The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science: Poems for the School Year Integrating Science, Reading, and Language Arts by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong is aimed at grades K-5 but can definitely be adapted for secondary students, too. Available in a student and teacher edition, The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science includes poems by 78 poets about topics in science. Topics range from science fairs to biology to physics to chemistry and everything in between.
While the book is aimed at K-5 students and teachers I have used the poems as mentor texts for my high school students. Poetry is often intimidating for my students as they believe it must be deep and life-changing. Sometimes, poetry is just a great way to stretch your brain and think about topics in a new way. The poems in this collection do just that! I’ve shared poems with students and then challenged them to write poems about what they are currently studying in science. One student now writes rhymes to help himself study for science tests!
The teacher’s edition includes lesson plan ideas in the form of Take 5!
The “Take 5” Mini-lesson for every poem includes 5 steps:#1: Here you will find an easy suggestion for how to make the poem come alive asyou read it aloud by pairing the poem with a prop, adding gestures or movement, tryingout specific dramatic reading techniques, adding multi-media, and so on.#2: This tip suggests how to engage students in participating with you in reading thepoem aloud again. For example, look for any repeated words, phrases, lines, or stanzasin the poem and invite students to chime in on those words as you read the rest of thepoem aloud.#3: You’ll find a fun discussion prompt here, tailored to Nit the poem. It’s usually anopen- ended question with no single, correct answer. Encourage diversity in responses!#4: Here we connect the poem to a specific science skill or concept offering atargeted focus for quick explanation,simple demonstration, or a multi-media connection.#5: We share related poem titles and book titles that connect well with the featuredpoem based on the poem content or science topic.
I highly recommend this book for students and teachers of all grade levels. The poems can be used in science or English class and because they support the Common Core Standards and Next Generation Science Standards they are easy to adapt to the curriculum in any class.