Vacation ... Poetry to the Ears

There is nothing like a week off of school -- no work, no drop off/pick up, no after school activities, no homework --- to take things down a notch.  Whether you are off on a far away adventure or enjoying some R&R local-style, it seems like seven days off the daily circuit is just plain nice... And it can't be a coincidence that breaks like these take place in April -- National Poetry Month.  Vacation is simply poetic, isn't it?  Whether you're looking to read less/think more or read more/think less, poetry seems to fit the bill.

For kids, the poetry classic Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein is of course an entertaining way to introduce the genre.  I can still remember the substitute teacher I had in 6th grade who always read a sampling of Silverstein's masterpiece. More recently, books like Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face by Jack Prelutsky, continue the tradition of keeping the genre funny and full of unexpected reasons to giggle.

Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and DrawingsBe Glad Your Nose Is on Your Face: And Other Poems: Some of the Best of Jack Prelutsky

Over at ScopeNotes, Travis Jonker (an elementary school librarian and reviewer for The School Library Journal),  confirms that poetry is not only fun to read, it is fun to create.  To kick off this month, students from Jonker's Michigan school have created poetry using the spines (titles) of books.  His 2011 Gallery showcases some of their work and is worth browsing, especially if you find yourself looking for inspiration for a fun family game to play with all ages during the break.

There are also other bloggers engaging in activities for National Poetry Month that might be worth following, like 30 days and 30 poets at GottaBook and Poetry Friday, which is hosted by a different blogger each week.  Details about what children's literature bloggers are doing are summarized over at Kidlitosphere.

Finally, don't miss the local opportunity for your kids to become published poets!  The Storyteller in Lafayette is hosting a series of workshops for poets:

April 9th: Smiling Cats: Playing with Personification

April 16th: Waterfall of Words: Using Sounds in Poems

April 30th: Picture Pieces: Art and Imagery

Sessions cost $25/ea ($65 for all three) and include a notebook, light snack, multiple writing activities and a chance to publish in The Storyteller's literary journal, Word Waves.  Writers ages 8-10 meet from 4-5pm and writers 11 and up meet from 5:15-6:15pm.

Contact The Storyteller directly to sign up.

Happy National Poetry Month!

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