Two Birds from the Same Egg with Poetry PLUS!

(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

PFA For CelebrationsWe 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!


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