Saturday, April 22nd is Earth Day, an internationally recognized day that celebrates the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. To honor Earth Day and celebrate National Poetry Month, we gathered ten poetry books that are inspired by the joy and wonder of being outdoors and that bring the sight and sounds of nature to life.
Water Rolls, Water Rises/El agua rueda, el agua sube by Pat Mora and illustrated by Meilo So: This title is a poetic ode to the beauty of the natural world as expressed by the movement and moods of water on Earth. See the Teacher’s Guide.
A Full Moon is Rising by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Julia Cairns: Come along on a whirlwind tour of the world to discover an amazing poetry collection of full moon celebrations, beliefs, customs, and facts. See the Teacher’s Guide.
Yum! ¡Mmmm! ¡Qué Rico! Americas’ Sproutings by Pat Mora and illustrated by Rafael Lopez: Peanuts, blueberries, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, and more — here is a luscious collection of haiku celebrating foods native to the Americas. See the Teacher’s Guide.
Cool Melons—Turn to Frogs! by Matthew Gollub and illustrated by Kazuko G. Stone: An inspirational book about haiku, nature, and life that introduces readers to Japanese poet Issa. See the Teacher’s Guide.
Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems / Jitomates Risueños y otros poemas de primavera by Francisco Alarcón and illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez: From the imagination of poet Francisco X. Alarcón comes Laughing Tomatoes and Other Spring Poems, a playful and moving collection of twenty poems in English and Spanish. See the Teacher’s Guide.
I Know the River Loves Me/Yo sé que el río me ama by Maya Christina Gonzalez: A young girl named Maya goes to visit her friend, the river. In this gentle story, the river takes care of Maya and Maya takes care of the river. Create a lesson plan using I Know the River Loves Me in first and second grade.
Call Me Tree/Llámame Árbol written and illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez: This gentle and imaginative story about becoming your fullest self empowers young readers to dream and reach . . . and to be as free and unique as trees. See the Teacher’s Guide.
Animal Poems of the Iguazú/Animalario del Iguazú by Francisco Alarcón and illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez: Following the Amerindian oral tradition, award-winning Chicano poet Francisco X. Alarcón lets the animals of the Iguazú speak for themselves in their own soaring, roaring, fluttering voices, and the resulting poems are as urgent as they are beautiful and humorous.
Amazing Places by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Christy Hale and Chris Soentpiet: In this collection of original poems, acclaimed anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins brings together fourteen selections that celebrate through poetic imagery some of the amazingly diverse places in our nation. See the Teacher’s Guide.
You can purchase the full collection here.
More Resources for Earth Day:
Reading for the Earth: Ultimate Earth Day Resource Roundup
10 Children’s Books That Celebrate World Water Day
7 End-of-year Field Trips and Book Pairings That Your Students Will Love (But Won’t Break the Bank)
Book and Activity Suggestions to Match Your Summer Adventure: National and State Parks!
Book and Activity Suggestions to Match Your Summer Adventure: Beaches!
What books did we miss? Let us know in the comments below.