Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thinking About World Thinking Day

Purchase the teacher/librarian edition
or the student edition at
Would you believe it's been nearly a year since the release of THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR CELEBRATIONS? (Pomelo Books, March 4, 2015)

Apparently some of us have been too busy celebrating to notice.

I did notice, however, that this bilingual collection of 156 holiday poems selected by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong was recently included on the 2016 list of "Notable Books for a Global Society" by the Children's Literature and Reading Special Interest Group (CL/R SIG) of the International Reading Association!  Party on!

I'm fortunate to have two of my own poems included in this fun educational resource. Last May I shared the first, "Look For the Helpers," in celebration of World Red Cross Day.  Today I'm sharing the other for World Thinking Day, this Monday.

World Thinking Day is celebrated annually on February 22nd by Girl Scouts and Girl Guides worldwide.  It's a day of international friendship— an opportunity to connect with the Girl Scout/Girl Guide sisterhood, ten million strong across 146 countries. They learn about different cultures and customs, and also discuss important issues that affect girls and young women around the globe, like lack of education or clean water.

I was a Girl Scout leader for four years until our troop disbanded due to some of the girls moving away and others changing schools. It was a wonderful, cohesive group for the time it was together, though, and one of their favorite activities was taking part in World Thinking Day. Here they are the year we chose Guyana to research and celebrate:

Girl Scout Troop 1520

Do they look like a great bunch of girls or what?

And here's my poem from THE POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGY FOR CELEBRATIONS to commemorate the event:

Thinking About World Thinking Day
     by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

We are Girl Scout Troop 1520:
ten girls from a family of ten million.
Around the world, we join together—
across Egyptian deserts,
the rainforests of Guyana,
and Australian bushland.
We taste Irish soda bread,
Indian dal,
and fresh coconut from Fiji.
We learn customs and crafts,
games and traditions,
and explore how we are different,
yet very much the same.
We make a friendship circle
with our sisters across borders, 
and promise each other
to make the world a better place.

As I did with World Red Cross Day, I also created a video for the occasion. It's significantly less polished than my "Look For the Helpers" video, but I recruited some scouts from my daughter's new troop to help me out, and boy, was it fun! You can watch it HERE.

Find this video and other goodies on – home and party central 

Thank you for all the feedback and encouragement in response to last Friday's blog post!

February's DMC challenge from David Harrison is well underway. This week's featured "ditty"-inspired ditties included ones by Jone Rush MacCulloch, Janie Lazo, Jane Yolen, and Karen Eastlund. Carol Varsalona posted one this week on Beyond Literacy Link and Linda Baie has posted another today at TeacherDance. See you here next Friday for our wrap-up celebration!

And speaking of celebrations... Donna JT Smith is hosting a "Between Other Celebrations Celebration Day" over at Mainely Write.  Let me grab my party hat and I'll meet you over there for the  Poetry Friday roundup!


  1. How awesome that you were a GS Leader! They look like a fun group. I, of course, was a Girl Scout back in the olden days when we had green skirts, sashes and beret.

  2. Lucky little ladies to have you as their leader, capturing who they are and what they are about in a poem featured in a celebratory anthology. What a blessing for you and for them! And speaking of blessings, thank you for including the party central link; I know I'll be heading back there many times. And to think that if it hadn't been for your kindness, I would have missed out on so much fun! What a truly informative, inviting site. Congratulations to all the PF contributors, whose party favors are perpetual. God bless you. Thank you!

  3. LOVE the Friday Poetry Anthology sooooooooo much! I book talk it to as many educators as I can. The Spanish Teacher for Spanish Speakers in my school LOVES it! Keep up the good work poets...language in beatiful, THOUGHTFUL ways is vital to us, our children and the world.

    1. Thank you, Linda M., for spreading your Poetry Friday Anthology LOVE!

  4. Michelle, thank you for sharing your girl scout adventures with us! What a wonderful thing to do with your daughter. (Both my parents were heavily involved with my brothers in Boy Scouts, but I didn't last very long as a Girl Scout.) Love the many cultures peeking out of your poem. Off to watch the video! xo

  5. We are so grateful to you, Michelle, for your poem and the wonderful video you created with the help of those great girls. And thank you for congratulating us on our book being one of the Notable Books for a Global Society. Your poem was definitely one of the ones, I'm sure, that compelled the committee to include us!

  6. I love hearing about your Girl Scout connections, Michelle. I was in a troop that continued meeting through high school, although those later years mostly meant dinner together. I'm still in touch with my leader and her daughter! I guess I missed this poem about World Thinking Day, what a treat. It is a good thing to expand our knowledge of others everywhere. Thanks, and for the mention, too.

  7. I agree that we all part of a global family, and I love inclusive poems. Great one! And the anthology is terrific. I won it on PF, and I have enjoyed reading it ever since.

  8. Love the poem and video!! Great group of girls and so nice to see you reading. I was a Brownie for only a brief period of time (our leader moved away) but really enjoyed it. I still have my beanie!! :) Happy World Thinking Day!

  9. I'll bet you were an outstanding Girl Scout leader, Michelle! Thanks for sharing your poem with us, and congrats to the collection's editors and contributors on the award.

  10. Michelle, I love your poem and the video was great. I imagine you had so much fun being a Girl Scout leader. What a lucky bunch of girls.
    That's great the the PF Anthology for Celebrations was included on the 2016 list of Notable Books for a Global Society! I didn't know that.

  11. Michelle, I hadn't known about World Thinking Day until I saw your poem in the thanks for sharing it! You also just reminded me that National Cereal Day is coming up in just a couple weeks! ;)

  12. I've never even heard of World Thinking Day! Your poem celebrates it in such a natural way that kids can understand. Nicely done!

  13. How fun that the Girl Scouts helped you with your poem video! I love this collection and open it up often to see what celebrations I may be missing. World Thinking Day is new to me. I should think of a special way to celebrate it with my kiddos.

  14. I'm thinking your World Thinking Day poem is extremely thoughtful! (hee-hee). Thanks for your poem, fun video, the sweet picture of your troop, and most especially continuing the love for this amazing anthology. =)

  15. What a lucky group of girls to have you as their Girl Scout leader! Thank you for this wonderful reminder that we can all work together to make the world a better place.