Monday, September 30, 2013

Make Your Own Musical Instruments, Plus

I'll start with a song -- this is for my dad. These guys really nail it:

Now for making your own musical instruments... I like making stuff myself, although usually I make things that involve art supplies, food, or herbs. The difficulty of these varies. The water organ looks like something I could do! The last two are a Pinterest board and a magazine.

* Play Music by Test Tube (Water Music Organ)
* Make a Giant Vuvuzela
* Homemade Pan Flute with Straws
* How to Play a Piano With a Computer Keyboard
* How to Make a Carrot Recorder Ocarina
* A Kazoo from a Glass Bottle
* How to Build a Strum Stick
* Homemade Musical Instruments
* Making Music Magazine

One more thing! Here's "what happens when you let random people lead an orchestra":

Friday, September 27, 2013

Mortimer Minute

Thank you, Carmela, for inviting me to share a Mortimer Minute! The official Mortimer Minute rules are listed below. The main aspect is answering three questions (two that you invent yourself, one from a previous hopper).

My three questions:

1) What has been one of your favorite ways of sharing poetry in school?

One year at my children's elementary school, we had students read poems during the morning announcements every day during National Poetry Month. This was a great program for several reasons -- it gave the whole school a chance to hear the poems, it was quick and easy for teachers, and the kids loved it. Students picked poems that they liked, and their appreciation for the poems was evident in their readings. My son performed Allow Me To Introduce Myself by Charles R. Smith. It would be a worthwhile program to have year-round. Each week, a different classroom could be in charge of sending readers to the office. If daily readings seem too complicated, it could take place weekly instead.

2) Imagine you were running a children's poetry weekend for Poetry Fridayers. Where would you have it and what would you feed Jama?

Well, off the top of my head, I can imagine having it at St. Mary's College of Maryland, where they have a writers' conference in the summer. I haven't been to the conference, but I have visited the campus and it is charming. If we were taking a picnic over to the waterside, I would probably bring finger foods, so we could read and write while we ate. Cheese, crackers, fruit, hummus, veg, but more importantly, espresso chocolate shortbread, lemon crinkles, and pecan pie cookies.

3) Please share one of your poems with us.

I wrote this acrostic in honor of one of my son's favorite subjects:

ducating Ourselves;
Getting Reports About Places
from the Heavens to the back Yard.

by Tabatha Yeatts

Guess what the Earth weighs? Nearly six sextillion tons!
Earth moves sixty-six thousand miles per hour 'round the sun;
Our world's biggest lake is the (mis-named) Caspian Sea;
Greenland might be the biggest island, but would Australia agree?
Russia and China touch the most other countries: fourteen,
And San Marino is known as the world's oldest country;
Plateau Station, Antarctica is the coldest spot we've got;
Head to Dalol, Ethiopia if you want to be hot.
You + geography = legend!


The Hop continues! Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche will be joining the Poetry Blog Hop on October 4th!

Our bunny Foo Foo reading A Visit to William Blake's Inn,
photo by Elena Y.

Here’s How-to-Hop, “Mortimer Minute” style!

* Answer 3 questions. Pick one question from the previous Hopper. Add two of your own. Keep it short, please!
* Invite friends. Invite 1-2 bloggers who love children's poetry to follow you. They can be writers, teachers, librarians, or just-plain-old-poetry-lovers.
* Say thank you. In your own post, link to The Previous Hopper. Then keep The Mortimer Minute going: let us know who your Hoppers are and when they plan to post their own Mortimer Minute.


Amy has this week's Poetry Friday round-up at The Poem Farm.

I announced the winners of my giveaways on Wednesday.

