Friday, 20 January 2012

Poetry Part 2

If you are a teacher, you know there is nothing better than seeing the excitement and hearing the cheers when you tell the students what they will be doing next.  When I rolled out the overhead, the children were down right giddy that I had some more poems to share with them.  I began all three of the lessons by sharing some favourite poems on the overhead projector.  I challenged them to be poetry detectives again and identify some things they noticed (short poems, long poems, repeated words, rhyming, different shapes etc).  The trick was to keep the discussions short and lively.  I didn't want to beat the poem to death or I would run the risk of actually beating the joy right out poetry.  Below I will describe the three activities we did this week:

Lesson One:  Sort the Poems
In the first term, one of the Science processes we worked on was sorting and classifying.  The children were given the opportunity to sort and classify different objects and events (ie. leaves, shells, rocks, plastic animals, things that float, things that sink, magnetic strengths).  I decided to see if they could transfer this skill to literature.   I had photocopied a carefully selected group of poems for children.  I had 15 in all.  I made sure there were different kinds of poems in the selection.  I then put the children in groups of three and gave them the task of making a sorting rule and then sorting the poems accordingly.  When the group had sorted their poems, they raised their hands and I would come over and try to guess their sorting rule.  I would then challenge them to sort the poems in a different way.  This activity reinforced what we had talked about last day (there are many different kinds of poems).  It also gave them an opportunity to read and talk about the poems.

Lesson Two:  Drip, Drip, Drop

I got this idea from a fabulous poetry resource by Lucy Culkins.  The goal for the lesson was for the children to see that poets carefully choose how a poem should look and how the form supports what they are trying to say.  Poets carefully select words and write them in a deliberate way.  They constantly read and reread their poems until they hear exactly what they want.   I began the lesson by providing the students with an opportunity to read poems focusing on the sounds and silences.  We talked about and practised how to honour the line breaks and pauses.  After reading some poems together,  the children got into groups of three.  Each group got an envelope with the word drip on eight cards, drop on eight cards and sunshine on three cards.  I then gave them different titles and had them try to create different poems using just the words in the envelopes.  (ie. Thunderstorm or Rain is Coming).

The title given was A Thunderstorm.  The group described how
they wanted to make the poem look like a bolt of lightening

The title given was Good-Bye Rain.  The students explained how the drips were going hard at the beginning and then  slowed down until the final drop and then sunshine.

The title was Good-Bye Rain.  First the rain was heavy then slowed down.  I loved how they used the bigger spaces to show the drops were further apart and then finally stopped.

Lesson Three:  Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
I wanted the children to have another opportunity to experiment with spacing and line breaks.  I gave each group of three children the words to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on cards.  The task was for them to create their own poems using the words from the poem.  We once again talked about how poets deliberately and carefully place words.

1 comment:

  1. These lessons are great! We've been working on sorting and classifying in science too - I love your idea of transferring it to literacy. I can't wait to try this when class begins poetry in March.