Poems are powerful. Poems allow us to see ourselves as well as to learn about others. One of my favorite poetry books for honoring a diversity of people is the book Amazing Faces by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Chris Soentpiet.
As should be evident from the cover, this book highlights and celebrates some of the wide range of diversity present in the United States. The book includes poems from the points-of-view of a huge variety of individuals, across all age ranges, though many of my favorite poems are about children.
One of the poems that I often share with my students is called Me x 2 by Jane Medina, and it is a bilingual poem presented in both English and Spanish. I love the illustration that accompanies this poem for so many reasons - for the powerful, proud stance and expression of the girl, as well as the inclusion of her reflection to help students understand or discuss the idea of "times two."
This poem appeals to my students on several levels. First, half of them take Spanish (the other half takes French), so they are always excited to read Spanish poems. Second, every year I have students who speak a second language at home, and this poem shares a feeling of encouragement and empowerment about being bilingual.
Sharing this poem during our weekly Poetry Friday time often spurs students to try their hand at writing bilingual poems or poems in languages other than English. It is always a powerful moment to hear students happily standing up and sharing their words and their thoughts in a plethora of languages.
This week's Poetry Friday Roundup is being curated by Buffy at Buffy's Blog. See the whole list of hosts at Poetry Friday by Kitlitosphere.