By Ted Kesler
I have just completed my position as chairperson of the NCTE Poetry and Verse Novels for Children Committee. Our list of notable poetry and verse novels that were published in 2021 as well as other information about the award can be found on the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children page.
In this blog post, I discuss three notable poetry books from this list that promote advocacy and provide lesson plan ideas to do with children.
The diverse and playful poetry forms in Photo Ark ABC oscillate with vibrant pictures to create fascination with each animal that is represented. Here is one example:
The book is part of the Photo Ark Project, that aims to “document every species living in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries, inspire action through education, and help save wildlife by supporting on-the-ground conservation efforts” [Back Book Cover]. Therefore, the book provides wonderful online resources to use with children, which expand opportunities for classroom explorations. Here are some ideas:
The Last Straw
The Last Straw: Kids vs. Plastics, poetry by Susan Hood, illust. by Christiane Engel (HarperCollins, 2021).
My Thoughts are Clouds
My Thoughts Are Clouds: Poems for Mindfulness, poetry by Georgia Heard, illust. by Isabel Roxas (Roaring Brook Press, 2021).