Celebrate a New Year with Poetry!

Time for fresh starts and new goals. Why not set a New Year’s resolution to add more poetry to your classroom routine? Here are two poetry books that can help you achieve that goal.

In many places, January 1st marks the New Year. But some countries and cultures celebrate the start of a new year at different times of the year. In Every Month is a New Year, a lively poetry collection organized by calendar months, Marilyn Singer explores different “fresh start” festivities around the world. Susan L. Roth's vibrant collage illustrations add to the festive feel of the book. Read the poems in this book with your students for a multicultural exploration of new year traditions.

Celebrate poetry all year long with The Poetry Friday Anthologyfor Celebrations, compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. This book offers 156 clever poems about traditional, sunusual, and little-known holidays and celebrations throughout the year, like International Polar Bear Day (February 27), Drop Everything and Read Day (April 12), and National Bike Month (May.) The poems, organized by month, are presented in both English and Spanish, making the book a great choice for bilingual classrooms. As a bonus, each poem is accompanied by suggestions for extension lessons.  The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations makes it easy to start your own Poetry Friday (or Monday…Wednesday…) routine.

Speaking of little-known holidays, here’s one your students are sure to love. Did you know that the second week of January has been designated as National Pizza Week? Yup, a whole week reserved for savoring and celebrating pizza! Read my poem “Pizza Week Menu” from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations with your students. After reading, share this adorable video a student made to accompany the poem.

Then brainstorm other things students would like to celebrate for an entire week. Donuts? Sport Cars? Puppies? Have students write their own celebration poems using my Celebration Poem Template.

Try using other poems from Every Month Is A New Year and The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations as models for students to write additional celebration poems in different formats.

With more poetry on the menu, you’ll definitely have a happy new year! 

About Michelle Schaub

Michelle Schaub is a language arts teacher and award-winning children's poet. She is the author of the picture book poetry collections Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers’ Market, (which won the 2018 Growing Good Kids Award and 2019 Northern Lights Book Award,) and Finding Treasure: A Collection of Collections. She has also written two picture books in verse, Dream Big, Little Scientists and Kindness is a Kite String. Her poems appear in several anthologies, including The Poetry Anthology for Celebrations and Great Morning! Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud.  Michelle speaks at conferences on the power of poetry to boost literacy. 


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