Six-Room Poem

May 16, 2012 by

I recently shared a “a fishing expedition for poetry”–a technique to help writers generate ideas for possible poems.  Here is another idea that I first learned about from Georgia Heard in her book Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School.  It is a graphic organizer that helps writers brainstorm ideas, words, phrases, images that could be part of a future poem. Here is how it works: Have students draw six boxes on a piece of blank paper and label each box or download a copy of my template below. Download Six-Room Poem Planning Template Ask students to “enter” each room, one at a time.  As they linger in each room, ask some prompting questions to help students fill in each box.  Here are some suggestions to get you started (from Awakening...

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Spring into Poetry…and Mother’s Day...

Apr 27, 2012 by

For many schools, today is the first day back after spring break and it’s already mid-April.  That means there isn’t much time left to enjoy National Poetry Month.  It also means that Mother’s Day is going to be here before we know it!  Do you have your students create special projects for their mothers or significant women in their lives in honor of Mother’s Day?  If so, today’s post can help you kill two birds with one stone–celebrate National Poetry Month and get ready for Mother’s Day. My favorite type of poetry to teach is free verse poetry.  The mini-unit I am going to share today is NOT free verse poetry, but it is fun to teach and students really enjoy it.  Parents love it even more!  That’s because the final product of the unit is a...

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Poetry Attack

Apr 7, 2009 by

A 3rd grade teacher near Akron, Ohio shared this idea with me.  She uses a lot of poetry as part of her reading and fluency instruction.  One day she led her students into another classroom where they circled the students in that class.  They announced, “Poetry Attack!” and broke into a choral recitation of a practiced poem.  Then they quietly left the room.  They began randomly “attacking” other classrooms on subsequent days.  One day one of these classes entered her room and announced, “Attack back!”  A spark was ignited.  At the end of the year they had a whole school assembly where classes took turns reciting favorite poems.  Imagine the enthusiasm! I love this idea! Share...

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Poetry Center

Apr 7, 2009 by

This is a very simple literacy center.  When students are assigned to the poetry center, they look through their Poetry Notebooks for the poems we have practiced together as a class.  Each time a new poem is introduced in class, students circle the page number in their notebooks.  During centers time they illustrate the poems that have already been introduced and practice reading them with a partner. Share...

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Poetry Pause

Apr 7, 2009 by

In his book Learning Under the Influence of Language and Literature by Lester Laminack advocates six read-aloud opportunities that we can incorporate into our classroom routines.  One of those is for the purpose of putting the sound of written language in the air through the sharing of poetry.  After all, poetry is meant to shared orally.  I decided to try this in my classroom by setting aside a few minutes of my daily morning meeting.  To ensure that we don’t skip over this, I select two students to share a poem each daily.  This privilege is bestowed upon my two Helpers of the Day.  These two students each select and practice a poem they would like to read to the class.  They also tell why they selected this poem.  I display a collection of...

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