Tuesday, April 16, 2019

National Poetry Month

Hi, friends!  Did you know that April is National Poetry Month?!  Teaching poetry is one of my favorite Writing Workshop units.  Did you know that there are many benefits of reading poetry aloud to kids?  Below I will share a few with you:

1.  Poetry helps with language development.  Many children's poems rhyme and rhyming helps children build phonemic awareness.

2.  Poetry motivates children to read.

3.  Poetry builds vocabulary.

4.  Poetry helps build fluency.

5.  Poetry allows children to write freely and creatively while de-emphasizing mechanics.

In today's post, I am going to highlight how I've taught this unit in the past.  You can check out the pack in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop at the bottom of this post.  It's a blast and I guarantee you and your students will LOVE it!

The first thing I do prior to starting the unit is request a teacher collection of poetry books from the public library.  I ask for 25-30 children's poetry books.  On the first day of our unit, we peruse the books and discuss what we noticed afterwards.  Sometimes I make a web or word dump on chart paper of what we saw.  I will also use the books as our "opener" to each day's mini-lesson, reading aloud a few poems prior to my instruction.

The next day, I introduce one type of poetry.  This is typically rhythm poetry, as it is very simple for kids to grasp.  I model how to write one, we write one together, and then the kids are off to write their own!  In the past, I would have spent two days on a specific type of poetry, but in more recent years, I spend just one day...time constraints.  Sad! 

Then we move on to acrostic poetry.  I introduce the concept and we brainstorm "SPRING" words (see below) on chart paper.  The kids get a graphic organizer and select one word from each of the letters in spring.  Once their organizer is complete, they use colored strips to write their words on and assemble into a rainbow craft.  These are so great for spring! 

As time goes on, I introduce a new type of poem each day, repeating the same process as I did for rhythm poetry.  By the end of our unit, the kids will have learned 8 different types of poetry. 

We culminate the unit of study by making a poetry anthology book.  This is where the kids select one piece of each type of poetry to place in a construction paper "booklet" with a cover.  We share our poetry anthology's with families at our annual "Poetry Cafe."  The cafe is a celebration where we serve donuts/muffins and juice/coffee to the parents and allow the kids to read two poems of their choice into a microphone.  It's always a hit and kids and parents come back years later telling me they remember and loved it!!!

Happy Poetry month!!!



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