Thursday, May 06, 2021

Poetry Friday -- To My Students

To My Students

I am the riverbank
and you are the water.
You flow past me
year after year
a little wild.

I do my best 
to ensure you
a safe passage
and teach you 
and the ways of the world.

But you rush on.

Time passes.
You return
to the familiar banks,
the remembered curves and shallows.

I will not know you,
and yet I will have
a deep memory of your passing.
Your passing
wore me down
changed my direction
made me new.

©Mary Lee Hahn, date unknown

Bridget has this week's Poetry Friday Roundup at Wee Words for Wee Ones.

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Text Set: Immigration Stories

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

Follow @TextSets there to get daily updates! 

Reading across a topic so that an idea doesn't become a single story is important. When we think about immigration we have to make sure to think about immigration as broadly as possible when we think about time period, reasons for immigration, representation and more. I was hesitant to put this text set together because even with 6-8 books, this list is still very limited.  But I am hoping these books create a starting point or fill in gaps to the stories you have.

Home is in Between and Lailah's Lunchbox are two picture books that share experiences of children who have immigrated. Both show some celebrations and challenges with an eye toward the experiences of young children.  Even though these are fiction picture books, both are based on the authors' experiences and the author's note is a critical component in each of the books.

These are two very different books but the language and word choice was what made me put them together on one slide. Dreamers is a beautiful book that can be read and also studied as a writer. Six Words Fresh Off the Boat is a collection of 6 Word Memoirs that capture the experiences of people coming to America. Six Words Fresh Off the Boat is not written for children, but many of the 6 Word Memoirs can be shared with children.

The voices of children are highlighted in these books.  While Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees spans decades of people journeying by boat, Hear My Voice focuses on the current crisis of children being detained at the US Border.  Hear My Voice is a brand new, bilingual book   with powerful words and illustrations. All proceeds from Hear My Voice go to Project Amplify.

Their Great Gift is filled with poetic language and powerful images that celebrate immigration. The photos show the diversity and experiences of immigrants. While other books focus on different time periods of immigration, this book focuses on the 21st century.

Wishes and Two White Rabbits both focus two very different journeys that families take to find safety. Wishes releases next week and is must-have new picture book. Much of the story in both of these books is told in the illustrations.

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!

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!