National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry

Longlisted for the Poetry Category of the North Somerset Teachers' Book Award

The first thing that strikes you about this book is how beautiful it is! It feels lovely with thick, smooth pages that turn to reveal image after glorious image. Perfect for attracting those who are poetry shy, the photographs lead you to read poems you might not otherwise have considered. It is stunning!

For a teacher, this book offers so much. Quite apart from having the book equivalent of 'kerb appeal' (shelf appeal?) and tempting the most reluctant reader, it contains poems that can be used for cross curricular work, inspiring writing and interest, as well as for developing the love of poetry for poetry's sake!

Separated into sections, the collection offers poems on a really wide range of subjects in a wide range of styles, from different periods and cultures. There really is something for everyone!

For example, 'How to Bake a Flower' by Ralph Fletcher is a lovely poem, using a recipe format to explain the life cycle of a flowering plant. An excellent way of looking at instructions used in a more exciting format than the usual 'How to make a sandwich' type of activity, it can be used to look at a poet's precise language choices, use of figurative language and imagery. The science behind the poem can also be explored- do the children agree with each step in the poem? Has anything been omitted? If so, why? 

If you're looking at water, there is a wealth of poems to choose from! Poems about tsunamis, flood, drought, Niagara Falls, a whole section called 'In the Sea'. If you're looking at locations around the world, there are poems about the Grand Canyon, the Northern Lights, the General Sherman Sequoia in California,Galapagos- Hood Island... If you're looking at living things, there are poems on bats, birds, frogs, buffaloes, scorpions... So much to choose from!

Poems like 'Post-It Notes From the World' and 'Lessons of Nature' are thought provoking and can be used as a starting point for discussion and further work. 

This is a real treasure trove of quality poems illustrated by the most beautiful photographs. Essential for every class and library, I look forward to using this next year!

 National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry

 edited by J.Patrick Lewis

(former U.S. Children's Poet Laureate)

 National Geographic  ISBN : 9781426320941