I'm also going to link up with the very talented Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching for her Spark Saturday Student Motivation linky because we are having fun, fun, fun with poetry.Pausing for Poetry.
Each week, I choose a new poem for the class, which students add to their fluency folders so they can practice it throughout the week. I also put a copy on our "Poetry Posts" bulletin board.
Each day of the week, we spend about 10 minutes reading and discussing the week's poem. Each day has a different focus -- meaning, vocabulary, structure, figurative language, etc. -- so students really get to understand the poem by Friday. Students then complete the day's response which is photocopied to the back of the week's poem. As you can see, the responses are short yet very targeted to a specific element.
Our Poetry Posts bulletin board is very interactive. One day a week, usually toward the end of the week, I have students complete a Poetry Think-Shot to add to our Poetry Posts board. This is where they get to publicly respond to the poem and rate the poem--thumbs up or thumbs down. (It is interesting to have students discuss why they like or dislike a poem too!) They love reading each other's responses and it's very interesting to see which poems are most popular based on their rating. I was very surprised by last week's poem -- I thought the kids would love it, but most gave it a "thumbs down." Hmmm....
To get extra fluency practice throughout the week, students read their poems to others and ask for their autograph on a Poetry Pals page. The student with the most signatures wins a small prize like a pencil or a piece of chocolate from my secret stash.
I have found that teaching poetry this way has helped my students realize a few things:
- Not all poetry has to rhyme or be silly. We can learn from poetry too!
- We can use elements of poetry (imagery, personification, similes, metaphors, etc.) in our own writing to make it stronger.
- Close reading of a poem reveals more and more meaning each time we read it. We love to put on certain reading lenses to look for particular elements in a poem as we read it.
- Reading all kinds of poetry helps us improve our fluency.
- Poetry can be fun!
So, what does your week look like?
Don't forget to stop back on Thursday for my other linky party, Positive Thinking Thursday. Lots of fun inspiration and positive thoughts to carry you through the week are shared by some wonderful bloggers. Start getting your positive thoughts ready!
See you then if not sooner!