I've been teaching a unit on poetry to my fifth grade class here at Morrison Academy, and my students have enjoyed writing poems in a number of different styles. Now that we're finished, I've chosen the best ones (at least one from each student) to put together into a poetry anthology. The class is very excited that this has now been published as a Kindle eBook and is available for sale on Amazon.com!
The book only costs US$.99, and the class voted to donate all proceeds to Josie's Angels, a nonprofit organization in the Philippines (more information below). This is a great ministry that some of our high school students have worked with on mission trips to the Philippines.
I chose our book's title from among several lines in various poems that I felt presented vivid and interesting word pictures, and then I held an optional cover-designing contest among my students. There were seven different entries, some created individually and others in pairs. As you can see, all those who participated did a great job and were quite artistic! I showed the students all the entries on the big screen, and they voted for their favorites. (I know these aren't the best quality photographs; they're just pictures I took of the artwork lying on my desk. Yes, that's the shadow of my hand with the camera across each of them!)
Below is the final version of the winning cover design. I scanned it on the school's color scanner, and then our computer teacher graciously volunteered to touch up the colors a little in Photoshop and add the black border. You can see the difference!
Here's the "product description" (like the blurb on the back of a paper book) that I wrote about our anthology. I tried to use tidbits from as many students' poems as possible:
In the mood for adventure? Step inside these pages and experience crazy coasters and soaring stunt planes, a terrifying tsunami and an atomic bomb. You’ll meet characters ranging from heroic Jedi to monsters of all varieties; sprinting soccer stars to a malicious doctor who eats his patient (who happens to be a chicken). Join us for a trip around the world: listen to nature singing in harmony in the peaceful countryside of Ostfriesland, Germany; run barefoot across a beach in Busan, Korea; dodge the noisy traffic of a street in Vietnam; sample a soft pineapple mooncake in Hsinchu, Taiwan; and wrap yourself in the dangers and charms of New York City. Prepare to mourn the tragic deaths of a lovely butterfly and a lonely wolf; then console yourself with music as relaxing as blankets and comforting as pillows. Along the way, watch out for wayward Frisbees and the sun about to crash into the earth. Hold your breath as you’re blasted with ash from that erupting volcano and sprayed with the seeds of an evil tomato. But who needs a shower when you have liquid sunshine leaking over you?
Created by fifth-grade students, Sunshine Leaking features poetry in a variety of styles, from free verse to diamond poetry, tanka, and haiku. Proceeds from the sale of this anthology will benefit Josie’s Angels, a nonprofit organization that provides food, education, and a secure living environment for impoverished, abused, and at-risk girls in the Philippines. Learn more at http://bit.ly/josiesangels.
Click here to read about A Boom in the Room, the anthology written by my last year's class.
Interested in putting together your own anthology (or other eBook)? Click here to see the step-by-step instructions I put together on how to go through the process. It isn't exactly easy, but it's free and very doable for those willing to put in the time.