Category Archives: Poetry

Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems

“Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems”

Teaching children at a young age how to be present and how to self-calm can become a beneficial skill that can help them later in life when faced with stress. In Breathe and Be, mindfulness poems set the stage for children to calm, relax, and be. These poems use nature analogies that children can easily relate to.

By the end of the book, a sense of calm and serenity prevails. Readers connect mindfulness with the beauty of nature. On the book’s back cover, this poem portrays rushing thoughts and centeredness.

Gorgeous illustrations create a soothing peacefulness while illustrating how readers’ awareness of their thoughts can promote mindfulness.

This book promotes visualization, flexible thinking, and nature.

TITLE: Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems

AUTHOR: Kate Coombs

ILLUSTRATOR: Anna Emilia Laitinen

PUBLISHER: Sounds True, 2017

AGE GROUP: 4-8

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: visualization, flexible thinking, nature

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, is quoted: “Mindfulness is the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” As an act of mindfulness, sit quietly in nature. Pick a small square of dirt to observe. For five to ten minutes focus only on that patch of earth, watching nature happen.

2) Try your hand at writing a tanka poem. A tanka poem has five lines. The first and third lines have five syllables. The second, fourth and fifth lines have seven syllables. Here is an example that I wrote.

Up Above

by Ann Kelley

dollops of whipped cream

drift across speckled blue sky

like scoops of ice cream

piling higher and higher

until melting raindrops pour

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author Kate Coombs, visit:

http://www.katecoombs.com

To learn about illustrator Anna Emilia Laitinen, visit:

http://www.annaemilia.com

Animal Ark

Animal Ark”

In this collaborative project between photographer Joel Sartore and Newberry-winning author Kwame Alexander, Animal Ark blends their talents to give focus on some of the endangered species in our magnificent animal kingdom. Alexander’s haiku poetry accompanies Sartore’s visual haikus (photos). Their message, We are family, drives home that we must all take care of our planet.

Background matter includes notes from the photographer and the writer.

This book promotes creativity, helping others, nature and discovery.

TITLE: Animal Ark

AUTHOR: Kwame Alexander

PHOTOGRAPHER: Joel Sartore

PUBLISHER: National Geographic Partners, 2017

AGE GROUP: 5-7

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creativity, helping others, nature, discovery

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) What can you do to help save endangered species?

2) Choose a photo of an endangered animal. Research your animal. Use a few of those facts to help you write a haiku poem about your animal.

 EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about photographer Joel Sartore, visit:

https://www.joelsartore.com/about-joel/

Joel is the founder of the Photo Ark, a groundbreaking effort to document species before they disappear—and to get people to care while there’s still time.

https://www.joelsartore.com/photo-ark/about-the-photo-ark/

To learn more about author Kwame Alexander, visit:

http://kwamealexander.com

Frederick

“Frederick

Over 50 years old and a Caldecott Honor book, Frederick is a beautiful, classic story. Frederick sits on the old stonewall while his brothers gather food for the winter.

“Why don’t you work, Frederick?”

“I do work. I gather sun rays for the cold dark winter days.”

While the mice continue to collect, Frederick gathers words and colors.

During winter’s long cold days, supplies become depleted. Frederick keeps his brothers warm and happy with his colors and words. Frederick is a poet.

This book promotes imagination, wonder and perspective.

TITLE: Frederick

AUTHOR: Leo Lionni

ILLUSTRATOR: Leo Lionni

PUBLISHER: Alfred A. Knopf, 1967

AGE GROUP: 3-6

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, wonder, perspective

LEARNING EXTENSIONS:

1) Which colors remind you of each season (spring, fall, winter and summer)? Using those colors, create an expressive art picture that expresses the feeling of one of the seasons.

Here is an example of expressive art.

2) Gather colors for a rainy like Frederick did in the story. Write a poem about your rainy day.

3) Design a card for a friend using the illustrative style of Leo Lionni. 

EXTENDING CONNECTIONS:

To learn more about author/illustrator Leo Lionni, visit:

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/authors/leo-lionni/