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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

April Is The COOLEST Month

...or so T.S. Elliot would have said if he'd been in the NAPS Elementary School libraries this month!

Even though our schedules went topsy-turvy with the start of MCAS testing, and with April vacation, we still managed to celebrate National Poetry Month in style in each of the libraries!

Each school did something a little bit unique to celebrate...check it out!

Kittredge library detectives know lots about poetry. We celebrated National Poetry Month in different ways and enjoyed listening to and writing our own poems.

The month kicked off with quatrains in grades K-2. We had fun learning about quatrains and writing one as a class before writing our own. Students listened to a variety of silly and fun poems and identified which were quatrains. One poem in particular that made us giggle and inspired many students to write their own quatrains was "If Kids Were Put in Charge of Schools" by Kalli Dakos from her book Don't Read This Book, Whatever You Do! More Poems About School:

Our town poet laureates inspired Mrs. Mullally to lead the students in a performance poetry session based on Odgen Nash's quatrain poem "The Termite."

Based on a fairy tale of their choice, grades 3-5 at Kittredge took on story recreation in poem form. We were inspired in particular by listening to the different perspectives provided within Marilyn Singer's poem about the three little pigs. This poem appears in her book Follow, Follow, a collection of reverso poems based on fairy tales.

The library was transformed into The Beatnik Cafe later in the month so that students could do a poetry book tasting and also perform their poetry in a brief poetry slam jam. We kicked off the class using the library's collection of poetry books to sample new poems and write about them in our menus. Afterwards, we worked to create and revise our existing poems. We finished it all by sharing our favorites with the class.

Sargent & Thomson also got to sample some of Marilyn Singer's reverso poetry with her first book, Mirror Mirror. We talked about how poets tell fairy tales with a slightly different perspective, and we compared and contrasted Singer's poem about Little Red Riding Hood with a traditional version by Trina Shart Hyman.

We also had a chance to listen to one of Mrs. Ahearn's favorite writers, Neil Gaiman, recite his fairy tale-inspired poem, Instructions. We discussed how knowledge of fairy tales helps inform our knowledge of other works of literature - it's like finding little clues in a forest of stories!

With the younger grades at Sargent & Thomson we talked about quatrains. A quatrain is a poem of four lines with a rhyming pattern. We read a few by famous authors (and two by Mrs. Ahearn!), and then we worked on one as a class! 

The second graders, who caught on really fast, were able to start working on their own individual quatrains - and some of the students submitted their quatrains to the Elementary Schools Poetry Contest!

Poems That Take Shape 
Students at Atkinson School had the opportunity to write their own poems during the month of April with Ms. Osborne, Atkinson Schools’ Library Media Specialist. They learned about concrete poems, also known as shape poems, through Ode to a Commode by Brian Cleary and Wet Cement: a Mix of Concrete Poems by Bob Raczka. 

After discussing the characteristics of concrete poems they then created their own poem and added art work. The younger grades used handprints as a template for their poems and were asked to write about the things they can do with their hands while the older grades were asked to come up with a shape or topic that meant something to them such as a hobby, sport or activity that they enjoy. With various poetry books available in the classroom for inspiration the children quickly came up with topics and were engaged in the activity and expressing themselves through the combination of text and artwork. 

That's it for this month, library detectives! Stay tuned for more exciting library news as we wrap up the year in May and June!

- Mrs. Ahearn, Mrs. Mullally and Ms. Osborne

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