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Happy New Year! This year, when I know lots of classrooms are getting ready to start thinking about informational reading and writing, I decided to kick off 2022 with some of my favorite nonfiction poetry books. I think there is so much that informational poetry can do for us as readers and writers. Poetry invites us in to think about important topics in new ways. And it gives our students new ways to think about how to write informational pieces. I love the books that combine poetry with other forms of writing too,
The books in this series (Where in the Wild, Where Else in the Wild, What in the Wild) were some of the first informational poetry books I discovered. These are great for introducing nonfiction poetry to children because of the “I Spy/Look and Find” feature of each page. The poems in this book give information and the word choice and descriptions are incredible. As a reader, lots of inferring happens. As a writer, so much to learn!
I am so not a fan of chapter book biographies for elementary students. I prefer picture book biographies because our students can read across texts, learn about lots of people and do more in-depth work when they aren’t reading a chapter book series biography. I put biography poetry right up there with picture books. I love what books like Bravo and Shaking Things Up provide. Not only do we learn about several different people and their impacts but we learn about how an anthology works as it is around one topic or idea. The writing in both of these are incredible and many readers will find a person or two who they’d like to research further. And books like this also tend to have great author’s notes with more info. I hope we can all rethink whatever work we do with biographies and think about the goals and the types of books that best meet the goals biography reading. #biographies
No Voice Too Small and Voices of Justice would be great follow-up reads to yesterday’s titles. Both of these books focuses on people working toward justices. The writing style is different and the focus is a bit different in each so these would invite many conversations. So many pieces beyond the main poem on each page. Both of these books would be great to study in-depth.
In the Spirit of a Dream is my newest favorite poetry book. This book celebrates 13 American Immigrants. I loved reading about people I knew and people whose stories were new to me. The illustrations in this book are worthy of study as well. This is one of those books that I see being in every K-12+ classroom as there are so many entry points for readers, writers and illustrators.
The Last Straw has been on a few #TextSets because I love it. The way Susan Hood combines poetry and information is brilliant and there is so much packed into this one book, with poetry as the anchor. And this would invite an interesting discussion on the ways the poems were put together, the overarching topic and theme of the whole, etc. This book can be studied as a whole or individual spreads can be looked at individually.
This week’s books were linked at Bookelicious and/or Cover to Cover Children’s Bookstore. If you are looking for a fabulous local children’s bookstore to support, Cover to Cover is an amazing one. We are lucky to have them in Central Ohio! If you don’t have an independent children’s bookstore in your town, check out Bookelicious. They are an online independent bookstore for children with an incredible curated collection.
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