Posts Tagged ‘poems and poetry’

Middle Grade Students and the Power of Poetry

Posted on June 7th, 2012 by Jody

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssmail

The Power of Poetry - Storytime Standouts Guest Contributor writes about exploring poetry with middle grade students

Storytime Standouts’ guest contributor writes about exploring poetry with her grade five students.





I often save Poetry until the end of the school year. The students have learned the mechanics of writing at this point; form, conventions, organization. Poetry allows them to start adding voice to their writing and I want to send them to grade six ready to use that skill. Though I focused on writing about reluctant readers this year, I actually have more reluctant writers. They are hesitant to justify, embellish, or go out on a limb with their writing. I’m glad that I didn’t forgo Poetry this time, in light of that. I can teach metaphors, similes, and idioms without teaching Haiku and Limericks, but generally, pairing the instruction makes it more engaging. I was pleasantly surprised by their enthusiasm for their Poetry projects, which I suppose, I shouldn’t have been. Through Poetry, the students can express themselves in a very unique way. They have to conform their own work to the “types” of poetry they were learning, but essentially, the topic, the ideas, the tone, and the message are theirs. It’s not a Science Report or a Socials Essay. It’s not a Journal or a paragraph.

The students definitely have favourites when it comes to types of poetry. While they learned about Haiku, Limericks, Quatrains, and Couplets (the favourite), I was saving the best for last. As we approached the end of the unit, I introduced the students to Lyric and Found poems. There were so many questions regarding these two types. I think it surprised some of them that they could just choose a song…”Any appropriate song? Whatever we want?”…and explain their reason for liking it. More surprising to them, I think, was that I recognized and knew many of the songs they chose. That, alone, is a powerful thing. I shared the song “Stop this Train” by John Mayer. One of my favourites. I was impressed by how well they “got it”. It encouraged them to find their own songs and share why they were drawn to them. It’s a unique way to see another side of your students and vice versa.

The Found Poems were equally enjoyable to explore with the kids. I learned about this type of poetry in University and it stayed with me as one of my favourites. Take a regular passage of writing, from anywhere, and blacken all of the words except the ones that stand out to you. This was a very engaging process for me. I loved watching them choose words they found powerful. I liked seeing their surprise when, at the end, this jumble of words that they had chosen, actually represented something to them. Their job with the Found Poems was to find a passage, blacken out unnecessary words, and then name their Found Poem. The process of finding a name for the words they found made them responsible for identifying the tone and impact of the words they felt belonged together. As an example, I chose a passage from the beginning of one of my favourite novels, Tuck Everlasting. I knew many of them had read this in grade four, so that was important. When we went through the words I’d left, I asked them to give them a name for my poem. They chose titles like “Alone”, “Homeless”, “Lonely”…names that identified the sadness and sorrow of the words I chose. They were very surprised when I revealed the whole passage. They recognized the beginning of the book, where Natalie Babbitt describes the road leading to the main character’s house. The tone of the passage is empty and they picked up on that, just from the words I left visible.

Perhaps the poetry unit was more powerful for me than for them. I love words and writing and poetry and music. I love when an author conveys amazing amounts of emotion and feeling just through carefully chosen words. Seeing the students recognize this, utilize their abilities to choose powerful words, and show understanding of their significance, was very powerful for me.

I think, maybe, for them, the powerful part of the poetry unit is the freedom they have to express themselves. They simply can’t be wrong. That allows them a freedom other types of writing may not. That, in and of itself, makes Poetry a powerful tool for engaging students as writers.

Remembrance Day for Young Children – A Poppy Is to Remember

Posted on November 3rd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssmail

Remembrance Day is observed annually in Canada, on November 11th. In the days leading up to November 11th, it is particularly important for adults to find ways to make Remembrance Day meaningful to young children so that they can join with all Canadians in honouring our Veterans, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Storytime Standouts looks at a Remembrance Day resource for young children, A Poppy Is to Remember by Heather Patterson and Ron LightburnA Poppy Is to Remember written by Heather Patterson and illustrated by Ron Lightburn



A Poppy Is to Remember is a wonderful picture book resource for Canadian families, classrooms and libraries.

A Poppy Is to Remember explains, Once there was a long and terrible war – a war some called the Great War. Many young men went off to fight, and many did not return home to their families. As the battle raged, poppies grew in the battlefield and were seen by a Canadian army doctor, John McCrae. McCrae was inspired to write In Flanders Fields, a poem often read at Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Beautifully illustrated, A Poppy Is to Remember salutes John McCrae and shows readers how poppies are used today when remembering the contributions of present day members of the armed forces as well as veterans, those who care for them and those who mourn their loss.

32 pages, suitable for children aged four and up. Additional materials for older children or adults include The Story of the Poppy and Remembrance Day in Canada.

