Monday, April 27, 2015

The Crowd Goes Wild: Good Sports, Good Poetry

Good Sports, Good Poetry!
Today, Poetry on Parade visits the wide world of sports.  We'll fill our duffel bags with rhythm and rhyme. We'll be a traveling team of poetry writers and performers!

Let's get the ball rolling with Soccer Land, written by Karen Jo Shapiro and performed by Colleen and Erin:


Next up, take a look at an original poem by Lafayette's Sean L:

The football,
across the field,
about to start its descent,
into Number 24's hands.
Sprinting across the field,
into the end zone.
The crowd goes 
cheering for

Talk about tackling a poem!  
Here, Sean reads his poem for Lafayette Live:


Let's Hear It for the Home Team!
The clock is winding down on this blog post, and it's time to head to the locker room and pack up our poetry. But remember: legendary New York Yankee catcher Yogi Berra once said, "It ain't over 'til it's over." So keep practicing, keep playing, and keep performing poetry!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Celebrating Earth Day Today and Every Day

Going Green and Going Strong: On April 22, 1970, the United States held a one-day national event intended to encourage appreciation of our planet and to increase awareness of Earth’s environmental issues. By 1990, Earth Day had gone global, growing into an international celebration that included over 140 countries around the world.  In 2009, the United Nations declared April 22 International Mother Earth Day, with over 175 participating nations.  As we celebrate Earth Day with original poetry, we declare that we are Poetry Paraders, not polluters!

Nico shared his original Earth Day poem on Lafayette Live:


Some communities extend Earth Day into Earth Week, planning seven days of environmentally-friendly activities.  But why stop at one day or one week?  Let’s make Every Day Earth Day!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring Is the Season, and Rhyme Is the Reason!

At long last, Spring is springing: bees are buzzing; trees are greening; birds are singing… a brightening scene-ing. At Lafayette School, the arrival of Spring means another thing.  It’s time to rhyme!  We’re looking forward to National Poetry Month and a visit from The Mayhem Poets in April.  But first, we’re marching through March with our annual Parade of Poetry: a time to read poems, write poems, perform poems, and share the magic of poetry with friends and family. Let’s get our hand-clapping, foot-stomping, rhythm-jamming, rhyme-slamming Parade of Poetry started!

Original Poetry on Parade Artwork by Cynthia Z.
Even as we celebrate Spring, we take a poetic glance back at our long, cold, snowy winter.  Kate and Halsey share This Winter I Went Sledding by Kenn Nesbitt: 


No doubt about it, storm-after-winter-storm gave us a collective case of cabin fever. Sally and Norah explore another popular poetic malady in School Fever by Brod Bagert:


Let's move from a wish-filled school poem to a school-of-fish poem.  Kendall and Mia perform Fishy by Doug Florian:


A fishy poem, indeed!  Spring is not only time to rhyme, it's also time to frolic.  After watching Katrina, Amelia, and Ciara perform Dancing Pants by Shel Silverstein, we think there's something fishy-- and fascinating-- about a frolicking wardrobe:


Dancing pants!   Poetry invites us to think... to dream... to wonder about the world in new and exciting ways. Here, Julia and Josie share What Will I Be? by Dennis Lee:


To think.  To dream.  To wonder.  Where will poetry take us next?  Stay tuned, Poetry Paraders! 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Clickety-Clack: A Poetic Train of Thought

Toot, Toot!  Chatham is a railroad town, and on Saturday, June 14, we plan to commemorate our train station's 100th birthday during the annual Fishawack Festival.  We'll celebrate with exhibits of railroad memorabilia, displays of historical photographs, and an exciting attempt at the Guinness World Records mark for the most train whistles blown simultaneously at a single location!

Take a look at The Song of the Train, written by David McCord, performed by Parker, and featuring favorite train Thomas the Tank Engine.  The poem makes good use of onomatopoeia-- words that sound like their meaning-- to describe the noise and motion of the train:


Reading the Rails in the LMC: Check out nonfiction picture book Locomotive by Brian Floca (385 FLO).  The 2014 Caldecott Medal Winner imagines what passengers experienced as they traveled across plains and over mountains, journeying west on the brand new transcontinental railroad in 1869.
And now, Poetry Paraders, we come to the end-- or maybe the caboose-- of this blog post!

Monday, May 19, 2014

All Creatures... Great and Small, Scary and Silly

As Poetry on Parade marches through Springtime, we're discovering that many of our favorite poems feature creatures: all sorts of creatures... real or imagined, great and small, scary and silly.  
First, let's read a great poem about a great creature. Eletelephony, written by Laura Elizabeth Richards, includes wonderful wordplay and ridiculous rhyme.  The tongue-twisty poem doesn't specify whether the enormous, plant-munching mammal in question is of African or Asian variety. We wonder: which species is more likely to pick up a telephone?


Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant—
No! No! I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telephone—
(Dear me! I am not certain quite
That even now I’ve got it right.)
Howe’er it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk;
The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee—
(I fear I’d better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!)

Next up, we share a poetic moment with creatures of the small and squeaky variety; namely, minuscule rodents with pointed snouts, rounded ears, and long hairless tails.  Eek!  Elizabeth and Paige read Mice, a whimsical poem by English poet Rose Fyleman:


When we think of scary creatures, frightening and unfriendly monsters come to mind.  Fortunately, these scary creatures are also imaginary creatures!  Here's The Monster, written by James Proimos and performed by Kyle:


Sometimes, the creature is silly and the poem is porky!  Take a look at My Pig Put on a Bathing Suit, written by Jack Prelutsky, with a video presentation created by Harrison and John O. 


By most accounts, pigs are intelligent, highly social omnivores, which means they would probably enjoy reading, sharing... and eating poetry! 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Here's a Heaping Helping of Shel Silverstein

We're hungry for poetry!  It's time to grab a bite to eat, savoring and sharing delicious verses written by Shel Silverstein. What's on the menu?  For starters, let's sample folklore with a twist.  We've heard stories of magic lamps and genies granting wishes.  In The Genie in the Flask, performed by Tommy and Will, things turn out differently:


Silverstein Sketches by Tommy C.

Next, let's nibble on a mouth-watering main dish about a misbehaving automaton, My Robot, performed by Dash and Owen:

Taste buds craving something silly?  Here's the scrumptious Ickle Me, Tickle Me, Pickle Me Too, performed by Sydney and Julia:


We hope you saved room for dessert!  Today's special is the short and sweet Hug O' War, performed by Kylie and Paige:


Poems to savor, poems to share. Remember, Poetry Paraders, as you move through life, never bite off more than you can chew... and a serving of Shel Silverstein every day is satisfying but not too filling!