Thursday, October 25, 2012

Week 9

This week we turn our attention outdoors to poems about all kinds of weather. Our sample poem for Week 9 is from Fourth Grade. It is by Susan Taylor Brown and is chock-ful of alliteration. Here's an excerpt.

When the Rain Falls
   by Susan Taylor Brown

Clouds curl.
Thunder trembles.
Lightning leaps.
Coats cover.
Umbrellas unfold.
Wipers wave.


[Look for the rest of this poem on p. 195.]

Take 5
1. Read this poem aloud pausing briefly at the end of each line for extra emphasis. Talk with students about how poets like to “make up” words (like “plash”).

2. Share the poem again displaying the text of the poem if possible and invite students to say three lines together for greater volume and emphasis: Line 2 (Thunder trembles), Line 7 (Rivers rise), and Line 12 (Rainbows reappear).

3. For discussion: What are the best and worst things about a rainy day?

4. Sometimes poets like to use many words that start the same (alliteration) to add to the sound of the poem. Challenge students to notice the use of alliteration (in EVERY line) and talk about how the poet sequences the lines in a logical order. Read the poem aloud together again inviting students to choose their favorite line and chime in when that line appears.

5. Link this poem with “My Dog” by Charles Waters (1st Grade, Week 9) or look for All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon.

For more Poetry Friday fun, go to Teacher Dance here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Week 8

Time to share another poem from The Poetry Friday Anthology. It's Week 8 and our theme is "In the Air." This week's example poem is from Grade 5 and it is a pour quoi poem by Joseph Bruchac. Here is a portion of the poem.

How the Geese Became Chiefs of the Birds
by Joseph Bruchac

Long ago it is said
when the small birds flew
south for the winter
and north for the spring,
sometimes they got lost
and could not find their way.

So Gluskonba
spoke to the geese.
From now on,
you will be the chiefs
of all the birds.

Some of you will go first,

And some of you
will be the last

[and the poem ends:]

And so it is to this day.

[Read the entire poem on p. 234.]

Take 5
1. Point out to students that many poems are funny, but some are quiet and thoughtful—like this one based on a Native American legend from the Abenaki people. (You may also need to provide background on Gluskonba, known as “the one who helps the people.”)

2. Next, divide the students into two groups—one to read the third stanza and one to read the fourth stanza while you read the rest of the poem, including the final line. Display the text of the poem to provide support.

3. For discussion: Which do you prefer: leading or helping in a supporting role?

4. Talk with students about how many poems rhyme, but not all. This poem is an example of free verse. It doesn’t feature a regular rhyme, but guide students in seeing the rhythm provided by the structure of short lines and key words used to paint a picture in your mind.

5. Pair this poem with “How the Birds Got Their Colors” also by Joseph Bruchac (3rd Grade, Week 20).

Join the rest of the Poetry Friday gathering hosted by Irene Latham (another one of the lovely poets featured in The Poetry Friday Anthology) at Live Your Poem here.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Week 7

The theme for Week 7 shifts to "In the Water" and this poem for Third Grade by Jack Prelutsky is a prime example. It begins...

A Clam
   by Jack Prelutsky

A clam is a creature
Of quiet aplomb.
In all situations
A clam remains calm.


[Find the rest of this clever, descriptive poem on p. 153.]

Take 5
1. Feeling brave? You can sing this poem to the tune of “On top of old smoky.” Sing it for the students first, then display the words and invite them to join you.

2. Or if you prefer to read the poem aloud, invite students to join in on the word clam each time it occurs in the poem. They can clap their hands together each time they say clam to mimic the opening and shutting of the clamshell, too.

3. Sometimes poets weave facts into their poems. Guide students in noting what information we learn about clams in this poem.

4. This poem is an example of wordplay. Guide students in seeing how the similarities between the words clam and calm inspired the poem.

5. Link this poem with “Fish” by Joy Acey or selections from At the Sea Floor Café; Odd Ocean Critter Poems by Leslie Bulion.  

Betsy is hosting our Poetry Friday gathering at her Teaching Young Writers blog this week. See you there!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Week 6

It's Week 6 and time to turn our attention to the topic of creatures "on the ground." Here is the beginning of the "on the ground" poem for Fifth Grade.

   by Michael J. Rosen

Soil—that’s our crop. Without our lot,
nothing of yours will grow. We burrow, swallow—
dust, motes of dirt, mold, rootlets—
and cast the sweet earth within your plot.


[You'll find the rest of the poem in the book on p. 232.]

Take 5
1. As a poetry prop, bring a jar, baggie, or small pile of dirt. Then read the poem aloud slowly, sifting the dirt as you read.

2. To follow up, display the words and invite students to join in on reading the last two lines of the poem aloud with you.

3. Sometimes poets weave facts into their poems. Guide students in noting what information we learn about earthworms in this poem.

4. Poems usually rhyme at the end of lines, but sometimes they rhyme in the middle too—called internal rhyme. Challenge students to find pairs of words that demonstrate internal rhyme (grow/burrow/swallow)— including “slant” rhymes or “almost” rhymes (crop/lot; motes/mold). Then read the poem aloud again.

5. Check out another descriptive poem by Michael J. Rosen, “Centipede” (4th Grade, Week 36).

Meanwhile, Laura Purdie Salas is hosting Poetry Friday this week at her blog, Writing the World for Kids.  Check it out here. (Laura has several wonderful poems in The Poetry Friday Anthology, too!)