Friday, April 30, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.30

one month, thirty days
seventeen syllable rut
ready for a change

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Happy end of National Poetry Month! Matt has this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme.


Thursday, April 29, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.29

it's urgent, not optional
sacrifice comfort

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Found haiku while listening to Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul speak at the NCTE member gathering.


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.28

playground drama
duck nest under the slide
brave mama

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021


Tuesday, April 27, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.27

summer in a jar
basil, parmesan, garlic
tastebud time travel

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021


Monday, April 26, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.26

just strolling along
big leather feet flap flapping
parking lot goose

©Mary Lee Hahn


Sunday, April 25, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.25

we turned a corner
(the redbuds are leafing out)
over there -- summer

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021


Saturday, April 24, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.24

one slip
I guess the knife is still sharp
blood mixes with onions

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021


Text Set: Books for Earth Day

 Texts for this Text Set have been posted daily on Instagram. Follow @TextSets there to get daily updates! 

I'm not a big theme teacher. I don't usually pick books because of a holiday or an event or a celebration.  But recently, I've discovered so many great books that match the Earth Day theme that I figured..Why not?  These books would definitely fit into this week if you are looking for texts to share for Earth Day. But they are also incredible books to use any time during the year for a variety of reasons. 

Having just won the Caldecott Medal, We are Water Protectors is a perfect book to share this week as we think about taking care of our Earth. I would pair this book (now or anytime during the year) with other books about water access and water protection. A connected book my 5th graders learned a great deal from is Young Water Protectors by Aslan Tudor and his mother. Water is such an important issue and there are so many other books to add but these are two of my favorites. 

I discovered Zonia's Rain Forest this week and love it so much. This is the story of Zonia who lives in the Amazon Rainforest. It is a beautiful story that celebrates all the beauty and wonder of the rainforest. And it also addresses threats. I remember rainforest units of the past that never acknowledged the people of the rainforest. This book does that and the back of the book gives us more information about the Asháninka, the largest Indigenous group living in the Peruvian Amazon. 

I have always had several books about Wangari Maathai in our classroom library. I love her story and the way she cared for the Earth. Mama Mita is one of my favorites but I think her story is one that needs to be explored through several books.(So look for the other picture book biographies about Wangari.)  This month, I discovered a book I could pair with the stories of Wangari. The Wisdom of Trees: How Trees Work Together to Form a Natural Kingdom. This nonfiction book is incredible and I learned so much. The combination of poetry and short informational blurbs work together to explore the connectedness of trees. It is packed with information that was new-to-me. There is more information at the end of the book, including information about the future of forests and ways we can help.

Plastic. So many problems caused by plastic. These are two very different books that focus on the impact of plastic in our world. The Last Straw is a poetry/nonfiction text that highlights ways kids everywhere are working to help the problems caused by plastic. And this book is filled with fabulous features at the end--timelines and more. Ocean Soup is more of a narrative that focuses on the impact of plastic on our oceans. The combination of these books helps readers understand how big the problem of plastic is as well as what we can do. 

I love books that have stand-alone pages. These books are both made up of two-page spreads that can stand alone for readers. Each two-page spread is essentially its own infographic. Each page gives readers so much information and it is all organized in ways that make the information accessible. What a Waste focuses on trash and recycling and Our World Out of Balance focuses on climate change. Both books include ways readers can help.

This week's books were linked at Cover to Cover Children's Bookstore. If you are looking for a fabulous children's bookstore to support, this is an amazing one. We are lucky to have them in Central Ohio!

Follow @TextSets on Instagram for next week's Text Set!

Thursday, April 22, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.23 and Poetry Friday

car changes color
maroon with a glaze of gold
oak pollen season

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Catherine has this week's Poetry Friday Roundup at Reading to the Core.


National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.22


nature teaches us
expect the unexpected
snow in late April

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.21

when will justice be
expected immutable
like rock not spring snow

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.20

How do you pack a
decades-long friendship into
a three-line haiku?

Committees, roadtrips,
Twitter, blog, NCTE,
breakfast at NorthStar.

