Did you know that this month is National Poetry Month? Isn’t there something about the bursting promise of springtime that brings out the urge to read and write poetry? April is a great time to pull out the books, paper and pen and follow your muse. I’m also hosting STEM Friday on Friday, so I thought I would put the two together and celebrate all the ways to mix science, STEM and poetry this week.
Activity 1. Write a STEM Haiku
Haiku is a type of poem that helps the writer because it usually has a defined number of syllables per line and only three lines. The pattern is first line containing five syllables, second line with seven syllables and third line with five syllables.
Here’s an example I wrote about the giant squid last year:
Search for sea monster
Giant squid swimming so deep
Tentacle comes up
2. Read some science-related poetry books.
I recently talked to a children’s librarian who was lamenting that there were some fabulous poetry books for children, but they often were left on the shelf, undiscovered. This may be because the poetry books, regardless of their subject matter, all get lumped in the literature section around the Dewey Decimal classification 811. If you are looking for a particular subject, like science, it is easy to miss the poetry options.
Let’s dig up some of the hidden science poetry treasures. Throughout the week I will be making suggestions and posting lists of science-related poetry books.
For example, Spectacular Science: A Book of Poems compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Virginia Halstead is a collection of poems that explore science through many different voices; some witty, some calm, and some contemplative. Concepts covered include magnets, the states of water and how a prism works.
Although poems are typically short and easy to read, they tend to work for a wider range of ages and reading levels than most fiction picture books. This can be a real advantage when working with mixed age/grade groups.
Do you have a favorite science-related poetry book? I’d love to hear about it.
Spectacular Science: A Book of Poems compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Virginia Halstead
Age Range: 5 and up
Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (July 1, 2002)