National Poetry Month Is Better With Book Spine Poems

Looking into the none-too-distant horizon, I see that April (a.k.a. National Poetry Month) is fast approaching. Last year, inspired by artist Nina Katchadourian, I tried my hand at book spine poetry and came away convinced that this was just the sort of thing that kids would take to. I shared my experience on the ALSC Blog and encouraged others to try it with their students or young patrons and send me photos. I posted a gallery of student poems on my blog, 100 Scope Notes.

The results were a lovely sight to see:

How do you create your own? Here are my tips for kids and teens:

1.     Check out last year’s book spine poem gallery for inspiration.

2.     Once you’re in the library, start looking at titles to see what strikes you. Arrange and rearrange in your head. The best part of this type of poetry is the fact that you don’t know where you’ll end up.

3.     Have a pencil and paper with you to write down titles that stand out — you can go back to them later.

4.     Don’t be afraid to use the library catalog to search for titles with exact words or phrases that you want.

If you try book spine poetry with kids, snap pictures and send them my way (scopenotes at gmail dot com), and I’ll include them in a gallery of student work going up at 100 Scope Notes on April 1st. I’ll add to it throughout the entire month

So let’s celebrate National Poetry Month in style, with a form of poetry that just about any kid can get into.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker has been an elementary school librarian since 2005. In 2007, he started the children's literature blog 100 Scope Notes. In addition to posting children’s literature reviews there, Travis also periodically straightens his tie and reviews for School Library Journal, and has been a judge for the Cybils Awards. He lives in Michigan and is a member of the American Library Association and Association for Library Service to Children
This entry was posted in Bloggers, Children's Literature (all forms), Programming Ideas, School Library Media Specialist. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to National Poetry Month Is Better With Book Spine Poems

  1. This is brilliant, Travis! I love how fun, simple, and clever it is. I’m going to try this with our kids in the public library. I think I’ll post a “spine poem” challenge on our library blog and ask kids to email us their pictures. I’ll share any I get with you for sure!

  2. Travis says:

    Thanks Kiera – I think the kids will have a great time with it.

  3. Abby says:

    Love this, Travis! We are doing book spine poems with our homeschooling group next month! Will report back. 🙂

  4. Travis says:

    Thanks, Abby – I look forward to seeing them!

  5. Mills says:

    Kids Poem, How Honey Bee make the honey on their colonial nests out of wax

  6. It is really amazing that kids are fond of poems and poetry. This makes it really an important thing because it means that at a very young age, kids are exposed to literature and it is an art.

  7. Pingback: The ALSC Blog 2011 – A Year in Review | ALSC Blog

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