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Climb Inside a Poem

Climb Inside a Poem

Reading and Writing Poetry Across the Year

By Georgia Heard, Lester L. Laminack

Nurture a love of poetry in children with Climb Inside a Poem. In this ready-to-go resource, Georgia and Lester demonstrate how reading and writing poetry can support and extend young children's language and literacy development. Through an anthology of original children's poems and related lessons, Georgia and Lester describe how to weave poetry into the fabric of a school day by reading a variety of poems for a variety of purposes.

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Children are natural poets. They speak poetry all day long. They say wonderful poetic gems that surprise and delight us and help us look at the world in a new way. In Climb Inside a Poem: Reading and Writing Poetry Across the Year, Georgia Heard and Lester Laminack tap into this natural inclination and demonstrate how reading and writing poetry can also support and extend young children's language and literacy development. Through an anthology of original children's poems and related lessons, Georgia and Lester describe how to weave poetry into the fabric of a school day by reading a variety of poems for a variety of purposes. Building on these experiences, children then engage in a formal unit of study on writing poetry.

Climb Inside a Poem
has three components.
  • The poetry anthology, Climb Inside a Poem: Original Poems for Children, uses the writings of contemporary children’s poets, whimsical illustrations, and an expansive big book format (14”x18”) to create a 36-page poetry playground.
  • Lessons for Climb Inside a Poem provides a five-day sequence of lessons for each poem in the anthology. Through repeated readings and by accessing the poems from multiple perspectives, these lessons model how poetry can be used to support basic concepts in print, develop word awareness, expand reading and writing fluency, and help children write with feeling and voice. 
  • Reading and Writing Poetry Across the Year takes a broad view of poetry and considers how poems can be used to reinforce and extend a literacy curriculum. Organized into three separate sections, the minilessons in this guide offer tips for outfitting and organizing classrooms where poetry can flourish; highlight a variety of reading strategies that immerse children in the words and music of poetry; and present a complete unit of study for writing poetry.

Additional Resource Information

(click any section below to continue reading)

Samples

Contents

Big Book of Poems Contents
Instruction in Climb Inside a Poem is organized around 29 poems by acclaimed children’s authors. (listed in order of appearance)

  • Where Do I Find Poetry? by Georgia Heard
  • Sky Wish by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
  • Happy Toes by Pat Mora
  • Dear Friend in the Desert by Kristine O’Connell George
  • Tooth Truth by Lee Bennett Hopkins
  • Quack, Quack by Pat Mora
  • Why? Why? Why? by Lee Bennett Hopkins
  • Who’s Coming to Tea? by Jane Yolen
  • Making Soup by Marilyn Singer
  • How I Hopscotch by Kristine O’Connell George
  • When I Ride My Bike by Patricia Hubbell
  • School Bus Lady by J. Patrick Lewis
  • Poem for My Friend by Patricia Hubbell
  • Best Friend by Marilyn Singer
  • Birthday Candles by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
  • Song for My Swing by Patricia Hubbell
  • The Stray Dog by Alice Schertle          
  • Puppy Love by Jane Yolen
  • Just Like Grandpa by Alice Schertle
  • Happy Teeth by J. Patrick Lewis
  • The Cedar Tree by Joseph Bruchac
  • Laundromat by X. J. Kennedy
  • Emma by Janet Wong
  • Spring Riddles by Beverly McLoughland
  • Sun and Moon: A Poem for Two Voices by Bobbi Katz
  • Singing Down the Sun by Marilyn Singer
  • Hey, Crow! by Deborah Chandra
  • Hidden Treasure by Bobbi Katz
  • Night Story by Beverly McLoughland                                       
Lesson Book Contents

In this book of lessons, you'll find suggestions for ways to work with every poem in the big book for five to ten minutes per day over the course of one week.

  • On Mondays, the activity ideas are meant to help introduce the poem to children;
  • On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the activity ideas are meant to support children in exploring the poem in more depth;
  • On Thursdays, the activities help children get to know the poet and the poet's body of work; and
  • On Fridays, the activities are designed to help children focus on the poet's crafting moves.

Each lesson also provides their respective poem in a reproducible format and includes a "Responding to the Poem" page with space to share thoughts about the poem.

PLUS: At the end of the lesson book, in the "Poet Profiles" section you'll find more about the featured poets, including photographs, biographical information, and some "poet-to-poet" advice they offer us for our young poets.

Reading and Writing Poetry Across the Year Contents
The guide Reading and Writing Poetry Across the Year takes a broad view of poetry and considers how poems can be used to reinforce and extend a literacy curriculum. Organized into three separate sections, the minilessons in this guide:

  • offer tips for outfitting and organizing classrooms where poetry can flourish,
  • highlight a variety of reading strategies that immerse children in the words and music of poetry,
  • present a complete unit of study for writing poetry.

Contents

Introduction to Reading and Writing Poetry Across the Year

PART ONE: Creating a Poetry-Rich Environment

Introduction

  1. Noticing Poetry in What We Say
  2. Noticing Poetry in What We Read
  3. Collecting Amazing Words
  4. Playing with Rhyming Words
  5. Playing with Alliterative Words
  6. Sharing Favorite Poems
  7. Finding Inspiration Through a Window
  8. Finding Inspiration from Natural Objects
  9. Finding Inspiration on a Walk
  10. Finding Inspiration in Poetry Itself
  11. Finding Inspiration in Our Hearts
  12. Finding Inspiration Around the Classroom

PART TWO: Reading Poetry

Introduction to Reading Poetry

Section 1: Reading Poetry Aloud to Children

  1. Beginning the Day
  2. Pledging for the World
  3. Easing Transitions
  4. Setting Out for Lunch
  5. Celebrating Occasions
  6. Welcoming People
  7. Setting a Tone
  8. Closing the Day
Section 2: Supporting Children in Reading Poetry Aloud
  1. Reading Line Breaks
  2. Interpreting the Poem's Sound
  3. Finding Reading Signals from the Page

PART THREE: Writing Poetry

Introduction: Essentials for Launching a Poetry Writing Unit

Section 1: Inspiration

  1. What Do We Know About Poetry?
  2. Advice from Our Favorite Poets
  3. Listening for Songs from Our Hearts
  4. Seeing with Poet's Eyes
  5. Finding Poems in Small, Ordinary Things
  6. Finding Poems in Feelings
  7. Finding Poems in Natural Beauty
  8. Modeling Writing

Section 2: Craft

  1. Metaphor and Simile: "The sky is an angel's pool."
  2. Wonderful Words: "Let the rain kiss you."
  3. Imagery: "Do you feel the golden glow?"
  4. Rhythm, Repetition, and Rhyme: Musical Tools
  5. Lines and Stanzas: "Poems are shaped like tall buildings."

Section 3: New Forms

  1. Poems for Two Voices
  2. List Poems
  3. Personification Poems
  4. Letter Poems

Section 4: Revision

  1. Adding Stanzas
  2. Listening Carefully
  3. Ending Lines: "Don't leave the door wide open!"
  4. Titles: Labels and Beyond

Reflecting and Celebrating

Bibliography

Related PD Services

Seminars

Speakers

Email planningservices@heinemann.com if you would like to contact Georgia Heard directly about professional development support.

PD Resources From Lester L. Laminack

Speakers

Workshops