April 2015: Celebrate National Poetry Month!

National Poetry Month

You don’t have to be a language arts teacher to love April. After all, it is National Poetry Month – a whole month to celebrate the beauty, the emotion, the meaning that poetry adds to life. Poets write about all subjects, not just “English-y” ones, and that means that you can introduce poetry into science class, math class, social studies class, art, music, foreign language, even physical education. Shake your students up and start class each day during April with a poem. But don’t think you have to do all the work of finding or reading these poems. Once you get the month started, you’ll find that students are delighted to share poetry they have found.

Off to a Good Start

Poetry 180

netTrekker offers a broad spectrum of poetry to enjoy, and to begin with, former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins offers a poem that suggests how we might approach poetry in classes across the curriculum in “Introduction to Poetry.” Then, to demonstrate to students that poetry is for everyone, use “Americans Saying Poems They Love.” For high school students the Library of Congress site begun by Billy Collins, “Poetry 180” is a great place to find poetry to share.

Some great general collections of poetry can be found at “The Children’s Poetry Archive” and “Josie’s Poems.”

Ideas across the Curriculum

Science teachers have plenty to choose from, as so many poets have written about the natural world. From “PBS: Poetry Everywhere“, you might choose to share Kay Ryan’s “Turtle,” Ted Kooser’s “Daddy Long Legs,” or Charles Simic’s “Stone.”

Two more interesting sources are Karen Glenn’s poem sampler, “Ten Poems to Get You Through Science Class This Year”,  with selections by William Carlos Williams, Christina Rosetti and others, and “30 Days of ‘Quantum Poetry’ Celebrating the Glory of Science”, which offers seven poems by British biologist and poet Joanna Tilsley.

In math class, you might share “Numbers”, by Mary Cornish, or “A Love Poem for Lonely Prime Numbers”, by Harry Baker.

Poetry about sports can help us see more than the play on the field, just as physical education teachers know that they are teaching more than just rules of a game. Poetry Foundation has several collections of sports poetry to share:

Find these resources and more in netTrekker with the keyword search: April Newsletter.

icurio 1.0 April Newsletter: Celebrating National Poetry Month Across the Curriculum

National Poetry Month

You don’t have to be a language arts teacher to love April. After all, it is National Poetry Month – a whole month to celebrate the beauty, the emotion, the meaning that poetry adds to life. Poets write about all subjects, not just “English-y” ones, and that means that you can introduce poetry into science class, math class, social studies class, art, music, foreign language, even physical education. Shake your students up and start class each day during April with a poem. But don’t think you have to do all the work of finding or reading these poems. Once you get the month started, you’ll find that students are delighted to share poetry they have found.

Off to a Good Start

Poetry 180

icurio offers a broad spectrum of poetry to enjoy, and to begin with, former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins offers a poem that suggests how we might approach poetry in classes across the curriculum in “Introduction to Poetry.” Then, to demonstrate to students that poetry is for everyone, use “Americans Saying Poems They Love.” For high school students the Library of Congress site begun by Billy Collins, “Poetry 180” is a great place to find poetry to share.

Some great general collections of poetry can be found at “The Children’s Poetry Archive” and “Josie’s Poems.”

Ideas across the Curriculum

Science teachers have plenty to choose from, as so many poets have written about the natural world. From “PBS: Poetry Everywhere“, you might choose to share Kay Ryan’s “Turtle,” Ted Kooser’s “Daddy Long Legs,” or Charles Simic’s “Stone.”

Two more interesting sources are Karen Glenn’s poem sampler, “Ten Poems to Get You Through Science Class This Year”,  with selections by William Carlos Williams, Christina Rosetti and others, and “30 Days of ‘Quantum Poetry’ Celebrating the Glory of Science”, which offers seven poems by British biologist and poet Joanna Tilsley.

In math class, you might share “Numbers”, by Mary Cornish, or “A Love Poem for Lonely Prime Numbers”, by Harry Baker.

Poetry about sports can help us see more than the play on the field, just as physical education teachers know that they are teaching more than just rules of a game. Poetry Foundation has several collections of sports poetry to share:

Find these resources and more in icurio with the keyword search: April Newsletter

December 2014: Resources to Bring the Wonders of Winter into Your Lessons

Winter’s Wonders

What kinds of memories do you have of last year’s winter season? Do you live in an area that experienced so many Snow Days that you had to make days up to fulfill your state’s requirements? Or do you live in the West where you spent the winter wondering if it would ever rain again? Last year brought extreme conditions across the country, but this year might be just the kind of winter you are hoping for (whatever that may be). No matter what the next three months bring, though, it’s a sure bet that winter will slip into your classroom one way or another.

In netTrekker, you can find engaging resources to bring the wonders of winter into your lessons.

Early Elementary – Exploring Jan Brett’s The Mitten

The Mitten, by Jan Brett

Jan Brett’s delightful interpretation of the Ukrainian folk tale, The Mitten, offers a wide range of opportunities to explore the role of literature in transmitting both culture and universal themes, as well as the relationship between illustrations and text.

Elementary – Learn about Snow Crystals from the Snowflake Man

Snowflake Man Video

Have you and your students read Snowflake Bentley, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin? Then you’ll enjoy sharing these sites about his work:

Middle – Understanding Extreme Weather

Blizzards & Winter Weather

Severe weather is always big news, whether it involves hurricanes, floods, blizzards, or drought. What will this winter bring your area? More importantly, what causes these severe weather events? Can your students learn to predict the weather by learning these causes?

  • Begin with an overall view of extreme weather conditions and what causes them with this National Geographic site about Extreme Weather On Our Planet.
  • Use the Drought Monitor to track where the lack of rain is hitting our country the hardest this winter.
  • Learn about an extreme opposite of drought with Blizzards and Winter Weather. Then use the link at the bottom of the page to Predict the Weather so students can practice using what they have learned.

High – The Science of Winter Sports

Slapshot Physics

Even though it is not a Winter Olympics year, students in cold climates still participate in cold weather activities and competitions. Combine the science of physics with their love of sports by using some of the National Science Foundation videos on the Science of the Winter Olympics:

  • Slapshot Physics, about ice hockey
  • Science of Snowboarding, about (what else?) snowboarding
  • Science Friction, about curling
  • To see additional videos in this series, use the Browse tab on the netTrekker Home Page, and drill down through Science to Physics > Newtonian > Science of Sports.

Find these winter resources and more in netTrekker with the keyword search: December Newsletter.

September 2014: Remembering How 9/11 Shaped American History

Remembering How 9/11 Shaped American History

For your students, 9/11 is part of history, not a current event. The world your students live in today continues to be affected by the events of that day and its aftermath. netTrekker can help you with resources that are appropriate to your particular teaching situation.

Early Elementary

The events of September 11 may not be part of your social studies lessons, but students might ask questions about it, after hearing older siblings or adults talking about it.

Middle School

Students will probably have some knowledge of the events and aftermath of 9/11.

High School

Students will likely know quite a lot about the events of 9/11 from studying it in earlier years. Now you can extend that knowledge by encouraging the use of both primary resources and critical thinking skills as they analyze and compare news coverage from around the world on 9/11 and the week that followed.