Blogger Paige Bentley-Flannery

Poetry Paige’s Pocket

photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery
photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery

Do you share poems at your story time? Have you danced to a poem?  Pretended you were a fish writing a poem in the ocean? Or maybe you crunched and munched along with a noisy food poem?While yelling out words and acting out the poem, poetry at story time incorporates the Early Literacy Skills and encourages families to be silly together.  Add one or two poems to your story time theme each week.

photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery
photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery

Poetry Pocket Song: (Tune: Old MacDonald Had a Farm)
Here’s my poetry pocket with something inside.
What could it be?
I’ll open it up and take a look.
Tell me what you see?
(Possible felt items: A Pizza!  A Penguin!  A Ball! A Fish! A Kite!)

How it works: 
Sing the poetry pocket song, at the end of the song pull out a felt shape, have everyone yell out what it is, (It’s a kite!).  Then share the title of the poetry book and author.  Have everyone stand up.  Are you ready?  Explain what the movement or word they will say then read the poem.  For example: In the book Lullaby & Kisses Sweet: Poems to Love with Your Baby Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, read the poem, ‘Up in the Air’ by J. Patrick Lewis, have everyone act out each object-A leaf, a kite, a ball, a bird, a cloud and a swing.  “A bird on a the wing,” (flap your arms and fly like a bird).  Depending on the poem have everyone repeat the words after you or act out the poem while you’re reading it.
Read the poem twice.

Supplies:  Felt board (big or small), Big felt pocket shape-any color, multiple felt objects and children’s poetry books.

Sheila Grier, Librarian at Deschutes Public Library created a big blue felt poetry pocket for me.  The song is originally from Heather McNeil, Public Services Manager-Here’s my bag with something inside. (I switched it to here’s my poetry pocket with something inside.)  Thank you Sheila and Heather!

Some of the children in your audience might be hearing the word poetry for the first time.  Invite parents/guardians and more to explore the poetry section after story time.  Create several mini-displays during the month of April highlighting poetry books to read at home for ages 0-5.

Explore Poetry Paige’s Pocket Story Time book list on Rifflebooks.

The following photos are a collection of my favorite poetry books, each flannel object matches up with a poem that invites interaction-making poetry come alive.

Story Time Poems: White, Blue, Red, Orange and Purple. photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery
Story Time Poems: White, Blue, Red, Orange and Purple by Joyce Sidman.
photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery
Story Time Poems: Snake, Heron and Whale. photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery
Story Time Poems: Snake, Heron and Whale by Julie Paschkis.
photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery
Story Time Poems: Snack Time, Spaghetti, Up in the Air, Slide and Bath Time. photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery
Story Time Poems: Snack Time, Spaghetti, Up in the Air, Slide and Bath Time.
photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery
Story Time Poems: Barnyard Talk, When Pigs Could Fly, Heading Home, No Rest, Chuck's Duck and Love. photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery
Story Time Poems: Barnyard Talk, When Pigs Could Fly, Heading Home, No Rest, Chuck’s Duck and Love by Susan Pearson. photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery
Story Time Poems: The Dolphin, The Starfish and The Blue Whale, photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery
Story Time Poems: The Dolphin, The Starfish and The Blue Whale by David Elliot.  photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery
Story Time Poems: 21 Things to Do with an Apple, Menu for a Gray Day and Arrival of the Popcorn Astronauts by Deborah Ruddell. photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery
Story Time Poems: 21 Things to Do with an Apple, Menu for a Gray Day and Arrival of the Popcorn Astronauts by Deborah Ruddell. photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery

Hopefully, you will be inspired to find your own favorites, yell out new words, and develop new ways to make poems jump out of books.

A few past ALSC Poetry Paige blog posts.

Please share your favorite poems for story time in the comments below.

Paige Bentley-Flannery is a Community Librarian at Deschutes Public Library. For over fifteen years–from Seattle Art Museum to the New York Public Library to the Deschutes Public Library-Paige’s passion and creative style for art, poetry and literature have been combined with instructing, planning, and providing information. Paige is currently serving on the ALSC Notable Children’s Book Committee, 2015 – 2017. She is a former Chair of the ALSC Digital Content Task Force and member of the ALSC Great Websites Committee.

3 comments

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  3. Kelley Beeson

    I LOVE this, Paige! I’m a poet and I’ve never really brought poetry into my storytimes. Think I might change that now! : )

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