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NoviceEd NoviceEd is offline
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 17
New Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 17
New Member
Poetry routine
Old 08-20-2008, 05:31 PM
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I have a fairly consistent routine that I've used for 4 years in third grade with great success. I teach poetry every morning, just after announcements, DOL, lunch count, etcetera. Students sit on in a group on the rug and the poem is pinned on a closet door or bulletin board used only for this purpose. I find it a gentle way to start the day, encourage community, and lead into our Writers' Workshop.

Here's how I do it: I introduce a new poem each week, and usually try to relate it to the season or to a content area topic. The poems are printed in landscape mode, with minimum margins to maximize the printable area and font size, then laminated.

On Monday, I read the poem aloud to the students, using a pointer to help weak readers. I encourage them to leave their minds open to the poem and to wait before deciding if they like or don't like the poem.

On Tuesday, I read the poem aloud once and then a second time, chorally, with the students. I then underline unfamiliar words with a vis-a-vis marker and write the definition on a sticky note and post on the poem.

On Wednesday, we read the poem aloud chorally twice. Then I might have the students identify verbs, nouns, or other parts of speech, and circle/box/underline these, making a key at the top of the poem. The kids call this "decorating" the poem and they delight in it.

On Thursday, we read the poem aloud once. Then I have the kids identify rhythm, patterns, rhyming, voice, and finally, meaning. Again, we decorate the poem with our key and colored markers.

On Friday, I present my own version of the poem, following the original's form and pattern. I then have the children write their own at their desks, again on a topic that gives them latitude, but not so much that they don't know where to start. They each have a poetry notebook (spiral), in which they tape a small copy of the original (left hand page) and use it to write their own on the right hand page.

This might sound awkward at first, but once you get a system down, it runs very smoothly. The kids love it and begin to come in on Friday, anxious to write their own version. Oh, and I let 2-3 kids share their poems each week and give each other feedback. Love that part, too.

Each lesson takes no more than 5-7 minutes and on Fridays, the writing takes about 30-40 minutes. The idea is to keep the lessons short, sweet, fun and engaging. Sometimes, in lieu of writing, I have the kids illustrate the poem, which is very interesting when you have a poem with alot of figurative language! I also do a poetry quiz occasionally, focusing on definitions, patterns, parts of speech, etc.

I just love this part of our day, and my students really gain a sense of poetry and an ability to write in their own poetic voice.

Hope this helps!
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