Category: News

Interactive LiveStreams for 2020-21

Kenn Nesbitt Online Author VisitFor several years now I have been doing live, interactive webinars in conjunction with Streamable Learning, the leading provider of interactive livestreams in the K-12 market in the US and Canada. Through quality educational content and an easy-to-use platform, Streamable Learning aims to in introduce interactive livestreams as a valuable supplemental tool for classrooms and families seeking to inspire and educate their K-12 students.

During the 2020-21 school year, I will be providing 27 online webinars, including interactive poetry-writing lessons, holiday poetry sessions, and programs on famous children’s poets from Dr. Seuss to Shel Silverstein. Schools are invited to join any of these sessions as my guest.

Streamable Learning and Zoom

Streamable Learning LivestreamIf you haven’t yet used Zoom, I think you’re going to love it. Zoom is a free videoconferencing program similar to Skype, but with clearer, more reliable audio and video.

Streamable Learning offers a convenient, cost-effective, and comprehensive calendar of interactive livestreams delivered by subject matter experts and designed to supplement your existing and future lesson plans. To discover hundreds of engaging, educational programs, have a look a their Livestream Calendar.

I have been offering interactive poetry livestreams through Streamable Learning for several years now, and I hope you’ll be able to join me this year. You can register and participate in as many of these upcoming sessions as you like.

If you would like to attend one of my programs, please see the list of registration links shown below. When you click on the link, you will need to fill out just a few items and once you have finished the form, you will then receive an email with the livestream link. If you do not, please check your spam folder. It is possible that the livestream link will end up there. To join the program, you will need to download the Zoom app. You can download this free app at www.zoom.us/download and click on “Zoom Client for Meetings.” If you have any difficulty, contact efriedman@streamablelearning.com.

2020-21 Livestream Schedule

September 15, 2020

September 17, 2020

October 27, 2020

October 28, 2020

October 29, 2020

November 17, 2020

November 19, 2020

December 21, 2020

December 22, 2020

January 19, 2021

January 21, 2021

February 8, 2021

February 9, 2021

February 12, 2021

March 2, 2021

March 4, 2021

April 6, 2021

April 13, 2021

May 11, 2021

May 13, 2021

June 4, 2021

If you would prefer to arrange a private interactive videoconference for your class or school only, simply click here to schedule an online author visit. I look forward to seeing your students online!

How to Write an Opposite Day Poem

Opposite Day poem writing lesson for kids

If you’re ever bored and feel like you need a change of pace, it’s time to declare that it’s “Opposite Day,” a day to do things the opposite of the way you normally would.

Put your clothes on backward, walk in reverse, or claim that candy tastes awful. Try walking on your hands or writing with your feet. Have a staring contest with your eyes closed. You get the idea.

You can also try writing an Opposite Day poem. Start by stating that today is Opposite Day with a few lines, like this:

It’s Opposite Day!
It’s Opposite Day!
The day to do things
in the opposite way.

An Opposite Day poem is a kind of list poem. In other words, the middle of the poem is a list of everything you do differently from normal days. So, think of as many backward, reverse, and opposite things as possible and write them down. You don’t have to rhyme them, but it’s fun to try. Here are a few examples I thought of:

I write with my foot and
I kick with my hand.
I stare with my eyes closed.
I sit down to stand.

I drink from a plate and
I eat from a cup.
I climb into bed when
it’s time to wake up.

What other kinds of things can you do in the opposite way? Could you frown when you’re happy and smile when you’re sad? Wear your shoes on your head and your hat on your feet? Sit still on the swings and go up the slide instead of down?

Think of as many opposite things as possible and soon you’ll have a nice long list for your poem. Then all you need is an ending. I recommend something funny, like this:

I stand still for dancing.
When running, I crawl.
So please understand:
I don’t like you at all.

Or how about an ending like this one?

It’s Opposite Day!
Oh, wait, that’s not right.
I think we should change it
to Opposite Night!

If you like, feel free to use the beginning and one of the endings that I wrote, and then make your own list in the middle.

When you’re done writing your Opposite Day poem, be sure not to share it with me. I would hate to read it. ;-)

How to Write a Sonnet

A Poetry-Writing Lesson for Kids

William Shakespeare

The sonnet is one of the most common traditional poetic forms. They have been written for hundreds of years with some of the most well-known sonnets written by William Shakespeare.

