Do you have poems swirling in your head? Do you have one poem memorized that you share every day with someone new in the library? Do you dress up during poetry month? Have you created a poetree display? There are so many amazing fun things to do during poetry month! This year, I switched up my school visits a bit and added a poetry timeline. The poetry timeline works great with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders.
Below are two options for adding poems to your timeline-Movement: Day 1 and Historical Events.
Historical Events Poetry Timeline: Before your school visit, create your poetry timeline on a huge piece of colorful paper using makers or paint. Select a series of interactive poems that match up with a specific date. For example, Velcro by Maria Fleming invented in 1955. Start with a really really early date and end with 2016. Add between 7-12 poems with a variety of dates. (This will change depending on your school group size and how much time you have.)
Sample Historical Poetry Timeline:
1753 Liberty Bell by Linda Sue Park in Amazing Places Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
1912 Fenway Park by Charles Waters in Amazing Places Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
1958 Art Kane’s famous photography Harlem, 1958 in Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photography by Roxane Orgill
Recommended Poetry Books for Historical Events:
28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World by Charles R. Smith Jr., Shane W. Evans (Illustrations)
Amazing Places by Lee Bennett Hopkins (Editor), Chris K. Soentpiet (Illustrator), Christy Hale (Illustrator)
Side by Side: New Poems Inspired by Art from Around the World by Jan Greenberg
Pritelli (Illustrations)Rutherford B.,
Who Was He?: Poems About Our Presidents by Marilyn Singer, John Hendrix (Illustrations)
World Rat Day: Poems About Real Holidays You’ve Never Heard Of by J. Patrick Lewis, Anna Raff (Illustrations)
Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement. By Carole Boston Weatherford. Illus. by Ekua Holmes.
Voices : Poetry and Art from Around the World by Barbara Brenner
Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie: Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems by J. Patrick Lewis, Michael Slack (Illustrator)
Day 1 Poetry Timeline:
Hold your school visit either in the classroom or wing/meeting space, use a white board or bring in big pieces of butcher paper. Have the classroom or group select a day-Day 1, Day 22, Day 245, or Day 6,780. Have fun selecting the number. Let’s start with Day 1. Have the teacher assist with writing the poems on the timeline after you read them. Students will select (yell out) where the poem will go and what time of day the poem should happen. For example, after reading the poem “A Smoothie Supreme,” students might select the poem to start at 6pm. Write the poem and time on your timeline-6pm A Smoothie Supreme by Deborah Ruddell. After-this is the best part! – read together and act out each motion-Slither, Run, Crunch, Flap, Slurp, Aaaaa (roller coaster noises while pretending to ride a roller coaster up, down and around.) Hooray, yells the group together.
Tell your group the name of the poem again and remind them what the action is that matches up with each poem and book. This is a great way to introduce new poets like Deborah Ruddell, Julie Paschkis, Bob Raczka and more! The poetry timeline creates interaction and movement. You will be loud, be silly and be smiling.
Day 1 Poetry Timeline
8:30 a.m. – Snake by Julie Paschkis (Slither-ssssss)
9:00 a.m. –The New Running Shoes by Fran Haraway (Run!)
11:00 a.m. –21 Things to Do with an Apple by Deborah Ruddell, (Crunch)
12:00 p.m. –A Bird in the Bird Feeder by Judith Viorst-Spring Haikus (Flap!)
6:00 p.m. –A Smoothie Supreme by Deborah Ruddell (Slurp!)
7:00 p.m. –Roller Coaster by Joan Bransfield Graham (Aaaaa!)
8:00 p.m.-Arrival of the Popcorn Astronauts by Deborah Ruddell (Hooray!)
Have fun with each timeline by adding illustrations-markers, pencil drawings or cut-out magazine collages.
You can also create a seasonal poetry timeline-fall, winter, spring and summer or theme poetry timelines-Sports, Animals, Food-so many options.
For more poetry ideas, explore past Poetry Paige ALSC blog posts.
Please share your school visit ideas and photos below (especially, if you dress up during poetry month.)