P.S. Geography side-note: This List of Sovereign States is interesting. They say that 33 countries don't recognize Israel, that 22 countries don't recognize China, and that North and South Korea each "claim" the other!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Let Us Be Loved Ones

Peace is always beautiful.
~Walt Whitman

Reading the news was hard to bear. I decided to focus on images of peace for this Art Thursday. I've already given one quote, but here's another:

Come, let us all be friends for once,
Let us make life easy on us,
Let us be lovers and loved ones
~ Turkish poet Yunus Emre

We Need Peace Now (International Day of Peace)
photo by Albert Gonzalez Farran, UNAMID

Sadako Sasaki statue, Seattle Peace Park
sculpted by Daryl Smith
photo by B Gallatin

Peace + Love Checkup by Banksy
photo by El Payo

Peace Globe
photo by p&p

“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.”
photo by Kate Ter Haar

Giant peace sign in the Grand River at Artprize in Grand Rapids, MI
photo by Craig Piersma

Grief and History, Peace Monument, Washington, DC
photo by Jonathon Colman

by Andy Arthur

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Giveaway Winners

First, let me say thank you to everyone who entered my giveaways. I am sorry that I can't give you all prizes! I may end up giving another set of poetry binder dividers to whomever I am matched with for the Winter Poem Swap. (Yes! Winter Poem Swap! It's coming...)

The winner of my Shakespeare cd giveaway is: Michelle Heidenrich Barnes!
The winner of my Opera for Kids dc giveaway is: Becky Shillington!
The winner of my poetry binder dividers giveaway is: Myra Garces-Bacsal!

Congratulations! I'll be getting those in the mail to you soon.


As long as you're here, want to see something interesting? I found this talk comparing the education systems of Finland, South Korea, Poland, and the U.S. fascinating. Amanda Ripley doesn't mention arts education in her talk so I looked up Finland and the arts, just to see whether arts education was a part of the Finnish curriculum, and I found:

"Music, visual arts, and crafts education is compulsory for students up to age 16 in Finland, as part of an effort to promote creativity and problem-solving skills and boost learning in other subject areas.

'In terms of students’ abilities in other subject areas, based on cognitive studies, it seems that the arts promote our capability to learn other subject areas too. For instance, learning music in early childhood seems to develop one’s linguistic capacity,' said Finnish educator Eija Kauppinen in an Education News article." ~Celia Baker

Amanda Ripley:

Addendum: A WSJ article called Why Tough Teachers Get Good Results.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Classical Guitar

Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart.
~Andres Segovia

Saturday, September 21, 2013

In Which I Am Entertained By Science

Have you seen this video by IkeguchiLab before?

Robert Gonzalez at io9 explains: "If you place 32 metronomes on a static object and set them rocking out of phase with one another, they will remain that way indefinitely. Place them on a moveable surface, however, and something very interesting (and very mesmerizing) happens.

The metronomes in this video fall into the latter camp. Energy from the motion of one ticking metronome can affect the motion of every metronome around it, while the motion of every other metronome affects the motion of our original metronome right back."

In the comments for the metronome video, someone mentioned being reminded of the way people walked on the Millennium Bridge:


Friday, September 20, 2013

Confab and Contests

A friend is a gift you give yourself.

Welcome, everybody! Good to have you here. We're having a party, poetry style!

Today, in addition to doing the Poetry Friday round-up, I'm holding a giveaway. Several giveaways, actually. Two of them are particularly good for teachers, kids, or for anybody who wants to share them with kids, and one is more personal and not really meant for sharing.


One winner will receive a Shakespeare's Greatest Hits, Volume 1 cd:


Another winner will receive The World's Very Best Opera for Kids cd:


And lastly I am giving away a custom-made set of poetry binder dividers. You can tell me which poems to use or leave it up to me.

If you'd like to enter any of these contests, you can send me an email: tabatha(at)tabathayeatts(dot)com. I will randomly choose winners next Wednesday the 25th.

I look forward to visiting your links!


* Greg brings us The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. theme song.

* Renee is featuring Margarita Engle's new verse novel THE LIGHTNING DREAMER, including a video of Margarita reading selections.

* B.J. has an original poem, The Sense-sational Sea: a poem in two voices.

* Myra offers us a Marilyn Singer and Gris Grimly collaboration, Creature Carnival, perfect for their current bimonthly theme on Monsters, Beasts, and Chimera: Spooks and Spectres.

