Creating Found Poetry and Shape Poetry

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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

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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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Sync Offers Free Audiobooks for Teens this Summer

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sync logo

If you serve teens, you’ll want to tell them about SYNC’s free summer audiobook program!  Each week (May 5th – August 17th 2016) SYNC will give away two complete audiobook downloads a week (30 titles) offered as pairs of high interest titles, based on weekly themes.  Click to see the complete SYNC summer playlist. Happy listening!


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SCASL 2015!

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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

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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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WWW – Jumpstart’s Read for the Record

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By request I am bringing back the WWW (Weekly Wednesday Website) this year!  This means that each Wednesday I will send out a school-wide email with a recommended website that you might find useful in your classroom.

readfortherecordThis week’s WWW is Jumpstart’s Read for the Record

This site has all the details for the annual Read for the Record event, which “mobilizes millions of children and adults to celebrate literacy by participating in the world’s largest shared reading experience.”  Last year 2,462,860 adults and children participated!

bunny-cakesThis year’s book is BUNNY CAKES (a Max and Ruby book) by Rosemary Wells

Date to Share It with Your Class:  Tues, Oct 21

And here are some additional links to make it easy for you to participate!

we give books Share the book on your Interactive Whiteboard!  We Give Books offers free online books, including all the previous Read for the Record books.  (Remember Otis last year, and Ladybug Girl the year before that?)  Create an account (if you don’t already have one), log in, and search for Bunny Cakes.

bunny cakes reading guideBunny Cakes Reading Guide – provided by Jumpstart to help you get the most out of your reading experience

Rosemary WellsBiographical Information (including a brief video) for Rosemary Wells (the author/illustrator)

Win a copy of BUNNY CAKES for your classroom library!  I will be giving away a paperback copy of Bunny Cakes to one lucky blog reader!  When you register your class online for Read for the Record, you will receive a welcome email from Jumpstart.  Leave a comment before 2:00 EST on Wed, Oct 15, letting me know you’ve registered your class and I’ll enter your name in the drawing.  (I’ll announce the winner here at 2:30 on Oct 15 and ask for your contact information then.)  Good Luck!

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WWW- The Global Read Aloud

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By request I am bringing back the WWW (Weekly Wednesday Website) this year!  This means that each Wednesday I will send out a school-wide email with a recommended website that you might find useful in your classroom.

 gra_logoThis week’s WWW is The Global Read Aloud

Why a Global Read Aloud?

From the GRA site: “Global collaboration is necessary to show students that they are part of something bigger than them. That the world needs to be protected and that we need to care for all people. You can show them pictures of kids in other countries but why not have them speak to each other? Then the caring can begin.”

Our ADE Vision Statement reads as follows: “At Alice Drive Elementary, all students will receive the respect, encouragement and opportunities they need to build the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to be successful, contributing members of a global society.”  (emphasis mine)  This is a truly meaningful way to give our students a global voice!

The Global Read Aloud connects students to other kids all over the world through a shared reading experience.  Last year more than 144,000 students in 30 countries on 6 different continents participated, including two of our ADE teachers!

The book choices for this year are:

peter reynoldsFor younger students, an author study of Peter H. Reynolds, author of the books The Dot and Ish – both available on Tumblebooks – as well as many other books.

For older students, a choice of 3 novels for the teacher to read aloud to the class(Follow the links to learn more about each one.)

One For the Murphys by Lyndy Mullaly Hunt

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

The Global Read Aloud site provides resources to get you started when you sign up, and there are discussion guides available for the books.  I have read all three novels and will be happy to help you choose the best fit for your class.  I will also purchase a copy of the book for you, and after the read-aloud you can add it to your classroom library.  (For the author study, I will purchase one Peter Reynolds book for each classroom, and you can trade them with one another during the author study.)  I will also assist you with making connections to other classrooms.  I’ll be happy to meet with grade levels or individual teachers to discuss it further.

p.s. A link to this week’s WWW is posted at, along with all of the previous WWW websites.

To my online readers: Are you participating in the Global Reading Challenge this year?  Are you looking for elementary classes to connect with?  Please leave a comment and let me know which book you are reading!


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