Now we're taking a short poetry break between nonfiction units. What fun! Here are some things that are working really well in my classroom.
Poetry Display: Over the past few years, I've scoured the used bookstores to gather enough poetry books so that every student can have a book. Now I have a poetry display with a wide variety for students to browse during independent reading, before school, and during free time. They really like them! This year, my students love The Random House Book of Poetry for Children...one of my personal favorites as well. I think I'll have to attach a GPS tracker to this book to keep track of it! Another favorite is Mary Had a Little Jam, a book of silly rhymes.
I started the unit by talking about poetic structure, and we worked to find the number of lines and stanzas in poetry. Taking just a few minutes to do this makes talking about poems much easier. I've also started out with having students do a few copying tasks. Readers have to see that everything in a poem is a choice made by the author, and rewriting a short poem is a great way to examine line breaks, capitalization, and punctuation.
This year, I want students to experience reading and rereading poems for different purposes. I put together an assortment of poems into a booklet that I copied for students. This booklet is useful because students can write directly on the poems and mark favorite passages. Instead of just seeing poems on single pages, students are going back to the same poems again and again--"Oh, I think there's personification in the stinkbug poem!" or "This is my favorite!"
All of the poems are written by me or in the public domain...I'll be adding it to one of my poetry packs shortly. Write to me if you'd like to try it.
Now we're moving forward into examining figurative language. It's so much fun to see how students respond!