* Ruth is sharing Monet Refuses the Operation by Lisel Mueller.

* Catherine is thinking about her grandmother and Robert Burns.

* Heidi has an anecdote and a video.

* At Author Amok, poet Charles Rammelkamp discusses his synagogue's annual Poetry Shabbat.

* Carol is sharing Love Wants to Know How.

* It's Miniature Golf Week at Today's Little Ditty, featuring an original poem inspired by Michelle's little putters.

* Jama is enamoured with apple dumplings over at Alphabet Soup.

* Margaret has more dots for International Dot Day and an Animoto video with a collaborative Dot Day poem by her students.

* Laura Salas is in with Bathtub Families by Billy Collins.

* Robyn is "carpe-ing diem" with Andrew Marvell and his Coy Mistress. Oh, and there's some amorous birds.

* Irene is posting from the National Book Festival (this weekend, in DC) and has a little Shel Silverstein poem that captures how she's feeling today.

* Joy brings us THE LIZARD and a poetry prompt.

* Becky's poem, It's Apple Pickin' Time, was inspired by her family's recent visit to a local orchard.

* Diane has a little poem called My BFF at Random Noodling.

* KK's Kwote is a line Diane found in Deborah Levy's novel, Swimming Home.

* Kurious Kitty continues "Talk Like a Pirate Day" with a poem from Shiver Me Timbers!

* Liz is sharing her latest favorite poem -- Introduction to Poetry by Billy Collins.

* At The Poem Farm, Amy has a story poem about kindness, inspired by a student's writing piece.

* Janet is joining in with a poem about goldfinches.

* Keri pops in with her 2 favorite love poems and a request for everyone else's!

* Carmela offers her Children's Poetry Blog Hop post, in which she (anxiously) shares the first poem she ever had published: My Sanctuary.

* Matt has a couple of haikus - one for children, one for adults.

* Linda is celebrating being on the Cybils Poetry Group-Round Two, and sharing a sweet fairy poem.

* At A Teaching Life, Tara is sharing a poem about chocolate milk, which, her students tell her, is yet another thing they feel is being unjustly taken away.

* Violet brings us a light-hearted sonnet called Fruit Notes.

* Happy Cybils panelist Anastasia has a haiku about the upcoming Cybils poetry nominations.

* Cathy's poem is about an Artist Date with a hungry koala!

* At Bildungsroman, you can find The Elf and the Dormouse by Oliver Herford.

* Samuel posted five new poems this week on the lunchbox doodle site. (He's especially proud of today's poem, which is, in part, a welcome song to Autumn.)

* At Father Goose, Charles is Speaking of Flowers.

* Ed shares some minor quibbles about the 2013 Cybils Poetry Award.

* Dori offers This is the garden: colors come and go by e.e. cummings.

* Mary Lee posted The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

* Jennie has a review of October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Leslea Newman.

* Jone is sharing a summer swap poem she received from Keri.

* Jeanette showed POETRY magazine to her students and it inspired some fun responses from the kids.

* Janet Wong explains The Mortimer Minute (bunny witness protection plastic surgery courtesy of Dr. LaTulippe).

* Janet Squires reviews The Place My Words Are Looking For: What Poets Say About And Through Their Work, selected by Paul B. Janeczko.

* Betsy is imagining Dark Horses.

* Teach Mentor Texts is thinking about Banned Books Week.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Turning In

"O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the fore-finger of an alderman ...
And in this state she gallops night by night
Through lovers’ brains, and then they dream of love;"
~Mercutio, Romeo and Juliet

I've posted about sleep before, but I'm revisiting it because I find the stories and legends about sleep so interesting. There's Queen Mab, Rip Van Winkle, Sleeping Beauty, the Sandman, Hypnos (god of sleep), Morpheus (god of dreams), Wee Willie Winkie, "Sleeping Hero legends"...

Here's a small sampling of sleepy art:

She sleeps, nor dreams, but ever dwells
A perfect form in perfect rest.

