Ashley Bryans ABC of African American Poetry by Ashley BryanThe book features the beautiful artwork you expect from Ashley Bryan while introducing young readers to 25 African American poets and 1 African American spiritual.
For me, the alphabet theme wasnt strong enough. Young children will struggle with the reason behind why each poet/poem was paired with each letter. I understand Bryans rational for not pairing letters with poets names, but the current pairing seems a stretch. While some pairs -- like F for Freedom, H for Harriet Tubman, K for Kojo -- are strong, others seem arbitrary -- A for And, I for If, M for My, etc. Im unconvinced the alphabet framework adds substantially to the work.
I have also been contemplating how to best use this with children. I work with young ones -- mostly three to five year olds. For them, some poems and poem fragments are a perfect match for their knowledge and ability (Dudley Randall, Countee Cullen, Haki Madhubuti, and Nikki Giovanni), but others are generally beyond their ability to comprehend independently (Henry Dumas, Anne Spencer, Raymond Patterson, Owen Dodson, etc.). Despite the simple, straightforward structure, the book probably wouldnt be successful as a read-aloud for the little ones, but could be a very powerful one-on-one and/or guided small group reading. I can see, however, how the book would be an epiphany for around first grade or so. And what an insanely glorious introduction to poetry by African American writers. (I was particularly drawn to the poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucille Clifton, Maya Angelou, and Mari Evans.)
Kids Poems for Black History Month
February is Black History Month, a time when communities and schools give special attention to learning about the contributions and history of African Americans. We've gathered some great resources you can share with kids in your classrooms and at home in February — and throughout the year. Watch Reading Rockets' interviews with celebrated African American children's book authors and illustrators, and children's literature historian, Leonard Marcus, who talks about the history of multicultural children's books in the U. To celebrate Black History Month in February — and the rich tradition of African American poetry all year long — browse essays on literary milestones and movements, find important books on black history and poetics, look for lesson plans for Black History Month, read archival letters from classic African American poets, and search poems about the African American experience by both classic and contemporary poets. Poems, articles, and podcasts that explore African American history and culture. A Griot pronounced gree-oh is a storyteller, a position of honor in West African tradition, who hands down family and community history from one generation to the next.
Thanks, Mary Lee. Your compliments and sharing makes me SO happy!
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My daughter brings home poems nearly every night to read for homework, which really has helped her reading skills. She is more of an auditory kid — not visual — so she needed a lot of extra help to bring her skills up to grade level. Poems were extremely helpful because the rhyme and rhythm made the words easier to say and understand. Look for more seasonal and holiday poems for kids throughout the year! We also have a whole classroom unit for Black History Month with worksheets, classroom activities, and profiles of 6 amazing African American trailblazers! We respect your email privacy.
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I was asked by Nickelodeon to write some children's poems to be televised for Black History Month. Nickelodeon decided against using them, but I thought it might be fun to share them with you in honor of the shortest month of the year. Corny, I know. Deal with it. I would be like Harriet Tubman or Sojourner Truth. He was a man with 2 first names who kept a hammer handy. He dug a tunnel through a mountain faster than a drill.