"Poetry Break!!!"

. . . I announce as I pop into one of the classrooms in my elementary school! With sign in hand, my bell (or whistle, depending on my mood) and whatever I may decide to bring with me that day, I quickly recite (or read) a poem. I often have a prop or puppet of some sort to accompany my poem but sometimes I simply use my voice, gestures and body language to convey the meaning and mood of the poem that I am sharing. On a special occasion, I may even share a treat or souvenir (like a shell or chocolate kiss!)! After I share the poem, the students will echo me as we recite it together. Not only do the classroom teachers enjoy this brief "Poetry Break" during their hectic school day, the children absolutely LOVE it and ask me when we pass in the hall (or even if I am seen outside of school), "When are you bringing another poem?" or "I liked that poem about the chocolate kiss!" (that souveneir certainly made a lasting impression!). The point here, is that no matter what you share with children, if you are passionate and enthusiastic about it, they will be too! The love of poetry can be contageous!

What exactly is a "Poetry Break!"

The concept of a "Poetry Break!" was created by one of my most favorite authors and children's librarian, Caroline Feller Bauer. I first had the great fortune to have seen her present a fabulous workshop on bringing kids and books together in 1995. I fell in love with all of her ideas and enthusiasm for celebrating literacy! One of those ideas was the "Poetry Break!" I began to do them in my prekindergarten classroom and have continued with them ever since. Initially, I only did "Poetry Breaks!" with my students that I was working with. It wasn't until about four years ago that I decided to take the "Poetry Break" into multiple classrooms. I asked the teachers if I could pop in on a certain day within a certain time period - they loved the idea and the rest is history!

"It's easy. It's quick. It's effective. Essentially someone walks around your building with a sign and a poem. He or she walks into each classroom, office or department and calls out, "Poetry Break!" Everyone in the room looks up, a poem is read aloud or recited, The listeners return to their activities. The poetry person continues to the next room." (Bauer 1)

Thus, My Personal Poetry Virtual Library . . .

So, as you can now understand, I LOVE POEMS and sharing them!!! This collection of poems, books, anthologies, websites, ideas and other resources are all my personal favorites! I have many ideas and resources that I will continue to add to this library - it will remain a continuous, fluid, work in progress! Enjoy!

Works Cited:

Bauer, Caroline Feller. The Poetry Break An Annotated Anthology With Ideas for Introducing
Children to Poetry. New York: H. W. Wilson, 1994. Print.