I Created My Own Book Spine Poem (And So Can You!)
Ever since I discovered Nina Katchadourian’s Sorted Books project, I’ve been banging the drum for book spine cento poems. National Poetry Month (April) is coming up, and it’s the perfect time to give it a shot. It makes a great program for kids (or former kids). So . . .
Here are my tips for creating a book spine cento:
- Check out the book spine poem gallery for inspiration. This is always a big help.
- Get to a place with plenty of books. A library works nicely. Or a large home collection.
- Start looking at titles, and see what strikes you. Arrange and rearrange in your head. The best part of this type of poetry is the fact that you don’t know where you’ll end up.
- Have a pencil and paper with you to write down titles that stand out – you can start arranging the poem on paper. This also helps so that you don’t have to take a bunch of books off the shelf before you have your poem set.
- Once your poem is close to finished, don’t be afraid to use the library catalog (if available) to look up titles with specific words or phrases that fit.
- Take the books off the shelf, stack ’em up, and take a picture. Amaze your friends.
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About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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