Illustration for Tennyson's "Sleeping Beauty"
by W. E. F. Britten

illustration by Byam Shaw

An illustration from Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle
by N.C. Wyeth

Queen Mab
Henry Meynell Rheam (1859 – 1920)

Sleeping Beauty
by Henry Meynell Rheam

Scott Stulen, The Shape of Night: The Language of Sleep
Photograph by Cameron Wittig, courtesy The Walker Art Center
shared by Northern Lights

Les Fleurs Animèes
by J. J. Grandville, 1847


* Makura Gaeshi is a Japanese spirit who moves your pillow to your feet while you are sleeping (this image is pretty funny).
* A recent version of Sleeping Beauty
* Native American Legends and Stories About Dreams
* Hawaiian Legends of Dreams, retold and illuminated by Caren Loebel-Fried

Next time you see someone sleeping, make believe you're in a science fiction movie. And whisper, 'The creature is regenerating itself.”
~George Carlin

Monday, September 16, 2013

Scott Bradlee and Postmodern Jukebox

My goal with Postmodern Jukebox is to get my audience to think of songs not as rigid, ephemeral objects, but like malleable globs of silly putty.
~Scott Bradlee

Scott Bradlee and Postmodern Jukebox this Music Monday. If only we could all be as happy as the man with the tambourine in the last song:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

You Cannot Be Replaced

I'm on the tail end of Suicide Prevention Week, but any time is a good time to let people know they cannot be replaced. The above logo is from a shirt in the World Suicide Prevention Day pack from To Write Love on Her Arms.

Another useful organization: Take 5 to Save Lives

Friday, September 13, 2013


What I tell you three times is true.
~Lewis Carroll

For Poetry Friday, a catchy little song about snark-hunting:

Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits, which has some of the same creatures and words as The Jabberwocky, describes "the impossible voyage of an improbable crew to find an inconceivable creature." What creature? The Snark, of course. The trouble with Snarks is that some of them are Boojums:

"'But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day,
If your Snark be a Boojum! For then
You will softly and suddenly vanish away,
And never be met with again!'

* The text of Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark
* An annotated version
* An illustrated version
* An audio version
* The Hunting of the Snark, an online game
* I quoted The Hunting of the Snark in a post about maps

The crew consists of a Bellman, a Boots, a Bonnet-maker, a Barrister, a Broker, a Billiard-marker, a Banker, a Butcher, a Baker, and a Beaver. The women are Hope and Care.
The Hunting Party:

Spoiler Warning! :-)
It was a Boojum:

Teach Mentor Texts is our Poetry Friday round-up host.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Manhole Covers

Silent streets have many things to say.
~Mehmet Murat ildan

When you are the opposite of indifferent, you even find something as utilitarian as manhole covers interesting. Here we have covers from the U.S., Germany, Japan, and Norway. Japanese manhole covers are so impressive that there are even two books about them. There's also a book about ones in NYC.

Manhole cover, McCloud, California
photo by Bruce Fingerhood

Manhole in the city of Freiburg, Germany
photo by RuckSack Kruemel

Osaka, Japan manhole cover
photo by Tomohisa Suna

Manhole cover, Trondheim, Norway
photo by Elizabeth B. Thomsen

Seattle manhole cover
photo by Wayne Noffsinger

Manhole cover in Fuchu City, Japan
photo by Elena Gurzhiy

Manhole cover in Bergen, Norway

Lady's Slipper Manhole Cover in Minneapolis
photo by jpellgen

Manhole cover in Cologne, Germany
photo by R/DV/RS

Hiroshima manhole cover
photo by Metro Centric

Yokohama, Japan
photo by Paul Downey

Sunday, September 8, 2013

BBC Audiobooks

Audiobooks can be great for long car rides. We've had successes and failures with them -- don't feel bad if one doesn't work out. When they do, they are very helpful! When they don't, it's nice to have a back-up.

On the BBC Audiobook site, you can download stories or buy them on CD. Children's audiobooks have their own category, as do young adult. There's also Nonfiction, Poetry, SciFi & Fantasy, Comedy, Shakespeare, and Doctor Who, among others.

