At Sherman School, we make March a month-long celebration of reading. We always pay homage to Dr. Seuss on March 2nd by reading old favorites such as Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat. But we also use this day to launch a month-long theme related to reading. What better way to celebrate Read Across America than by doing just that…reading about each of the 50 states.
This year we’re incorporating Laura Purdie Salas’s new book, Wacky, Wild, and Wonderful: 50 State Poems, into the festivities! This wonderful collection of poems is as diverse as the country it celebrates. There are poems about geography, geology, and weather. There are poems about ecosystems, food chains, and history. In short, there is something for everyone in Wacky, Wild, and Wonderful: 50 State Poems.
Each class will choose a poem that supports a topic they have been studying. For example, second grade might choose “Wisconsin: Catch!” This poem, about a bald eagle’s swooping down to the water of the Mississippi to catch a fish, is a natural for their study of food chains. Students could illustrate Laura’s poem or use this as a mentor for their own food chain poem. The form, cinquain, is very accessible for second graders.
To share their learning with the rest of the school, each class will decorate their classroom door to highlight their study of Laura’s poem and how its related curricular topic. I can’t wait to see what each class comes up with. The possibilities are limitless. Best of all, the classes that create the best doors will Skype with Laura later this spring.
I’m really excited to be pairing Laura’s poems with Read Across America, and will be posting photos of the doors and the kids’ work throughout the month here and on Twitter.
Laura also shared our plans on her blog today. Please pay her a visit to learn more about Wacky, Wild, and Wonderful: 50 State Poems and the other poetry collections in Laura’s “30 Painless Classroom Poems” series.
Thank you to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, and Beth for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.