Sunday, April 17, 2011


This week in the library, we are having a POETRY PICNIC! There is no food at this picnic, but we are just getting a taste of poetry. The library is set up to look like a picnic and there are about 20 places that kids can choose from--places to try things having to do with poetry. My big goal is to get kids' hands on different types of poetry books and to give them time to explore poetry with friends. Classes come to the library every 4 days and we'll keep the picnic set up for 2 rotations. The library is set up so that students can be independent--with directions at each station inviting them to try some things. Many of the tables are set up with a certain type of poetry for kids to read together or on their own. Below are some of the things kids can choose from:

At this table, students can read poems from Georgia Heard's book FALLING DOWN THE PAGE. I have also included skinny strips of paper and pencils at this table so kids can try their own list poetry writing.

I love the POETRY TAG TIME kindle book that Mary Lee told me about. Several children's poets got together to play poetry tag and write poetry. One poet began and tagged another. The next poet writes a poem that is connected in some way and tags someone else. Most of our kids don't have any experience with ebook readers so just putting this out to play with has been good.

I have several song and poetry apps on the ipods. TALES2GO has a poem that kids can listen to. DUCK DUCK MOOSE has several songs, and I just discovered POET KIDS which is like magnetic poetry on the ipod.

I gathered many food poems and food poetry books. At this table, kids can read poems about food and make a place mat. After weaving the place mat, kids then add some food poems to the place mat. Some books at this table are WHAT'S ON THE MENU?, EATS and FRANKENSTEIN MAKES A SANDWICH.

FOLD ME A POEM by Kristine O'Connell George has always been popular in our library. I found directions for making the dog in the book on George's website. At this table, kids can read the poems and make the dog or other items from the book.

Many kids have never taken the time to look at the great shape poems in books such as DOODLE DANDIES. This table is full of those. I may introduce TAGXEDO this week so that kids can create their own shape poems with this tool.

This table includes many song books. A new favorite is IF YOU'RE HOPPY AND YOU KNOW IT. Alan Katz's books such as TAKE ME OUT OF THE BATHTUB are also popular. Kids are having a ball finding the accompanying songs on the Internet and playing clapping games with others (such as MISS MARY MACK).

One table celebrates playing with words. Included are games such as Bananagrams and Hinky Pinky and books. The books invite kids to play with words in a variety of ways. Some of the favorites are ANIMAL SOUP, MOM AND DAD ARE PALINDROMES and 13 WORDS.

I found POETRY SPLATTER on RIF's website. (Thanks, Carol!)  I put this up on the Smartboard and kids are having fun dragging over words to create their own poems.

This table has lots of fun poetry books to read with friends.  The YOU READ TO ME series as well as JOYFUL NOISE are part of this table for kids to read together.

Computers are set up for students to explore websites such as GIGGLE POETRY, POETRY4KIDS, and Shel Silverstein's website.

This table only houses the new poetry book LEMONADE, some magnetic letters, pencils and paper. Students can read and enjoy the poems and also try some of their own scrambled poetry here.

Other spaces include pillows for reading poems by favorite poets, a table with Acrostic and Haiku and a space to try Poetry Riddles.

We are all looking forward to a fun week of poetry!


  1. Sounds like a great idea and I'm sure the kids will really enjoy it. Thanks for sharing your great ideas.

  2. What a fabulous idea. Wish I could come to your poetry picnic! :)

  3. What a wonderful celebration of poetry this will be!

  4. Anonymous11:12 AM

    This picnic sounds fantastic, with all sorts of wonderful ways to sample poetry! Have fun with it!

  5. What a feast! A terrific, soul-nourishing gift for your students.

  6. Completely fabulous!

  7. I absolutely love this idea!! What a great way to involve the entire school in similar activities that can then be tailored to them. Love the fun of it! Love the poetry of it!

  8. This is an amazing idea! I will be filing this one away for next year. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

    This Tuesday, we will be having "Open Mic Poetry" during lunch when 2nd-4th grades will get up and share the haikus they have been working on and 5th-6th will share the poems they have been writing modeled from the new poetry book "Lemonade and other freshly squeezed poems from one word." This is my first time doing this. I hope it goes well.

  9. This sounds amazing! These children are so luck to have such a creative and thoughtful librarian. I would love to be a fly on the wall when the children cycle through their picnic tables. Thanks for sharing!

  10. I would love to come over and spend some time at your poetry picnic. So thoughtful and filled with variety, something for everyone. Enjoy.

  11. What a fun idea! I love the variety that you offer. I am going to try to use some of this next week in our library. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You inspire!

  12. So MANY great ideas! Love the poetry tag idea wondering how I might do this with primary kids on VoiceThread…my wheels are spinning! Thanks for sharing Franki!

  13. This is wonderful. Totally stealing your ideas to try with my 6th graders. They are going to love it! Thanks for sharing.

  14. I didn't save any of the sheets from last year-- so sorry!

  15. Just came across your blog tonight! As a teacher librarian who just started up her own blog, I was thrilled to discover yours. There doesn't seem to be many of us out there. I was googling Poetry Picnic and I feel like I hit the lottery. Totally thinking of doing this similar type of thing in my library. I am your newest follower :)

  16. Thanks for the great ideas! Do you mind if I link to your page as my inspiration for a Poetry Party on my wikispace?

  17. Amy--sure, no problem to link. Thanks for asking:-)

  18. I loved this so much that I organized a whole school Family poetry picnic with stations in each classroom or grade level. It was great! Everyone left having written, read and shared their own poems with poems in their pockets to savor for later. Thanks for the idea! We loved it.

  19. What fun! Thanks for sharing:-)

  20. This was a fantastic idea! I'd like to give you credit when I recap this event on my school website. May I link to your blog post from my school website? Thank you for sharing!

    1. Of course you can link to this post! Thank you for giving Franki attribution for her fabulous idea!


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