At Blue Planet, stories are the tools we use to connect students to their peers around the globe and to teach them about the wider world. Stories and poems (which are stories in their own right) can also make teaching a little easier–and life a little better–during a crisis.

To help teachers and parents who are having to deal with the closure of schools during the coronavirus situation, we’ve created this page where we’re sharing lesson plans and online resources that you can use when teaching children from elementary through high school.

You’ll notice that  some of them include instructions for sharing student work with international partners–that’s central to our work at Blue Planet, but obviously, you can skip over those steps.

This page will keep evolving as the weeks go by–check in often to see what’s new!

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Lesson Plans

This is a Book of Dreams: Poetry and Imagery in a Ribbon-bound Book
Objective: To enable students to explore bookmaking, creative writing, precision of word choice, and descriptive writing while collaborating with international partners on a creative project.

Book of Dreams workshop plan

I and the Village: Telling the Story of Your Hometown Through Collage and Poetry
Objective: To enable students to teach others about the place they live by creating a Mary Oliver-inspired poem and a Marc Chagall-inspired collage about their town.

I and the Village workshop plan

Constellations of Beloved Things: A Lesson Plan with Connections to Creative Writing, Art, Astronomy, Mythology, and Cultural Studies
Objective: To enable students to learn about constellations and their related myths in different cultures and to then create their own constellations and myths through art and creative writing.

Constellations workshop plan

Self-Portraits in Shapes and Text: Getting Inspired by the French Avant-Garde
Objective: To enable students to reflect on and express who they are while learning about avant-garde art.

Picabia self-portrait workshop plan

A World of Celebrations: A Collaborative Global Literacy Project
Objective: 
To enrich students’ knowledge of other cultures and to increase their pride in their own heritages by having them create a collaborative book filled with stories of the ways in which their families celebrate holidays.

World of Celebrations workshop plan

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Online Resources

The Center for Creative Education has created a new page of virtual lessons grouped by grade levels, including arts-based literacy and some fun creative arts lessons

The New York Times Learning Network has great writing prompts, current events lessons, contests in poetry and multimedia, and a host of other offerings for students

The Poetry Foundation has created a page of poetry resources for parents and teachers

Children’s author Kate Messner has a great page of online read-alouds and lessons on her website

Children’s author Lemony Snicket provides a collection of poems not written for children, that children will enjoy; his comments on the poems might be the best part of all