HOP TO IT: Poetry Breaks for Remote Learning + Video Reading

Let’s face it, remote learning can be fatiguing, for both students and teachers. After sitting and staring at the computer screen for hours, we all need a brain break. Poetry offers the perfect recess. And the poetry anthology HOP TO IT: POEMS TO GET YOU MOVING is filled with poems to do just that- give kids a break and get them moving! 
HOP TO IT is the latest compilation from the creators of The Poetry Anthology Series, Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. And like the other Poetry Friday Books, it was created with teachers and kids in mind. The anthology features poems from ninety poets (including yours truly) from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. The hundreds of poems in the book invite kids to “stretch your body and your mind.” You’ll find poems like “Rabbit Dance” by Joseph Bruchac that invite readers to stomp their feet like rabbits, “Ways to Say Hello” by Janet Wong, that has students act out different types of greetings, and “Wiggle Your Ears” by Jay Brazeau, that challenges kids to twiddle, fiddle, and flail their ears. Peppered throughout are poems that address pandemic-related topics like “Zoom Doom” by Eileen Spinelli, “Hand Washing Song” by Robert Schechter, and “Masks for All!” by Shanah Salter. 

 Each poem is accompanied by side bars that explain the poetry form, provide interesting factoids, and suggest movements. Many of the poems, like my poem “Staycation” include directions for using American Sign Language signs as the action. 

 Here’s a video reading of “Staycation” that you can share with your students. 

And you can find another video reading by Zetta Elliot of her poem “Everyday Use” here. 

 If you want to continue the poetry fun, HOP TO IT includes extensive back matter to help maximize student learning. You’ll find activities like POEM HUNT and POEM TIC TAC TOE, poetry prompts to spark student writing, and a list of picture book pairing for each poem. 

 Next time you’re feeling screen fatigue, HOP TO IT and take a poetry brain break!

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 is also the author of two picture books in verse, the bedtime STEM book Dream Big, Little Scientists and Kindness is a Kite String: The Uplifting Power of Empathy. Her poems appear in several anthologies, including The Poetry Anthology for Celebrations and Great Morning! Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud.  Michelle loves visiting schools and speaking at conferences on the power of poetry to boost literacy. Find out more at:  https://www.michelleschaub.com/


  1. Thanks so much for helping us spread the word and for being part of our special project!

    1. Of course! HOP TO IT is such a celebration of poetry and an amazing resource for teachers!


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