Happy Birthday, Friend!
You continue to inspire
and to make us laugh.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021


Monday, April 19, 2021

Sunday, April 18, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.18

suddenly there's shade
branches with buds subitize
shadows gain substance

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021


Saturday, April 17, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.17

old trees make new leaves
bark is rough but roots are strong
spring becomes summer

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021


Text Set: Short Texts for Grades 3-8

 Texts for this Text Set have been posted daily on Instagram. 

Follow @TextSets there to get daily updates!

As teachers, we are always looking for quality short texts. Short texts are great for mini lessons, read aloud, book clubs and more.  I've been finding so many great new publications with short pieces that I wanted to share them. The books I'll share this week are best for grades 3-8. I haven't necessarily read these books cover to cover and that is part of the beauty of these books--they offer short, stand alone pieces. When I get books like this, I usually do a pretty intense preview to get a sense of features and format. Then I read a few to get a sense of what is in the pages. I then dip in and out of them when I am looking for something specific.

I love Wonder Women of Science, a new book filled with women in science. The subtitle, "Twelve Geniuses Who Are Currently Rocking Science, Technology, and the World" says it all. This book shares the stories of incredible women and their journeys to the work they do now. Each 10-20 page piece has facts, photos from childhood, and more.  Readers learn about the people behind the science as well as a bit of science.  There is so much to each one of these mini-biographies.

These two books focus on stories of people taking action.  In Our Future, the author gives us a two-page spread about each activist, telling us a bit about their work and their motivation for the work.  Illustrations, photos and quotes are part of this book. In Muslim Girls Rise, each two page spread tells the story of one Muslim woman and the change she is creating in the world.  Both books focus on current issues. being addressed. These books show how much you can learn from short texts.

The short pieces in Drawn Across Borders: True Stories of Human Migration start with a drawing.  Artist and author George Butler observed people migrating and captured many in drawings. From Syria to Kenya, Butler records human stories through art and writing. Each story is unique and the visuals can also be studied independent of the text.  An incredible book.

Poetry is always a great choice when looking for short texts. The poetry by poet Naomi Shihab Nye gives readers so much to think about. Everything Comes Next is a newer anthology that included past and current poems by the author. Honeybee includes poetry as well as short paragraphs/pieces that can be used independently.

There is nothing like a great short story and these two books are filled with incredible short stories. Both edited anthologies, Ancestor Approved and Once Upon an Eid include the voices of many authors. The stories have depth and most can be read in one sitting.  Not only do these books provide fabulous short texts but they may also introduce readers to Indigenous and Muslim authors who may be new to them.  Short texts are a great way to discover and fall in Leo with new-to-you authors

This week's books were linked at Cover to Cover Children's Bookstore. If you are looking for a fabulous independent children's bookstore to support, this is an amazing one. We are lucky to have them in Central Ohio!

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Poetry Friday -- Three for Earth Day


When will we decide
to stop squandering our home?
We act like there's time.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Nowhere Else to Go
by Linda Sue Park

Go read Linda Sue Park's poem. I'll wait.             There. You understand now why I couldn't excerpt it, right? You need to read all the way to that powerful last line, which sends you back to the title, and then down through the poem again. 

This was our Weekly Poem for this past week. Our routine goes like this: on the first day, I just read the poem.  My students follow along on the share screen, but we don't talk about the poem. Just read it and let it start soaking in. Then, each day after that, we dig deeper into what we notice about the words, the shape, the craft. Finally, towards the end of the week, we get to possible meanings.  It took most of the week, but they totally got this one. Got what Linda Sue Park was doing with the clues at the beginning and that last line that sends you back to the title.

The Last Straw: Kids vs. Plastics
by Susan Hood
Illustrated by Christiane Engel
HarperCollins, 2021

An introduction by Milo Cress, founder of
17 poems
Facts on every page
Fabulous illustrations and quotes
Scientists and children from around the world working on the problem of plastic
An author's note
A timeline
"Sources and More" to go with every poem/topic (great websites!!)
Poetry notes about the forms used in each of the poems
"For Further Reading"

Jama has this week's Poetry Friday Roundup at Jama's Alphabet Soup

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.15

ask those hard questions
spotlight inequalities
then make good trouble

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.14


white privilege abounds
black lives matter on yard signs
and I write haiku

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.13


we teach the wrong things:
task completion, not passion
test taking, not joy

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

We've got seven weeks left, and I'm focusing as much as possible on passion and joy. Our newest fun: about 1/4 of the class is learning a new language using the DuoLingo app. 

