Celebrating National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month! Welcome April and a celebration of all things poetic! This is one of my favorite literary months, because poetry is a writing form that can be such fun and ignite a love of reading. Yes, I know there are plenty of “stuffy” poems out there, but in the world of children’s poetry, the writing is a rainbow. The imagery is lyrical, fantastic, and at times poignant, too.  But all of it is accessible to kids “where they are” and a great hook for reading, writing, and creative expression. This year I’m going to do something a little bit different for National Poetry Month. I’m going to share some of my own poetry – written, I am certain, … Read more

Literacy + Life – Music Playlist

Welcome to the second edition of Literacy + Life, our blog series that shares family literacy activities as a way to promote literacy. Want an easy way to bring literacy to the dinner table? Turn on a little music. There are so many wonderful ways that music can contribute to literacy growth. Lyrics help by adding to vocabulary, enjoying rhyme, or giving listeners a glimpse into a word’s many meanings. Melody can evoke a mood or spur imagination. The myriad of genres introduce different sounds and sound combinations, instrumental and/or vocal. Enjoy your meal together with some dinner music. The sky’s the limit. Maybe you want to share some of your favorite songs; introduce new kinds of music; or bring … Read more

Thanksgiving with a Literacy Side

Yeah! The kids are home. The schedule is “between seasons,” so the kids need something to do. Why not let them help you get ready for Thanksgiving? You may not be ready to hand over an apron, but there are other ways they can help. Here are some ideas that will keep them busy and use materials that you already have around the house. Who knows, they might even become new Thanksgiving traditions. Thanksgiving Place Cards We started using place cards when my daughter was learning to read. One year we wrote out the names for her on a piece of paper, and she wrote them on her foam-cutout leaves. Another year we lined them all up and would read … Read more