* For 99 cents, you can download Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution!
* I find the Quiz Show section tempting, although I haven't heard any of the shows so I don't know where to start.
* For Sarah Jane fans, there's The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Time Capsule (my kids watched ALL the Sarah Jane Adventures).
* I liked YA book Girl of Nightmares -- it is more expensive ($18 to download, $30 for a cd).
* There's a cd called Shakespeare Without the Boring Bits for kids.
* In the short story section, there's Great Classic Family Favorites.

If you hear any you'd like to recommend, let me know!

Friday, September 6, 2013


Bollywood director and actor Farhan Akhtar was inspired to start Men Against Rape and Discrimination (MARD) after the August 2012 rape and murder of Pallavi Purkayastha, a lawyer in Mumbai. The mission: "MARD is here to create awareness amongst men to instill gender equality and respect towards women. It is here to bring about a change in the mind set and thereby bringing about a sustained change in society."

Poetry has been a part of the movement from the get-go. Farhan's father Javed Akhtar wrote a poem for the cause, which was recorded by actor Mahesh Babu and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. Farhan wants his father's poem to become part of the school curriculum to help bring about the sustained change that MARD seeks:

I don't have an English version of Javed's MARD poem, but I thought you might like to read a different poem by him:

A thing that still hasn't come up to my lips
by Javed Akhtar

A thing that still hasn't come up to my lips and only peeks through my eyes,
It asks for words, sometimes from me and sometimes from you,
So that it can wear those words and come to the lips,
And so that it could be embraced by words..

But this thing is actually a feeling…only a feeling,
It's like a fragrance floating in the air,

Fragrance, which has no voice…and about which you know and I know too.
It is not hidden from the world, what kind of a secret is it?


Pledge your support to MARD
Join them on Facebook
A previous post about Anti-Violence Visuals


Laura at Author Amok is our Poetry Friday round-up host.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

O, I am fortune's fool!

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
~William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, prologue

Today's Art Thursday was inspired by a performance of Romeo and Juliet I saw at the American Shakespeare Center last weekend.

Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
Romeo and Juliet, Act I, Scene i

The famous balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet
by Frank Dicksee (1853–1928)

Casa di Giulietta, balcony, Italy
photo by Parimal Satyal

L’ultimo bacio dato a Giulietta da Romeo
by Francesco Hayez

Romeo and Juliet
photo by Sara AlMutawa

Act III, Scene iii (Romeo, on why being banished is no better than a death sentence)
photo by Venet Osmani

Stamp honoring the 50th anniversary of the Royal Shakespeare Company

Discovery of the corpses of Romeo and Juliet, detail, 1837
by Eugen Eduard Schäffer, after Peter Cornelius
shared by Karl Steel

The Reconciliation of the Montagues and Capulets over the Dead Bodies of Romeo and Juliet
by Frederic Lord Leighton (1830 – 1896)

Romeo and Juliet in Central Park
photo by Joyce Wang

* ASC Romeo and Juliet shirt (scroll down)
* "Personally, I think Romeo and Juliet could have handled the situation better" t-shirt
* Shakespearean love mug
* Shakespeare set of five cards
* Letters to Juliet (movie)
* The only tissue soft enough for Juliet's tears (vintage ad)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Cathy & Marcy

Last week, I was reminded of a kids' song by Grammy award winners Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer called "Turn It Off, Change the Channel, Leave the Room." As you might guess, the song talks about what to do when stuff you don't want to see comes on the TV. Good advice.

It's from their Changing Channels cd, recommended for ages 3-8. There's also an accompanying book, which "gives children the tools to think critically about what they see on TV, resolve conflicts productively, and develop healthy self-esteem."

A Cathy and Marcy video for your amusement (Marcy is the one doing most of the talking):

I remember interviewing Cathy Fink a long time ago, although I can't remember what the occasion was. I do remember her telling me how many instruments Marcy could play... it was 30-something. So talented!

Cathy and Marcy offer cd or online music lessons on various instruments.