Though the sonnet was originally created in Italy, with the earliest sonnets written in Italian, they have been written in English, French, Dutch, German, and many other languages as well.

In the English language, there are two main kinds of sonnets: the “English” (or “Shakespearean”) sonnet and the “Spenserian” sonnet, named after the poet Edmund Spenser.

In this lesson, you will learn how to write an English sonnet because this is the most common type of sonnet.

The Rules of the Sonnet

In poetry, a “form” is a set of rules describing how to write that kind of poem. English sonnets have these rules:

  • They are fourteen lines long.
  • The fourteen lines are divided into three groups, or “stanzas,” of four lines each, followed by a final two-line “couplet.” (A four-line stanza is also known as a “quatrain.” A couplet is two lines together that rhyme.)
  • Each of the fourteen lines is ten syllables long.

In addition to the number of lines, and the number of syllables per line, sonnets also have a special rhyme scheme:

  • Each of the three stanzas has an ABAB rhyme scheme. This means that the first and third lines of each stanza rhyme with each other, and the second and fourth lines rhyme with each other.
  • The final couplet has an AA rhyme scheme, meaning that those two lines rhyme with one another.

Lastly, the first line of a sonnet should state the “theme.” In other words, it should say what the sonnet is about. And the final couplet should give the reader a “conclusion” or ending to the poem.

Because of all these rules, sonnets can be more challenging to write than shorter, simpler poetic forms such as haiku, diamantes, or cinquains. But it can also be more rewarding to know that you can write a poem like Shakespeare did.

Getting Started

The first thing you need to do to write a sonnet is figure out what you want to write about. You can write a sonnet about anything, but it’s easiest to write about something you know. Since you now know all the rules for writing a sonnet, why not write a sonnet about that? Here’s an example:

My Teacher Said to Write a Sonnet Now

My teacher said to write a sonnet now.
She told me, “It should be a work of art.”
I’d like to but I’m really not sure how.
I wish someone would show me where to start.

I heard the rhymes should be ABAB,
which means I can’t rhyme every single word.
The second and the fourth lines rhyme, you see.
And you should rhyme the first line with the third.

The first three stanzas all have four lines each.
The final couplet? That has only two.
A sonnet’s not an easy thing to teach.
I guess that’s what this poem aims to do.

It seems that starting was the hardest part.
I hope the teacher likes my work of art.

Another good thing to write a sonnet about is something you like. For example, I like my dog, so I thought I’d write a sonnet about him. However, since I also like funny poems, I decided to make up a funny – not true – story about him. Here it is:

My Dog Is Not the Smartest Dog Alive

My dog is not the smartest dog alive.
He says that submarines know how to dance.
He seems to think that two plus two is five.
He’s sure Japan’s the capital of France.

My dog declares that tigers grow on trees.
He tells me that he’s twenty-nine feet tall.
He argues only antelopes eat cheese,
then adds that ants are good at basketball.

He swears the sun is made of candy bars.
It seems to me my dog is pretty dense.
He says he’s seen bananas play guitars.
He talks a lot but doesn’t make much sense.

Although I love my dog with all my heart,
I have to say, he isn’t very smart.

Your Turn

Now that you know how to write a sonnet, why not give it a try yourself? Write one about your favorite game or pet or food, about your friends or family, or even about how hard it is to write a sonnet. And, most importantly, have fun!

Worksheet

A New Book for Beginning Readers – Pup and Duck: Let’s Play Ball

Pup and Duck: Let's Play Ball by Kenn Nesbitt

I’ve been keeping this under wraps for quite a while now, but I’m excited to let you know that have a brand-new book out!

Pup and Duck: Let’s Play Ball is my first book for beginning readers. It’s a story of two friends who can’t agree on which game they should play. Pup wants to play ball, while his best friend Duck would prefer a nice game of chess. Rather than let an argument ruin their friendship, Pup and Duck find a way to come together that makes them both happy.

With delightful crayon and watercolor illustrations by Rafael Domingos, this charming tale of friendship, disagreements, and problem-solving will teach young readers about the importance of communication and compromise as they are learning to read.

I am hoping this book will be the first in a series of books for new readers. After you and your young ones read it, please take a moment to let me know what you think.

