Many teachers and textbook companies make use of a poem of the week for building fluency, but there is much more that can be done if the right poem is selected. Students’ comprehension of a poem’s meaning or message, the impact of figurative language, and analysis of how a poet uses word choice to provide imagery and tone are just a few. In this post, we’ll explore ways to make the most of each poem we choose.
For starters, we can find all sorts of activities and ideas on Pinterest, and I’ve pulled together and continue to pin great things I find. If you are a poetry loving teacher, this is a great board to follow.
Book Suggestions for the Study of Poetry:
Several years ago, I was lucky to hear poet, Brod Baggert speak to our student body, and I have treasured his book, Giant Children, ever since. He did a fantastic job knowing his audience with that book, and I still recall the full belly laughs of the children as he shared, “Booger Love”. I can’t say that I was laughing *that* much, but I did have a chuckle even though the imagery left me feeling a bit ill. His book, Rainbows, Head Lice, and Pea Green Tile, was written for teachers, and there are a few poems in it that truly touched me too.
Another favorite poet of my has to be Jack Prelutsky. He has several wonderful anthologies published, and I have them included in my carousel widget above. I have used a few of the poems from A Pizza the Size of the Sun this week with my students as we discussed sensory words, imagery, author’s purpose, context clues, and main idea. Today, I used a scavenger hunt freebie from my bloggy buddy, Andrea Crawford, and the kids had a great time. You can access her freebie [here] or through the image to the left. You might also use the free resource below from my store with any poem for group discussion.
Finally, I must highlight the books by Shel Silverstein. They are classics in the poetry world, and I’ve had them in my children’s library their whole life. Next week, we’ll be working on visualizing, so we’ll continue with talks about sensory words and how we imagine scenes.
Spotlight Poetry Reading:
One of the best ways to build excitement about poetry is through the use of a Poet Tree. As students find poems they enjoy or you as a class share poems, you add them like an ornament to the tree for others to see, read, and enjoy.
Building a Concept of Word
Last year, I decided to try my hand at writing poetry, and I developed two product lines. The first set is intended for our youngest readers. It is a set that helps students develop a concept of word or COW. This means that the student accurately tracks print and matches spoken words to the corresponding words.
A concept of word develops gradually as emergent readers gain alphabet knowledge. Each COW poem is four lines in length which helps in teaching and memorization. Once students have the poem memorized, they practice “reading” with pointers to work on matching spoken word to print and on the return sweep.
With each poetry set, there are teaching posters for whole group instruction and touchpoint grids that students can use to track as the teacher reads the poem, the poem on sentence strips with and without touchpoints, the poem in book form, and the poem as a poster that can be added each week for each student to have his/her own poetry anthology for repeated reading all year long.
I have a few poetry samples you can try out. (One for the beginning of the year and one for Easter) You can learn more about teaching concept of word [HERE] or simply search my blog for concept of word with the search bar in the top right corner.
Poem of the Week:
Another poetry resource I have developed for Poem of the Week are the seasonal sets, the sports poems, and the food lovers set which are more complex with multiple stanzas. Most are rhyming poems and on themes children enjoy. They are all original poems written by me that can be used for fluency building, rhyme scheme, sightword work, and comprehension work. Rather than insert the set for each season, I’m linking up just the bundle. It includes about 40 poems in black/white and color as well as the Building Poetry Pros set I created for teaching poetric devices and figurative language.