Monday, April 12, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.12


this kitchen table
we are aging together
worn at the edges

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Sunday, April 11, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.11


after the cold snap
glorious magnolias
wear brown in mourning

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Saturday, April 10, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.10


sun shines through dirty windows
with no prejudice

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Text Set: Research-Books that Invite Readers to Learn More

 Texts for this Text Set have been posted daily on Instagram. Follow @TextSets there to get daily updates!

If we want our students to understand that research can be about so much more than Googling an answer to a single question we have, we have to help them recognize their own curiosities. We also want them to know that often, the more you learn about a topic, the more you want to learn. There are several books that give readers just enough information to want to know more. This week's list features books that invite readers to learn more.

Go Show the World introduces readers to several Indigenous people who have impacted our world.  This is a picture book format so each person is introduced with an illustration and several Ines of text. At the end of the book, the author shares a short biography about each person introduced.  Using this book as a springboard for discussion about which people you are interested in learning more about, now that you know a little bit, could be powerful.

Many readers have people they love to read about. For me, I love to read about Jane Goodall. I tend to buy almost any book that comes out about her.  Books like yesterday's and the updated version of Enough! introduce readers to people they may be interested in learning more about.  The people featured in this book are featured because they changed America by protesting in some way.  So, readers learn a bit about people (who they may want to learn more about) as well as the issues they stood up for (which they may want to learn more about.) in this book.

Picture books are a powerful and effective tools for introducing young readers to times in history that demand more study and understanding.  Unspeakable shares the horrific events of The Tulsa Massacre and readers may want to learn more about this time in history.   Readers will leave with an understanding of this tragedy along with questions that would require more learning.

This book, by the author of We Are Grateful introduces readers to several Native American Truths in We Are Still Here. Traci Sorrell teaches readers about times in history that is often left out of history classes.  This book covers so much and each truth is a big topic on its own. Readers will definitely want to dig deeper to understand and act.

Poetry naturally invites engagement and curiosity. These three poetry books (Bravo, Shaking Things Up and Voices of Justice) introduce us to people who have shaped our world.  The poems and illustrations are powerful and give us just enough to want to know more. These poems can be used independently or as part of the entire anthology.

Follow @TextSets on Instagram for next week's Text Set!

This week's books were linked at Cover to Cover Children's Bookstore. If you are looking for a fabulous children's bookstore to support, this is an amazing one. We are lucky to have them in Central Ohio!


Friday, April 09, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.9


singing in the dark
first one voice, then a chorus
early morning birds

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Hmm...looks like I wrote a version of this haiku last week! These two haiku reflect not just the glory of springtime, but also my despair about (and hope for) the direction our country is poised to go. Let's be the wrens! Let's be the chorus!

Happy First Full Week of National Poetry Month! I can't wait to get caught up on all you've created! Tabatha has the Poetry Friday Roundup at The Opposite of Indifference.

Thursday, April 08, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.8


one slice of peach left
in a wide indigo bowl
early morning sky

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.7


nervous, excited
first day at April
together at last

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

My Remote Learning Academy students have been troopers (most of them, for the most part, most of the time). They've been learning through a screen and working in isolation for more than a year now. This month, they've been granted a small reprieve. It comes in the form of state testing, which must be done in person. But even the price of a morning spent testing is not too high for the opportunity to be inside a school again, in the physical company of classmates. We get two days this week, two days next week, and two days at the end of the month. This is what will get us through to the end of May. For once, I'm glad for the chaos known as state testing. 

For those who are following my spring bloom haikus, here's what the Virginia bluebells look like just one day later. See why they are classified a "spring ephemeral?" Now they are blue. Now they are bells.

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.6


Virginia bluebells
at first neither blue nor bells
spring ephemeral

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Sorry I sent you off to Google for sessile trillium yesterday!
(Here's one of ours...see the little one to the right?)

And here are my Virginia bluebells as of today.
They are getting the faintest blush of blue.

Monday, April 05, 2021

National Poetry Month: #haikudiary.5


sessile trillium
blooms at the base of our oak
formerly forest

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021

Sunday, April 04, 2021

National Poetry Month -- #haikudiary.4

impulse purchase
packets of zinnia seeds
still too early

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2021