Looking for a way to spice up Friday lessons in the elementary school classroom? Try The Poetry Friday Anthology: Poems for the School Year with Connections to the Common Core edited by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong.
This rich resource contains 218 poems by 75 poets, including Jane Yolen, Jack Prelutsky, Betsy Franco, Arnold Adoff, Nikki Grimes, fellow Pencil Tip blogger, Mary Quattlebaum, and myself. Each poem is accompanied by a section called Take 5! containing five easy activities designed to both enhance enjoyment of the poem and teach language arts skills from the Common Core Standards. Conveniently divided by grade level with age appropriate poems, The Poetry Friday Anthology begins with back-to-school verses sure to spark lively classroom discussion through ready made lessons for the beginning of the year.
Other poems center on animals, weather, books, friendship, food, nature, and other kid-friendly topics. There is literally something for every taste and mood.
All written in an accessible style, the poems make excellent writing models for writing workshop. In particular, the anthology has a number of letter, list, and other pattern poems students always enjoy writing. Poetic forms and terms are explained by example, in the Take 5! Guides, and a glossary. The Poetry Friday Anthology even has an appendix listing additional poetry resources for teachers.
Each chapter is preceded with an inspirational quote on the power of poetry. My favorite is one by Ralph Fletcher reminding us that people read poems at funerals, anniversaries, and other ceremonies rather than articles or stories. These quotes are additional resources teachers will enjoy sharing in the classroom.
In their introduction, editors Vardell and Wong, set forth a dual purpose of providing quality poems students will enjoy, along with curriculum-based suggestions for sharing poetry in the classroom. They have succeeded brilliantly with both.