Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wing Nuts and Poetry???

This summer, in my school district, we had a Leadership Academy that focused on shared leadership in education. During one of the breakout sessions, I was fortunate to be placed into Mary Lee's (A Year of Reading) conversation about building literacy in the classroom. She shared many wonderful things during the session, but one of her ideas that I held on to was the idea of introducing a class to many different books of poetry by the same poet. The concept was to immerse the children in the works of one writer, and to let them see the variety of writing one person can do. A great compare / contrast conversation!

Anyway, one of the poets she has shared within her own class is J. Patrick Lewis. He is a fairly prolific writer, and the students would see some wonderful samples of many types of poetry. She shared with the group some of her collection of J. Patrick Lewis books, and I was amazed at how much he has written.

So, with Mary Lee figuratively sitting on my shoulder, I set about to start my own J. Patrick Lewis collection. The last time I was at Cover to Cover, I purchased Scien-Trickery: Riddles in Science and The World's Greatest Poems. Then, in a recent district classroom library update, all 5th grade teachers received VHERSES: A Celebration of Outstanding Women. All of these books were either authored or co-authored by J. Patrick Lewis. You can see the variety in just these titles alone.

But, when I was at Cover to Cover last weekend, another title jumped out at me: Wing Nuts: Screwy Haiku. I'm a sucker for a clever title, so I walked over to the poetry section, picked it up, and noticed that J. Patrick Lewis was one of the authors of the book. I was obviously meant to have this book, so I got it! Not a thing serious in this book, but there are so many wonderful word plays.

To give one example:

"High school band minus
its tuba player -- looking
for a substi-toot!"

I predict that my students will fall in love with Wing Nuts: Screwy Haiku, and it will become a new favorite read on Poetry Friday (and probably other days as well!).

A note to readers -- I just noticed that for all my posts this week, I dealt in the humorous. As much as I love a well-crafted, beautifully written book, I need humor in my life, also! This must have a been a week I gravitated to more books like that than normal. Just an observation.


  1. So when are you doing your JPL Poetry Friday?!?! You'll have to write about how it goes...what they notice, love, choose to share, etc. I haven't done this yet. We've done "pick an animal poem" but not poems by one author. That would make a great Poetry Friday post!

    Waitaminit...I feel another simul-post coming on! Let's talk!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this book! Our 3rd grade does a poetry unit in the spring with Haiku as one of the ones they teach. I'm telling them about this book and I've got my librarian ordering it. FYI, I linked back to you here,
    so that others could read about this book!