It is my great pleasure to host fourth grade teacher Emily Callahan and her poets from the North Kansas City School District at The Poem Farm today. Please enjoy this beautiful post about the exciting and varied ways that these young poets read, write, and celebrate poetry together. In honor of this class, I am holding a book giveaway open to all who comment on today's post. I will draw a winning name at month's end, April 30.
Thank you, Emily and thank you, Writers!
I asked my poets to write a little blurb about Popcorn & Poetry.
I think this captures it perfectly.
I hope that we forever “live an endless poetry life.”
Excitement fills the air. It’s Friday. It’s time to share, to think, to get smarter. It’s time for…. Popcorn & Poetry.
“OK, Poets! Grab your popcorn and come on down to our circle and find a spot,” I say with eagerness in my voice. You can feel the energy of the poets as they rush down to get started. They sit down, open their poetry notebooks, review the tracks of their thinking and of course, they start munching on their popcorn. They know they don’t want to waste a single second of this precious time together.
This is at typical scene in our classroom when it’s time for our favorite classroom ritual… Popcorn & Poetry.
This ritual started in August when I read this post by Tara Smith from Two Writing Teachers. I’d always wanted to devote more time to poetry throughout the school year and not just leave it for April. When I came across their post in August I thought, we could do this! We could, as Georgia Heard says, “live with a poem” for a week - we could unpack as readers and writers and jot about our thinking. My mom, a retired teacher, threw in the popcorn part (I mean, who doesn’t love alliteration and snacks?).
Alex Captures Deep Thinking.
Robbie and Isaiah Share Different Interpretations.
Mercy & Makenzie Exchange Insights.
We Build Thinking & Jot Others' Ideas in Share Circle.
We Love Our Mentor Ralph Fletcher's Words, "Poetry Matters."
I, Mrs. Callahan, Go Through the Writing Process Too.
Mercy Color Codes Her Thinking.
During the World Series, We Read Poems by Local Poets
About Our Team, the Kansas City Royals.
Jessenya Thinks About this “Pig poem!”
Poet, David Arnold Hughes, a local Kansas City Poet,
Visited Our Class. His Grandaughter, Mya, is a Poet in our Class!
We Keep Track of Different Stances in Our Color-Coded Notes:
What We Think, What the Author Might Think, Friends' Ideas.
We Learn from Skype, Articles, Other Poets.
Poetry Perfectly Captures Thinking.
Inspiration Comes from Many Places.
Here Are Some Notes about Georgia Heard's Poem.
Our Amazing and Creative Interpreter, Mrs. Watt,
Brought Us Old Frames.
We Use Them to Display Our Poems.
Memory Poems Reminded Leia of Florida.
We Reflect on Our Process.
Leia Needed to Display This, and a Conch Shell was Perfect.
Check out our movie!
We also like to “change up” Popcorn & Poetry from time to time but something that stays the same no matter what- we experience poems, share ideas, and think deeply.
Here are some different ways we celebrate Popcorn & Poetry:
- Mrs. Callahan picks a poem or gives us some options. Sometimes we read a poem that connects to something we are learning in science or social studies or that connects to a read aloud.
- We host guest poets from around our community and from our classroom!
Visiting Poet David Arnold Hughes Taught Us,
The Pauses and the White Space are just as Important as the Words.
- We Skype with poets.
Author and Teacher Penny Kittle Answered Our Questions.
- We collaborate with younger grade levels and teach them about poetry. We love conferring with first graders.
- We’ve invite parents to join us.
- We look at images to inspire poems.
Isaiah Writes from an Image With a Poet's Heart.
Tanny McGregor Inspired My Teammate and Me
to Try Writing from Images with Our Poets.
- And we don’t always stick to just popcorn! While popcorn is our favorite, we’ve also had Pretzels & Poetry, Popsicles & Poetry, Peanuts & Poetry… You get the idea!
We hope we’ve inspired you to create your own time devoted to the amazing world of poetry!
Teacher Emily Callahan
Emily Callahan has been teaching second through fourth grades in the North Kansas City School District for the past thirteen years. She is a literacy demonstration teacher and welcomes visitors from in and around the district to come into her classroom to get smarter with her and her kids. Over the past five years, she’s had numerous opportunities to work closely with different literacy consultants so she’s constantly learning from several of her teaching mentors. She considers herself first and foremost a learner and loves digging in and doing the work with her readers and writers.
Emily became a teacher because of her mother Nancy, a primary teacher in their small town for twenty-five years. Emily knew from a very young age that she would be a teacher too and even has the clawfoot bathtub from her mother's classroom in her own classroom now...along with hundreds of inherited books.
Emily lives in Liberty, MO with her husband Jeremy, their two little boys, Fletcher and Theodore and two dogs, Moose and Milo. She loves reading poetry with her young readers at home. You can find Emily on Twitter here - @emilyscallahan and visit some of her favorite blogs and sites here - Two Writing Teachers, To Make a Prairie, The Poem Farm, Sharing Our Notebooks, Indent, Watch. Connect. Read., Ralph Fletcher.
In honor of these poets and their teacher, Mrs. Callahan, The Poem Farm will mail a copy of one of this class's favorite books, A WRITING KIND OF DAY by Ralph Fletcher, to a commenter on this post. Please leave your comment by midnight on Saturday, April 30, to be entered to win.
In other wonderful classroom news, I am happy to host teacher and librarian Stefanie Cole and her students from Ontario, Canada at Sharing Our Notebooks this month. This is a fantastic post full of notebook inspiration, a video clip, and a great book giveaway from Stefanie. Please check it out, and leave a comment over there to be entered into the giveaway.
Please share a comment below if you wish.