American Girl's 2017 Girl of the Year Is Gabriela McBride, Dancer and Poet

American Girl is ringing in 2017 with the debut of Gabriela McBride™, the 2017 Girl of the Year™! Gabriela is a true creative talent who uses the power of poetry to help her break down barriers. American Girl’s doll of the year for 2017 is a poet and dancer, who uses two art forms to help overcome her stuttering. This is American Girl's 15th Doll of the Year!!

American Girl's 2017 Girl of the Year Is Gabriela McBride, Dancer and Poet

Gabriela is the newest doll in American Girl’s line of dolls, which depicts girls of diverse backgrounds and interests. Gabriela comes to life for my daughters with a beautiful 18-inch Gabriela™ doll. She has curly dark-brown hair and warm brown eyes, and is wearing an outfit that reflects her creative side.  

American Girl's 2017 Girl of the Year Is Gabriela McBride, Dancer and Poet

Gabriela also comes with several performance-inspired outfits and accessories, including a dance barre, rehearsal and dance outfits, plus pretend headphones and a microphone. Additional Gabriela products and books will be available starting in spring 2017, and—for the first time—the new Girl of the Year collection will be available for a full 12 months and beyond.

American Girl's 2017 Girl of the Year Is Gabriela McBride, Dancer and Poet
American Girl's 2017 Girl of the Year Is Gabriela McBride, Dancer and Poet

Also available for purchase is a series of three books about Gabriela, written by Teresa E. Harris, follows Gabriela as she grows up in a family of artists and finds her voice through poetry, which helps her save her beloved community arts center from destruction.

American Girl's 2017 Girl of the Year Is Gabriela McBride, Dancer and Poet
American Girl's 2017 Girl of the Year Is Gabriela McBride, Dancer and Poet

My daughters were so excited for the 2017 American Girl of the Year! Even more exciting to them is the fact that Gabriela is an artist . . . of many forms. My daughters are artists as well and relate so well to Gabriela. They were so excited to have Gabriela try out the American Girl Doll art set and obviously, play the American Girl Doll violin. My daughters are young violinists entering their sixth year of playing and they simply adore any doll they can interact with that has like-minded talents.

American Girl's 2017 Girl of the Year Is Gabriela McBride, Dancer and Poet
American Girl's 2017 Girl of the Year Is Gabriela McBride, Dancer and Poet

In addition to the books and the doll, American Girl is partnering with Scholastic to release a curriculum program, Express Yourself, to teach poetry to students. To celebrate National Poetry Month (which is in April), the Scholastic program also features a poetry contest for students that will run throughout the month of April.

American Girl's 2017 Girl of the Year Is Gabriela McBride, Dancer and Poet
Writing Poetry with American Girl Gabriela

The free curriculum materials will be available on www.scholastic.com starting March 1, 2017, and include teacher lessons and corresponding classroom activities, a poetry poster, plus parent tips and learning ideas to do at home.  The Express Yourself program will encourage all students to find their creative voices and share their own personal stories, while building confidence along the way.

POETRY

We actually began a poetry unit this month when we returned to schooling. A poem can be the beginning of many other ways to express yourself. When we begin a Poetry unit, I start with the I Am Poem. This gets my children thinking of 'good words' to use whilst writing. I have a list of words that can not be used as they are 'too easy'. I want my kids to really think of using great words. They are also not allowed to use a word again if they have used it already.

A poem could become a song, a dance, or even a play, as you will learn from Gabriela. A POEM is writing that is imaginative and condensed by using words chosen for their sound and meaning, with phrases that may have a certain pattern made with rhythm and rhyme.

Since we are in the beginning of our Poetry Unit, I thought I would post the I AM POEM and all the poems that we will be writing over the next couple of months. 

I AM POEM

I am __________________________________________(two special characteristics you have)

I wonder ___________________________________(something you are actually curious about)

I hear _____________________________________________ (an imaginary sound)

I see _____________________________________________ (an imaginary sight)

I want _____________________________________________ (an actual desire)

I am _____________________________________________ (the first line of the poem repeated)

I pretend ___________________________________________(something you actually pretend)

I feel __________________________________________ (a feeling about something imaginary)

I touch _____________________________________________ (an imaginary touch)

I worry __________________________________________ (something that really bothers you)

I cry ___________________________________________ (something that makes you very sad)

I am _____________________________________________ (the first line of the poem repeated)

I understand __________________________________________ (something you know is true)

I say _____________________________________________ (something you believe in)

I dream ________________________________________ (something you actually dream about)

I try ______________________________________ (something you really make an effort about)

I hope ___________________________________________ (something you actually hope for)

I am _____________________________________________ (the first line of the poem repeated)

Writing Poetry

Writing Poetry Concrete
Writing Poetry Dianmante
Writing Poetry Quatrain
Writing Poetry Sonnet
Writing Poetry Cinquain
Writing Poetry Limerick
Writing Poetry Rhyme
Writing Poetry Stanza
Writing Poetry Haiku
Writing Poetry Couplet
Writing Poetry Rhythm
Writing Poetry Verse

Gabriela Events

Other Gabriela-related initiatives being held throughout the year include the following:

  • Gabriela Online Play: Girls can visit the Gabby-dedicated site at American Girl for free book excerpts, videos, activities, wallpaper and e-cards, and much more.
  • Gabriela Videos: Girls can visit #TeamAGLife on YouTube and watch the 2017 Girl of the Year: Gabriela McBride at youtube.com/user/AmericanGirl
  • Gabriela Retail Events: On January 1, American Girl stores are hosting Gabriela's Debut Event, where girls will get a first look at her full product collection, plus enjoy in-store activities, colorful crafts, giveaways, and a fun photo opportunity. For more details on the in-store events, visit americangirl.com/stores.

The Gabriela collection is available on January 1, 2017, through American Girl's catalogue; at American Girl website; at all American Girl retail locations nationwide; at American Girl specialty boutiques at select Indigo™ and Chapters™ in Canada and at Toys "R" Us stores starting in March.  The Gabriela books can also be purchased through retail and online booksellers.

Thank you to American Girl Doll for gifting us with Gabriela. We can't wait to share our images and poems for the #GOTY2017 campaign.  All opinions are my own. Images courtesy of American Girl Doll Place and used with permission.