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Cross-Curricular Collaboration: Library Media and Art at Tuscan School

By Amy B. Popp



Tuscan School third grade students participated in a cross-curricular project based on the poetry of Nikki Giovanni.

In library, students listened to poetry by Nikki Giovanni and then wrote poetry based on

one of her poems, “My First Memory (of Librarians)” (below).   Students wrote their poems using

Google Docs in Google Classroom.  Ms. Popp, Tuscan Library Media Specialist, assembled and printed the poetry

and then gave the poems to Mr. Dean, Tuscan Art Teacher; he instructed and guided students on how to illustrate

and add artistic imagery to the poems. 


The created artwork is the unique combination of poetry and art.  Students captured the sensory elements of their

poems by creating art with different materials such as pastels and watercolors.  Ms. Popp and Mr. Dean

plan to collaborate again on similar projects in the future.



My First Memory (of Librarians)

By Nikki Giovanni

This is my first memory:
A big room with heavy wooden tables that sat on a creaky
       wood floor
A line of green shades—bankers’ lights—down the center
Heavy oak chairs that were too low or maybe I was simply
       too short
              For me to sit in and read
So my first book was always big

In the foyer up four steps a semi-circle desk presided
To the left side the card catalogue
On the right newspapers draped over what looked like
       a quilt rack
Magazines face out from the wall

The welcoming smile of my librarian
The anticipation in my heart
All those books—another world—just waiting
At my fingertips.



"My First Memory (of Librarians)" from Acolytes by Nikki Giovanni. Copyright © 2007 by Nikki Giovanni. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.