Pup and Duck: Let’s Play Ball is available in a full-color paperback edition wherever books are sold, as well as a Kindle eBook edition.

Poetry4kids is 23 today!

I can hardly believe it, but today is the 23rd anniversary of the launch of Poetry4kids.com! This website has undergone a number of remodels since it launched on May 6, 1997. If you would like to see what it looked like over the years, you can view old snapshots of it on the Wayback Machine. Here is what the website looked like in late 1997.

Here’s another view from 2006, ten years later.

And here’s another update from five years after that, in 2011.

I updated the website to its current look in 2018 to make it more mobile and tablet-friendly and easier to navigate and search.

It has been a real pleasure to spend the past 23 years working on Poetry4kids.com, sharing poems and poetry-writing lessons with kids, parents, and teachers all over the world. As of today, there are 774 poems on Poetry4kids. You’ll find the newest dozen, plus the 100 most popular poems on the Poems page, and you can find all the rest either by clicking the Search button on the menu or by visiting the Poems by Subject or Poems by Grade Level pages.

Rest assured, I will continue adding poems, lessons, videos, and more to the website over the coming years. If there is anything in particular you think the site could use, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I love hearing from readers about how they are using Poetry4kids and what they are enjoying the most.

I hope you’ll read along with me for another 23 years!

GiggleVerse.com Is Now Live!

April is National Poetry Month in the U.S. and, to kick things off right, I’ve got a treat for you: a brand-new website called GiggleVerse.com!

Until a couple of years ago, there was a terrific children’s poetry website called GigglePoetry.com, with hundreds of funny poems from dozens of different kids’ poets. It was created by Meadowbrook Press and featured poems from their many anthologies, including Kids Pick the Funniest PoemsA Bad Case of the GigglesIf Kids Ruled the School, and more.

In 2018, Meadowbrook Press was purchased by a larger publisher and the website was shut down. To fill the void left by the closing of GigglePoetry, I have created GiggleVerse.com, where I am posting funny kids’ poems every weekday.

GiggleVerse will include funny poems of every sort, including both modern and classic children’s poetry from poets all over the world. The poems are organized by category, including sports, animals, food, monsters, and dozens more. You can even subscribe to get poems delivered to your email inbox five days a week for free.

I’ve been working on this for several months now, and I’m pretty happy with the result. I hope you’ll take a moment to drop by and see the my new creation.

More Poems by Email

Poems by Email

You might know that you can sign up to receive fun kids’ poems in your email from poetry4kids.com. But did you know that we have three different lists you can subscribe to?

The first list sends out a funny poem from one of my books once a week.

The second list sends out the newest poems from my website as soon as they are posted, usually once per week.

The third, and newest, list is from my other website, poetryminute.org. PoetryMinute has 180 poems—one for each day of the school year—from dozens of well-known children’s authors. If you subscribe to this list, you will receive a poem from PoetryMinute in your inbox every day for the next 180 days.

You can sign up for any or all of these email lists here. They are all completely free, and very email has an unsubscribe link at the bottom so you can unsubscribe at any time.

I hope you’ll give one or more of these email subscriptions a try. Enjoy!

List of Rhyming Interjections

Rhyming Interjections

An interjection is a word or phrase that is most often used as an exclamation, such as wow, hey, or ugh, or sometimes used just to stall for time, such as uh, and er. The following list of interjections that rhyme with one another may come in handy for your own poems.

  • achoo, boo, boo-hoo, eww, no can do, ooh, phew, pooh, shoo, wahoo, whew, whoop-de-doo, woo, woo-hoo, yahoo
  • ah, aha, aww, bah, blah, booyah, bwah-hah-hah, ha, ha-ha, hah, hurrah, huzzah, la-de-da, mwah-hah-hah, nah, pshaw, rah, ta-da, ta-ta, voila, yee-haw
  • ahoy, attaboy, boy, enjoy, oh boy, oy
  • alright, gesundheit, quite, right, sleep tight
  • bam, blam, wham
  • bravo, doh, heigh-ho, hello, ho-ho-ho, no, oh, uh-oh, whoa, yo, yo-ho-ho
  • brr, er, grr
  • bye, goodbye, hi, my, sigh, why
  • dear me, gee, hee-hee, omg, tee-hee, whee, whoopee, yippee
  • drats, rats
  • duck, yuck
  • duh, huh, uh, uh-huh, uh-uh
  • eh, gangway, hey, hurray, no way, okay, olé, say, touché, yay
  • encore, fore
  • hmm, mh-hmm, mmm
  • ho-hum, ummm, yum
  • holy cow, kapow, now now, ow, pow, wow, yow
  • meh, yeah
  • oops, whoops
  • swell, well
  • wowie, zowie

Click here for other lists of rhyming words.

