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Erika from Iowa has commented on (2) products.

Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat with CD (Audio) (Poetry Speaks Experience) by Nikki Giovanni
Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat with CD (Audio) (Poetry Speaks Experience)

Erika from Iowa, November 15, 2009

This poetry collection has a huge list of famous, influential authors. Starting with Hip Hop's stars, poems by Common, Young MC, Tupac, Mos Def, Kanye West, Queen Latifah, and Lauren Hill were included. Many of these are artists our young students are familiar with--songs and poetry share so much in common.

I have long thought that using modern hip hop lyrics would be a great way to reach reluctant readers. As I am not an avid hip hop listener, I appreciate the editing Nikki Giovanni did in creating such a eclectic mix. Paired with a CD, several of the poems are read aloud by their authors, giving students another way to experience the genre.

Once readers have been lured in by the hip hop artists' work, real poetic talent can be explored by reading Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Some of these poems can be hard to read as they deal with difficult subjects ranging from race relations to MLK's I Have A Dream Speech.

I was pleasantly surprised how many different styles and text difficulty were included. The poems range from very short to quite long and complex. Illustrations are included with each selection and add to the book's meaning and beauty. Colorful illustrations paired with rich text, make this a very enjoyable read. This would be a great book for using as a read-aloud or paired reading. Reading the poems aloud would be fun for the kids and the natural beats of the lines would be expressed.

I have to admit I laughed out-loud when I came across Rapper's Delight by the Sugarhill Gang. Such a silly song as this would be hilarious to listen to in an elementary classroom read by young poets.
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The Story Goes on
The Story Goes on

Erika from Iowa, November 12, 2009

This is a beautiful book! I loved the childlike illustrations paired with the fun poetry story. I think kids would love reading about this sometimes hard to understand content rich concept. The lifecycle is often used in science textbooks in very dry terms--I think the poetry of this book is much more appealing to kids. Poetry can often be misunderstood and confusing, but this poetry picture book works well with the illustrations to ensure meaning is understood. Due to the nature of the text, I think kids would enjoy doing this book as a choral reading. I would highly recommend this book to any elementary classroom.
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