It’s time to introduce you to another collaborator for one of my?30 Painless Classroom Poems books. Readers, please meet Catherine Flynn, who created a completely awesome activity guide for Wacky, Wild, and Wonderful: 50 State Poems.
Catherine Flynn has been a literacy specialist for the past nine years. Prior to that, she taught 3rd grade for 10 years and 1st grade for two years. She co-authored an integrated reading/writing/art curriculum unit on pourquoi stories, which was recognized with a Celebration of Excellence award by the Connecticut Department of Education. Catherine was Teacher of the Year for her district in 2002, and she is an active member of NCTE and IRA. Catherine loves to read, write, and knit in her spare time.
Visit her blog:
Reading to the Core
Follow her on Twitter:
Addendum from Laura Purdie Salas: I had such fun meeting Catherine in person at NCTE in November! Here we are:
She is so warm and enthusiastic. And, wow, did she do an amazing job on the activities guide! Here are a few examples:
- Our diverse ethnic heritage is evident in the states? names, as well as in the names of rivers and other geographical features. After viewing a video of the song ?Ancient Places, Sacred Lands? (available on YouTube), have students research the name of the state and/or subject of their poem. Have them create a dictionary page for the name using the template following these activities. (State names can be researched easily online?try Enchanted Learning’s website or Mental Floss.) Gather all entries to create a class Dictionary of Name Origins.
- In groups or individually, students can create a timeline for a poem with a clear sequence of events, such as ?Rhode Island: Narragansett Bay, 1772.?
- There are a number of poems about ecosystems and animals, such as ?Nevada: Valley of Fire? and ?Wisconsin: Catch!? Have students illustrate and describe the food chains of the ecosystem described in the poem of their choice.
Besides great activities, she created appendices that group the poems by form (i.e., Diamante, Haiku, etc.) and by topic (i.e., Agriculture, History, etc.), plus a list of resources related to the topic of each poem.? Like I said…wow.
I’ll be sharing some state poems over the next couple of weeks. I hope if you like them, and you like the sample activities above (and who wouldn’t), you’ll decide to read the book. I wrote the poems with 4th- and 5th-graders in mind, since that’s the era of state reports:>) It’s available for Kindle and in paperback–and if you buy the paperback, you get the Kindle version free.