Monday, March 23, 2015


A poem is a great addition to any celebration in the classroom or out of it. Short poems, in particular, are fun since students can easily read or chant along. But where can you find great poems on St. Patrick’s Day, Random Acts of Kindness Week, National Library Week, President’s Day, Veteran’s Day, Earth Day, Constitution Day, Grandparents Day, Global Handwashing Day, and dozens of other holidays? 

THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR CELEBRATIONS edited by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong features 156 poems by 115 different poets, including Jack Prelutsky, J. Patrick Lewis, Joyce Sidman, Margarita Engle, Marilyn Singer, Nikki Grimes, Alma Flor Ada, F. Isabel Campoy, Linda Sue Park, Jane Yolen, Kenn Nesbitt, Grace Lin, Joseph Bruchac, Douglas Florian, Laura Purdie Salas, and Pencil Tip bloggers, Mary Quattlebaum and Jacqueline Jules.

This anthology of high quality verse is unique for its diversity and its breadth. Every poem is published in English and Spanish.  Poems for Ramadan, Passover, Divali, and Native American traditions appear alongside light-hearted celebrations like National Popcorn Day, National Cereal Day, and National Yo-Yo Day.

The book is divided into months, January through December, and each section ends with a bonus poem celebrating “Birthdays and Baby Days.” Some of these extra selections offer cultural insights such as Joseph Bruchac’s poem “Winter Counting” explaining why Native Americans count winters rather than years.  Andrea Cheng’s “Wishes Around the World” describes the long noodles made by her Grandma Nai Nai and a blending of birthday traditions. Other holiday poems on generic topics such as Grandparents Day embrace diversity, too. In “Far Away on Grandparents Day,” Julie Larios writes about receiving “besitos across the long miles” from abuelo and abuela. THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR CELEBRATIONS will make every child in your classroom feel represented and included. And many of the poems can be treasured at home for family celebrations.  

THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR CELEBRATIONS is available in two editions. A student edition of 175 pages in a large format, features a single poem per page in Spanish and English with a lively digital art illustration.  The teacher’s edition with 371 pages has ideas for pairing picture books with each poem and other activities for each poem, plus helpful notes for sharing poetry in the classroom.

In addition, there is a terrific dedicated website for THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR CELEBRATIONS with poem graphics, videos, lesson ideas, and more.

Check out a video for my own poem, “Bubbles”  for Global Handwashing Day.

And this poem by Kristy Dempsey for the upcoming D.E.A.R. Day on April 12th. 

The poems in THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR CELEBRATIONS can be read aloud in about a minute, making them perfect prompts for students to write their own holiday poems. Challenge your students to write about their favorite holiday or invent a holiday to celebrate. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment