Sunday, February 28, 2016

Teaching Ideas for Poetry

In light of literacy week at my school, I will be posting every day my favorite resources and ideas to "improve literacy" in a k-2 classroom. My school is incredibly huge on literacy, and it could be due to the fact that almost 90% of our students are English Language Learners. Since moving to this high ELL population, my teaching strategies have drastically changed, and I would love to share what I've learned.

If you are anything like me, then you hate poems. I know, you're probably thinking, is that allowed for a first grade teacher? I didn't start appreciating poems until I became a teacher. I've become an adamant believer after reading countless literature/research that showed its benefits for literacy in little readers and writers.

Though this post will not highlight why poetry is so important, it will provide simple, easy to use ideas to use with poetry in a primary classroom.

How do you get started?

To start, you will need  a poem. It can be in used in a poetry center, or you can work whole group with it.  If you have RTI groups, then this would be an excellent 10-15 minute addition to your already busy day. Once you have secured your poetry and the logistics of when you will be doing your poetry study, then you are ready to be a poetry teacher rockstar by using the ideas listed below!

1. Predictions from Title: Ask your students what the title is and what their prediction of the poem is. It's very basic, but it can get your students speaking from the get-go.

Speaking stems:
The title of the poem is____
I believe the poem will be about ____ because of the title.
The author's choice of title makes me think that the poem will be about ______

2. Circle words: If your class is learning about the 'th' sound, then ask your students to find and circle all of the 'th' words in the poem. If your class is learning about adjectives, then ask your students to circle all of the adjectives they can find. The ideas are endless with this.

3. Find Repetition: Ask children to find the repetition in a word and circle it. They can then write their own words with those reparative words.

4. Find Rhyme: Invite your students to find the rhyming words. When reading the poem, you can emphasize the rhyming words. Then can then write their own words that rhyme.

5. Create art: When all the word studies, noun phrases, and rhyming words have been analyzed, you can ask the students to create a border for the poem. They can even add an additional picture that goes along with the poem.

6. Class Created Poem: As a class, create a poem that mimics that poem made in class. It can be the same content, different rhyming pattern, or same pattern with different content.

7. Poem in a Shape: During holidays, there are always fun poems that this idea can work well with. For example, when reading a poem about love during Valentine's Day, help the students write the poem in a heart.

If you are looking for a set of poems to use, check out this set for March

Let me know if you have used any of the above, or if there are any other ideas you love to teach during poetry study time! I would love to hear from you!

Until next time!

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