(editor’s note: In honor of National Poetry Month, we asked Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, authors of the The Poetry Friday series for a quick example of integrating poetry into the classroom. )
by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong
We are pressed for time, so we multitask. You might be eating breakfast while you’re reading Bookology, or doing laundry, or both. “Killing two birds with one stone” or “hatching two birds from the same egg”—integrated teaching—is the best way to fit everything in, especially in the K‑5 classroom.
In another post here at Bookology, Melissa Stewart talked about “facts-plus” books that present facts and explain them. We’d like to suggest that our books in The Poetry Friday Anthology series are “Poetry PLUS”; we present poems that tie into the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), social studies standards, and state standards such as the Texas TEKS—and we show you how to teach these poems, too.
For example, here’s one of the 218 poems in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science (K‑5 Teacher Edition), with its accompanying “Take 5!” mini-lesson. The NGSS and most state standards for science require elementary students to understand weather and climate and be able to distinguish between the two—something that this poem teaches in a way that will appeal to poetry lovers (who are hesitant about science) and also to budding scientists (who are unsure of poetry).
Or here’s an example that’s perfect for today, April 7th—which happens to be Metric System Day. Using “Just Weight” by Heidi Bee Roemer from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations, you can combine a language arts lesson with three other content areas in just five minutes:
- science (learning about hippos)
- math (doing a tons to kilos conversion)
- social studies (geography; identifying the three countries that have not adopted the metric system: the U.S., Liberia, and Myanmar)
We hope that our books—and the Take 5! approach to sharing any poem—will help teachers find more time to share poetry, this month and all year long!