Remembrance Day writing paper for children

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Remembrance Day Poppy

Remembrance Day theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

A Poppy Is to Remember at Amazon.com

A Poppy is to Remember at Amazon.ca

Follow Remembrance Day – November 11th by Storytime Standouts on Pinterest



Rebus Chants

Posted on August 26th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssmail

Have you tried rebus chants in your early literacy programs? I present programs for 4,5 and 6 year old children. I use a variety of materials and have had considerable success with rebus chants. The chants are usually poems where several words are replaced with pictures. They are great for emergent readers because there is frequently repeated, predictable text. The young child does not have to decode all the words – the rebus pictures fill-in-the-blanks.

There are many sources of rebus chants. This is one that I created

image of PDF icon  Counting Snowmen Rebus

My favourites are created by Vera Trembach and published by Rainbow Horizons Publishing. Ms. Trembach offers seasonal and theme-related chants – there is truly something for everyone.

Whether you checkout the Canadian Rainbow Horizons Publishing website or the American website , you’ll find free teaching units and detailed information including previews of the chant books.

Spring Theme Printables for preschool and kindgergarten

Posted on April 3rd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssmail


Enjoy our Free Spring Theme Printables for Kids

Easter and Spring theme free printables for children that you can download and use at home or in a classroom right away.






Step 1 – Make sure you have Adobe Reader. If you don’t have it, please click on the ‘Get Adobe Reader’ button to install it for free.image for Adobe Reader


Step 2 – Pin this page, bookmark this page, share this page, “Like” us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter.


Step 3 – Choose from any of our 250 free downloads, including these free printable Easter and Spring theme printables for kids.




Elsewhere on this page

It is Spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.- Rainer Maria Rilke
Free Printable Spring and Easter Theme Writing Paper
Some of our Most Popular Spring and Easter Theme Posts
Free Printable Spring and Easter Theme Rhymes, Chants and Fingerplays
Free Printable Spring Picture Dictionary


Spring and Easter Theme Interlined Writing Paper for Preschool and Kindergarten

These are just a few of many free printable writing paper downloads available on this site. Please be sure to check out our Writing Paper for Kids page for many more.


Kindergarten Spring Writing Paper

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids- Spring

Spring theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Spring Flowers

Spring theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Seedling in Flowerpot

Plant theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


Pussy Willow Writing Paper for Preschool and Kindergarten

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Pussy Willow

Spring theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Smiling Flowers

Garden theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of Easter interlined paper

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Easter

Easter theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Easter Basket

Easter theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


Some related themes to explore

Explore all St. Patrick's Day Theme Printables and Picture Books

Click Here to Explore All Easter Theme Printables and Picture Books

Click to explore all Gardening Theme Printables and Picture Books

Click to Explore Green Theme Printables and Picture Books



Some of our Most Popular Spring and Easter Theme Posts

Hover over the photo for a description. Click on the photo to link to the post.

Five Little Ducks illustrated by Ivan BatesSplish Splash SpringEaster egg letter matchAlphabet Go Go Go Stop Learning GameSpring theme picture books Highlight Alliteration, Rhyming, Onomatopoeia and Repetition


image of Five Little Easter Eggs

Spring and Easter Poems, Songs, Chants for Preschool and Kindergarten

Adapt these Spring and Easter theme chants and poems as felt board activities and/or use them at preschool or kindergarten circle time.







Spring Poems for Preschool and Kindergarten

image of PDF icon  Pussy Willow Poem

image of PDF icon  Springtime Fingerplay and Song

image of PDF icon  Little Rabbit

image of PDF icon  The Rain

image of PDF icon  I Love the Flowers

image of PDF icon  Tulips

image of PDF icon  A Little Seed

image of PDF icon  Little Peter Rabbit

image of PDF icon  Five Little Ducks

image of PDF icon  Little Robin Red Breast

Easter Poems for Preschool and Kindergarten

image of PDF icon  Five Little Easter Eggs

image of PDF icon  Easter Bunny

image of PDF icon  Five Brown Eggs

image of PDF icon  Easter Everywhere

For the Five Little Easter Eggs chant, ask your child, “What color is left over after Mommy, Daddy, Brother and Sister eat their eggs?”

Easter Crossword Puzzle for Children -

image of PDF icon  Easter Crossword


image of a Spring Picture Dictionary printable for children

Picture Dictionaries for Easter and Spring

– Easter and Spring pictures together with words

Our free vocabulary printables are great and so versatile. Print onto cardstock. Laminate if you wish. Then, cut apart and create a matching activity or encourage your child to “read” the words (using picture clues). As well, beginning writers love to practice printing the words.