New German Edition of One Minute Till Bedtime

One Minute Till Bedtime German-language edition

One Minute Till Bedtime, an anthology of more than 140 one-minute poems suitable for bedtime, is now available in a German-language edition entitled Jetzt noch ein Gedicht, und dann aus das Licht! (“Now Another Poem, and then the Light”). This collection has been translated by more than 100 German-speaking authors translators and boasts warm and whimsical illustrations by illustrator Christoph Neiman.

With new poems by many of the most beloved and well-known authors of our time, including Jack Prelutsky, Lemony Snicket, Judith Viorst, Jon Sczieska, Jane Yolen, and many, many more, One Minute Till Bedtime is the perfect way to put your little ones to bed.

Jetzt noch ein Gedicht, und dann aus das Licht! is available from Amazon Germany, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Australia, or your local bookseller.

One Minute Till Bedtime German-language edition

From the Publisher…

Ein Fest für Sprachverdreher und Reimkünstler. Von über 100 deutschsprachigen AutorInnen übersetzt – genial illustriert von Christoph Niemann

Ein großer, prächtiger Band voller Gutenachtgedichte – ein ganz besonderes Betthupferl für Kinder und Eltern. Ob Wortspielerei, einfache Reime zum Auswendiglernen und immer wieder Aufsagen oder klassisches Kindergedicht rund um Mond, Sternenhimmel und Teddybär – diese Gedichte sind direkt in die Lebenswelt der Kinder hineingeschrieben von über 130 amerikanischen AutorInnen. Sie stecken voller Abenteuer und Lebensfreude, erzählen von Kinderbuchhelden, Märchenfiguren und Fantasiewesen und wecken die Lust an Sprache und Poesie. Ein Hausbuch für die ganze Familie mit unverwechselbaren Illustrationen von Christoph Niemann. Mit großer Leidenschaft übersetzt von namhaften deutschsprachigen AutorInnen und ÜbersetzerInnen.

Free Interactive Livestreams

Kenn Nesbitt Online Author VisitFor several years now I have been doing live, interactive webinars in conjunction with Streamable Learning, the leading provider of interactive livestreams in the K-12 market in the US and Canada. Through quality educational content and an easy-to-use platform, Streamable Learning aims to in introduce interactive livestreams as a valuable supplemental tool for classrooms and families seeking to inspire and educate their K-12 students.

During the 2019-20 school year, I will be providing 35 online webinars, including interactive poetry-writing lessons, holiday poetry sessions, and programs on famous children’s poets from Dr. Seuss to Shel Silverstein. Schools are invited to join any of these sessions as my guest, completely free of charge.

Streamable Learning and Zoom

If you haven’t yet used Zoom, I think you’re going to love it. Zoom is a free videoconferencing program similar to Skype, but with clearer, more reliable audio and video.

Streamable Learning offers a convenient, cost-effective, and comprehensive calendar of interactive livestreams delivered by subject matter experts and designed to supplement your existing and future lesson plans. To discover hundreds of engaging, educational programs, have a look a their Livestream Calendar.

I have been offering interactive poetry livestreams through Streamable Learning for several years now, and I hope you’ll be able to join me this year. There is no cost for this; you can register for free and participate in as many of these upcoming sessions as you like.

To register, simply click on the links in the schedule below for the sessions you would like to join.

2019-20 Livestream Schedule

September 16, 2019

October 21, 2019

October 25, 2019

November 14, 2019

November 15, 2019

December 16, 2019

December 19, 2019

January 13, 2020

January 17, 2020

February 10, 2020

February 13, 2020

February 28, 2020

March 6, 2020

April 7, 2020

April 9, 2020

May 11, 2020

May 15, 2020

If you would prefer to arrange a private interactive videoconference for your class or school only, simply click here to schedule an online author visit. I look forward to seeing your students online!