Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Poetry Galore!!!!

Hello, friends!  Did you know that April is National Poetry Month?  I am a sucker for teaching poetry to my first graders...it's one of my favorite things to teach all year!  Today I'm going to share what I do to celebrate and encourage using poetry in the classroom.


For starters, I begin with a Phonics poem a week early in the year.  I select a poem from one of two books shown below.  You can grab them by clicking the covers.  We practice the poem at the pocket chart daily for fluency.  On Monday, we do a visualization activity.  The kids close their eyes and I do the first read aloud.  They have their clipboards, crayons, and visualization sheets in hand. After I finish, they draw what they visualized in their minds.  I give them a few minutes to draw and then they hold their pictures up.  We talk about how our pictures look slightly different but there are key elements that are the same in all of our pictures.

                   


As the week progresses, we read the poem daily at the pocket chart.  This is done in an echo read, popcorn read, choral read, flashlight read {in the dark with someone pointing with a flashlight}, etc...students even lead the poem for the class to echo towards the end of the week, when they are confident!  On Friday, the kids get their own, individual copies.  They circle the sight words as well as the phonics pattern we were studying that week.  For example, if we studied bossy r and our poem was "A Horse Named Cora," they will circle all the "or" words.  They add the poems to their poetry folders {see below for explanation}.


*Poetry Folders Explained: Every spring {I like to prep ahead for the fall}, I prepare poetry folders for my kids.  I buy the cheap 3-prong folders and add about 20 clear sheet protectors inside.  I slap on a label that says "Poetry Folder."  Each week when we learn a new poem, the kids add the printout of it to their folders.  In addition, we re-read previous poems for fluency.  Poetry folders are a great way to practice fluency!

Another way I incorporate poetry into our everyday learning is by having poetry books on hand.  I have a bucket in my classroom library that is full of poetry books.  The kids can choose those for their weekly book shopping if they want.  *If you don't have poetry books in your classroom library, you can always pick some up at the public library to have out during April!





During Writing Workshop for the month of April, I teach my kids how to write poetry!  This is a BLAST!  We learn about 9 different types of poetry throughout the month and everyone gets to write at least 2 poems of each kind.  Some of our favorites are: acrostic, rhythm, and riddle poetry.  I must say that even my struggling readers/writers shine during poetry instruction!  Poetry doesn't have a lot of "rules" when it comes to written expression, therefore students are able to write freely without worrying about punctuation or capital letters.









After we've learned all about the various types of poetry and had the chance to write them, we have a "Poetry Cafe!"  *I am sure to keep all the kids' poems throughout the unit.  We compile our favorite poems into an anthology and decorate covers.  The parents are invited and we share our poems in a coffeehouse format.






The poetry cafe is a celebration that's sure to be remembered by my students for many years to come!
If you'd like to check out my poetry resources, you can do so below.

PS-Here's a great Poetry Resource.  Click the cover to get it:


xo
Megan 

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