You can create your own categorized picture dictionary if you print more than one. We have many available. Check out our Picture Dictionaries page.

image of PDF icon  Spring Picture Dictionary

Free printable Spring picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

image of PDF icon  Easter Picture Dictionary

Helpful for children who want to read and write about Easter, this picture dictionary is also suitable for English Language Learners.





Gardening Sequencing activity -

Sequencing activities are great for building comprehension skills

image of PDF icon  Planting a Flower Garden Sequencing Activity

Follow Storytime Standouts’s board Spring and Easter for Preschool and Kindergarten on Pinterest.

We would love to hear about great Easter and Spring resources, please let us know what you have discovered!

Pussy Willows: The First of Our Spring Printables for Kindergarten

Posted on March 16th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssmail


I am starting to look forward to warm, spring days so thought I would post some new spring printables for kindergarten today.

Why not make some pussy willow pictures? Begin by drawing or painting stems using brown paint, markers or crayons. Allow to dry. Dip a fingertip into light grey or white paint and add “fingerprints’ along the stems. Alternatively, cotton balls or pieces of puffed rice can be glued to the stems.

Enjoy our downloads: some pussy willow writing paper for kids and a traditional poem, “Pussy Willow”.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Pussy Willow

Spring theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Pussy Willow Poem

Our early learning printables, including our spring printables for kindergarten are in PDF format, if you don’t already use Adobe Reader, you will need to use it to access our early literacy resources.


Some of our early learning printables are available to Storytime Standouts members only. To become a member of the website please click on the “Members” tab and register as a user.

You will find all of our early learning printables here.

If you appreciate our spring printables for kindergarten, please support this site by visiting and purchasing from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.


Good Manners for Children – Except Possibly in a Lightning Storm

Posted on March 14th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssmail

Having fun while learning about good manners

Oh, How Sylvester Can Pester! written by Robert Kinerk and illustrated by Drazen Kozjan
A book of poetry and good manners published by Simon and Schuster Kids



Tackling all sorts of missteps and awkward social situations, Oh, How Sylvester Can Pester!: And Other Poems More or Less About Manners offers twenty poetic suggestions for demonstrating good manners for children. Covering topics as diverse as picky eating and tardiness, talking during a movie and sneezing in public, this book of poetry and good manners has been illustrated cheerfully with a diverse cast of ill-mannered characters.image of Oh How Sylvester Can Pester spread

Probably best suited to a classroom or library, readers will appreciate the lighthearted approach –

When someone is speaking- a grown-up, let’s say-
can you interrupt? In general, no way.
There’re exceptions to that, but they’re rare.
They occur in those instances where lightning is flashing its bolts from the sky
and they’d land on your friend, or at least land nearby.”

Oh, How Sylvester Can Pester!: And Other Poems More or Less About Manners at Amazon.com

Oh, How Sylvester Can Pester!: And Other Poems More or Less About Manners at Amazon.ca


See You Later, Escalator – Fun Poetry for Kids

Posted on February 10th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinrssmail

See You Later Escalator Rhymes for the Very Young
Chosen by John Foster and illustrated by thirteen artists


Lively illustrations and a delightful selection of poetry make See You Later, Escalator: Rhymes for the Very Young great fun to browse. Useful as a classroom resource (check out ‘Finger Paints’ and ‘Sorting Out the Kitchen Pans’) or as a playful alternative to bedtime stories. Have fun!

96 pages, Ages 4+

See You Later, Escalator: Rhymes for the Very Young at Amazon.com

See You Later, Escalator: Rhymes for the Very Young at Amazon.ca


More News

Learning the Alphabet

Awake Beautiful Child by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Gracia Lam

Awake Beautiful Child by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Gracia Lam

Awake Beautiful Child written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Gracia ...

Classic Picture Book: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom written by Bill Martin Jr. and ...

Alphabet Recognition Game for Preschool

[caption id="attachment_16404" align="alignleft" width="300"] Diecuts With A View Alphabet Scrapbook ...

Phonemic Awareness

Storytime Standouts Tips for Getting Ready to Read While in the Car

Storytime Standouts Tips for Getting Ready to Read While in the Car

Some of the keys to learning to read are noticing ...

Developing Phonemic Awareness: How’s Your Nose, Rose?

You won't regret using wordplay to support your child's phonemic ...

Phonemic Awareness – Questions for Your Child (2)

The focus of our last few posts has been phonemic ...

Rhymes, Songs & Fingerplays

Songs for a Summertime Storytime

This summer I presented two different early literacy programs for ...

Father’s Day Wordsearch Printable

Here is one of our many free PDF printables for ...

Kindergarten Springtime Fun – Writing prompts, printables and more

Celebrate warmer days with some kindergarten springtime funHere are some ...

Translate »