Science + Poetry => Observation & Exploration #sciencefriday (ages 4-10)

Like science, poetry asks students to slow down, observe and record. Many students are drawn to the way poetry distills these observations into brief lines. I am thrilled that the NPR show Science Friday celebrated the union of poetry and science, creating two educational activities and recommending one of my favorite anthologies.

The Poetry of Science: The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science
edited by Sylvia Vardell & Janet Wong
illustrated by Frank Ramspott and Bug Wang
Pomelo Books, 2015
teacher’s edition
ages 4-10

Whether you want to take a moment to observe the way a hawk glides or predict what happens when you soak celery in food dye, these poems offer a short, focused crystallization of scientific observation and inquiry. Here’s a great poem to start us off: “How to Be a Scientist” by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater.

How to Be a Scientist
by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater


Come visit Great Kid Books to read the full post all about this terrific collection. I’ve been having a great time celebrating poetry with students all month long during National Poetry Month. I’ve been especially happy with two new series on my blog:

©2016 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

When Science Meets Poetry

Although Jeff at NC Teacher Stuff has already shared this title, The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science (Teacher’s Edition): Poems for the School Year Integrating Science, Reading, and Language Arts by Sylvia Vardell and, Janet Wong is such a useful resource, it deserves repeating.


Reading poems to children throughout the year has many benefits. It increases their vocabulary, makes them more comfortable reading, and can make topics more memorable.

Why combine poetry with science? As the authors suggest, a poem about science can be read and enjoyed by children with a range of reading abilities. The use of sensory language and vivid imagery is likely to bring a new depth to scientific concepts. For budding scientists, hearing science poetry might increase their interest in language arts. For budding poets, reading science poetry will make them realize that any topic can be fodder for a poem. The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science is win-win!

For a more extensive review (with actual poems!), see Growing with Science.