybe you'll find some cool new songs to try here!

Vamping Music

(these are the kind of things I play when families are arriving):

"Baby's Boat" from Baby's Boat by Kathy Reid-Naiman

"Listen to the Water" from More Tickles & Tunes by Kathy Reid-Naiman

"Sing" (Sesame Street cover) from Shining Like a Star by Laura Doherty


"Bubbles" from Bon Voyage by Jazzy Ash

Movement/Dance Songs:

"We Are the Dinosaurs," "Rocketship Run," "Boots," "The Goldfish," "Song In My Tummy," "Monster Boogie" from The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band

"The Tempo Marches On," "Toe Leg Knee," and "My Ups and Downs" from Jim Gill Sings Do Re Mi On His Toe Leg Knee

"Your Face Will Surely Show It," "Tickle Toe," "The Sound Effects Song" from Jim Gill Makes It Noisy In Boise, Idaho

"Razzama Tazzama" from More Tickles & Tunes by Kathy Reid-Naiman

"Put Your Little Foot," from Dancing Feet by Carole Peterson

"One Two Three Whee!" from Groovy Green by Mr. Eric & Mr. Michael

"Leap Frog," "Tandem Bike," "Firefly" from Bon Voyage by Jazzy Ash

"Quiet as a Mouse," "Hula Hoop," "Vegetable Party" from Shining Like a Star by Laura Doherty

Scarf Songs:

"Dancing Scarf Blues" from Dancing Feet by Carole Peterson

"Popcorn" from Shining Like a Star by Laura Doherty

Shaker Egg Songs:

"I Know a Chicken" from The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band

"Wake Up" from Chips and Salsa by Rolie Polie Guacamole

"The Shaker Hop," from Dancing Feet by Carole Peterson

Goodbye Songs:

(I don't necessarily have everyone sing these. But it's really effective to have them playing in the background when it's time for people to go)

"Goodbye in the Bayou" from Bon Voyage by Jazzy Ash

"Goodbye Song" from Shining Like a Star by Laura Doherty

If you're reading this and have a favorite scarf song or shaker egg song you'd like to share--or anything about storytime music--please comment below!