Creating Found Poetry and Shape Poetry

One of my 4th grade teachers is doing a poetry unit with her students this month, and it got me thinking about Found Poetry.  I was introduced to found poetry by author/poet Kami Kinnard at my state school librarians conference in 2014.  Her method of creating found poetry involves reading nonfiction text on a topic, pulling out the important words and facts to create a word bank, and then using one of the elements of poetry (repetition, alliteration) or forms of poetry (free verse, haiku) to create a poem.

A great way to tie this type of poetry into the curriculum is to have students research weather using books, magazine articles, online encyclopedias, and websites.  Then students can create weather poems using the facts they find.  Shape poems are a particularly effective for this topic, but free verse or haiku also work well.

The following books provide excellent simple examples of shape poems:

Flicker Flash by Joan Bransfield Graham explores light in all its forms, from reading lamps to moonlight to flashlights to campfires.

Doodle Dandies: Poems That Take Shape by J. Patrick Lewis (former U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate) takes a more eclectic approach to the subject matter – with poems ranging from sports to seasons to animals – as well as with the mixed-media illustrations.

And I just discovered a book that explains Found Poetry in a kid-friendly way:

found all around Found All Around: A Show-and-Tell of Found Poetry by Krishna Dalal gives instructions and examples of choosing words from newspaper and magazine articles, books, etc to create and using them to write poems.

Do you have other book recommendations, or poetry-writing ideas?  Please share them in the comments!

You can find more books and resources on my Thinglink Poetry page!


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Minecraft for Education

Minecraft for Education

Coming June 9: free educator access to the new Minecraft for Education software!

As the mother of two boys and as a facilitator for the free coding curriculum in my library, I have seen firsthand the power of Minecraft to engage kids in problem solving, creative thinking, math and logic activities, and teamwork.  Now Minecraft is launching a new platform specifically for use in the classroom, complete with user tutorials and mentors to get you started, and lesson plans for K-12 students.  What a great way to integrate technology that is both familiar (from the home version so many kids use) and challenging (moving from just building “cool” worlds to exploring issues such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, state history, area and perimeter, Rube Goldberg machines, and much more).

Watch this video for more info, then sign up for your own Minecraft educator account!

Are you aready using Minecraft in your classroom?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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SCASL 2015!

SCASL 2015

Hooray!  Tomorrow is the first day of the annual S.C. Association of School Librarians (SCASL) Conference!

I’m looking forward to:

If you’ll be at the conference, leave a comment here or tweet me @LibraryLoriJune and let me know!


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Holiday Book Countdown – 12 Bugs of Christmas

Counting down to Christmas with a new holiday book each day!

12 bugs of christmas The 12 Bugs of Christmas by David A. Carter

Everyone knows the ubiquitous Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas, but realistically speaking those gifts have very little relevance to a kid’s life.  Bugs are much more fun to read – and sing – about, and David Carter imagines 12 new species of insect and then engineers them into a 3-D counting extravaganza in this Christmas pop-up book.

12 bugs of christmas page

Nine Dainty Bugs a-Dancing from THE 12 BUGS OF CHRISTMAS


My favorite page?  “Five glowing bugs” has a nice candlelight effect, and “Twelve angel bugs a-rising” is an impressive finale, but my heart belongs to the “Eight popcorn bugs a-popping” as they burst right out of their pot!

Other seasonal bug books by David Carter include Jingle Bugs and Snow Bugs.

If you’d like to try your hand at creating your own pop-ups, Carter offers a page of links to get you started.

Feeling really ambitious?  Try crafting one of Carter’s Christmas tree designs along with Martha Stewart!  Click the images to view the videos.

Pop-up Tree Video Part 1

Pop-up Tree Video Part 1

Pop-up Tree Video Part 2

Pop-up Tree Video Part 2


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