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Blackbird & Company

The Preponderance of Poetry

Why make poetry a priority in your student’s course of study? Quite simply, reading and writing poetry expands the boundaries of the imagination and intellect. Students who engage in writing poetry will develop confidence in their voice, and strengthen their ability to communicate new ideas and observations about their world. For reluctant writers, crafting poetry has the potential to translate ideas where prose may at times seem daunting. Moving from reading and recognizing poetic ideas, to engaging in personal expression through writing, develops a keen awareness of the world and leads students to discover the interconnectedness of literary genres.

Exploring Poetry BundleOur brand new guide, Exploring Poetry, gives students an opportunity to delight in the reading of great poetry and discover the craft of writing poems, incorporating both analytic and creative exercises to spark the poet inside of your student.

Created for middle and high school students, Exploring Poetry is appropriate for 5th grade and beyond and is designed to work for a range of writing abilities. The bundle includes: seven-week poetry guide, personal journal, art cards and required books.

Florian Earlybird BundleAlso new this season is our Earlybird Douglas Florian Author Unit which takes students through five illustrated books of educational and delightful animal poetry. This guide follows the same format as our other Earlybirds while providing opportnities for your youngest students to explore writing poetry on their own.

Books included with our Douglas Florian bundle include In the Swim (water creatures), Lizards, Frogs, and Polliwogs (reptiles), Mammalabilia (mammals), Insectlopedia (insects), and On the Wing (birds).

For older students, another great way to introduce poetic forms and the power of poetry to tell stories is through our Love That Dog and Locomotion guides.

Love That Dog BundleLove That Dog, by Sharon Creech is a poignant and masterfully crafted story written entirely in verse, through the eyes of Jack, a boy who reluctantly discovers the poet within himself.

Although this guide is a Level 1 (grades 1-3) title, it can be used through 4th grade when apropriate for the student's reading/writing level. Love That Dog includes many of the same elements as our other Level 1 guides, such as vocabulary, comprehension and discussion questions, but each week, students will be encouraged and guided to write poems in the same style and form that Jack is writing.

Locomotion Bundle

Similarly written in verse, Locomotion, by Jaqueline Woodson is about Lonnie C. Motion, a boy who has had some tough breaks in his life. As Lonnie’s fifth grade class is learning to write poetry, suddenly, he is finding the words to tell about his family, the fire that took his parents away, his little sister, and his world.

In this Level 3 (grades 5-8) guide, students will work though exercises on charcter study and comprehension, as well as poetic devices such as simile, metaphor and personification. Students will read and make observations on Lonnie’s poems, while also writing their own that mirror the forms and topics that the story introduces.


“Poetry is the language in
which man explores his own amazement”

—Christopher Fry   

new titles

Check out the wonderful new titles we have added to our collection of discovery guides.

LEVEL 1 (Grades 1-3)

Stone Fox
Will little Willy beat Stone Fox?

LEVEL 2 (Grades 3-5)

The Magician’s Nephew
What happens when Digory and Polly get transported to a new world?

The City of Ember
What will happen when the generator finally fails?

LEVEL 3 (Grades 5-8)

How will Misha continue to dream?


fun homeschooling zine

Around is an insightful and thought-provoking zine created by a homeschooling mom. It’s fun and a bit zany, and it will inspire, amuse, and delight you with articles on eclectic issues and ideas that make up the daily lives of homeschooling families.


join our flickr group

We’ve created a place where you can share projects your students are creating as they explore and are inspired by great stories! It’s a great place to catch some inspiration and it’s easy to join. Check us out and upload your photos to the group pool at www.flickr.com/groups/blackbirdandco/


about us

We love books! Reading is a passion in our families and classrooms and we believe that great stories have the power to instruct, inspire and enlighten. With beauty and clarity, we desire to provide tools that will foster your students' delight in learning and encourage them to become lifelong readers!


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Blackbird & Company Educational Press

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