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Blackout Poetry

28 Mar



  7. Make a poem out of this!




Older Than the Stars!

14 Jul




I’m taking a class at St. Kate’s University this month on the Big Bang Theory. I just read Older Than the Stars by Karen Fox.

I want my students to memorize some short poems this year and her verse from Older Than the Stars would be perfect. It has such great alliteration, rhyming, and repetition. I’d also like to introuduce my students to various forms of writing poetry. Some of the text in this book also suggests a concrete poem.

A website that I’ve used for over a decade for teaching poetry forms is this:

Also, there’s a great children’s book called “A Kick In The Head” that has excellent examples of all the various forms.

Also, They Might Be Giants have made a whole album of songs for kids about science. Here’s one of my favorites:

So for follow-up work I’d suggest:

1. Write your own poem (rhyming, alliteration, repetition, concrete0 on one of the words from the glossary at  the end of the book. This, of course, would require research so I better make sure I have some trade books at various levels on hand. Reading A-Z is a great resource for leveled books that teachers at my school use. Here’s a link to a good resource on the research process:

They could also write a piggy back song instead.

2.Some words not in the glossary; star, galaxy, solar system, constellation. I would love to assign some follow up work on types of planets (rock or gaseous) and types of stars. Not all are created alike…

Ancestor Energy–Farmer’s Markets

23 Jun

I saw Louis Alemayehu and Ancestor Energy perform poetry and music at the Farmer’s market on Lake street on June 21st. Louis is a trained and licensed teacher who has taught poetry to young people before. I think his group might be a good fit for an artist in residency or even as a visiting expert.

I also think working with a Farmer’s Market in the Summer of Fall might be a good internship experience for elementary students.

more info:


Main website for Mick Labriola (member of Ancestor Energy)



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