Poetry as Story

To celebrate National Poetry Month, Sunday’s  storytimes throughout the month of April are themed around poetry. A couple weeks ago was Poetry is FUN! Storytime, where we focused on how silly poetry can be. This week’s focus was how poems are also stories. After a few ballads and rhymes, we made Color Poem Books for our after-storytime craft.

“Poetry as Story” Storytime Lineup:

May I Bring a Friend? by Beatrice Schenk De Regniers, illustrated by Beni Montresor

A Caldecott-winning, classic. This book was a suggestion of my co-worker, who is also a storyteller and also a poet. It was my favorite of the selections read.

The Ballad of Nessie by Kieran Lachlan, illustrated by Andy Harkness

The Ballad of Nessie is actually a short film by Disney inspired by none other than the Loch Ness Monster. I showed the kids this picture of the Loch Ness Monster and explained the legend before reading this sing-song story.

Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sun in the Year 1866 by Earnest Lawrence Thayer, illustrations by Christopher Bing

What a great book to celebrate the opening of baseball season and example of poetry as a story. My best friend’s mom is a school librarian and reads this book to her kids every year.

My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss, illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher

I read this book primarily as a segue into the ‘Color Poem Book’ craft. A bright and simple story about our many emotions.

Color Poem Book:

First, I have to say, this sweet little craft was originally created by Susan Kapuscinski Gaylor and featured on her blog, Making Books. Tons and tons of fun book making activities for children including this ‘Color Poem Book’ craft. It turned out to be one of those crafts were the parents enjoy making as much (if not more) as the kids did.

Here’s how we made our “Color Poem Books”…

Materials used included leftover crepe paper from the rainbow craft, card stock, yarn, glue, tape, and the Mary O’Neill’s color poems found in the book Hailstones and Halibut Bones.

Cut a piece of paper or card stock 12 inches in length and about 3-4 inches high or whatever height desired.

Fold the strip three times into equal lengths. If there is a little leftover on the end, snip it off.

Cut colored card stock or construction paper into rectangles a little larger than the books to be used as the covers.

Tape colored cover to that back and front of the book. Use double stick if you have it. (I unfortunately ran out)

Cut color poems out into small stanzas.

Oh, and up to this point I prepared the above ahead of time for the kids. In case you were thinking of making this with younger children.

Tear crepe paper into small sections.

Glue crepe paper down as desired and glue printout over it.

Continue gluing crepe paper and poems on inside of book pages. Coresponding crepe paper colors with same color poem.

Let dry.

Bind book with a bow.

Red is a ruby/Set in a ring./Red is the color/That makes my heart sing.

Green are the leaves/Sprouting in the spring,/Green is the color/Of a luna moth’s wing.

Orange is a pumpkin/Orange is a cat,/Sleeping in the sun/On an orange mat.

Purple is a grape,/One of a bunch,/Purple is the jelly/In the sandwich/I ate for lunch.

The above are Color Poem Book examples a few storytime kids made for me. Darling, no?

If you live in Lawrence, don’t forget there’s a long list of poetry activities to participate in throughout the month, created by the Lawrence Public Library and the Lawrence Arts Center. See HERE for more details.

How are you celebrating National Poetry Month?

image sources: may i bring a friend, ballad of nessie, casey at the bat, my many colored days


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