Thursday, December 20, 2012

Week 17

Is the weather cold and snowy where you are? Maybe not, but either way, it's a fun time to spend together with friends and family. For Week 17 our featured poem for the theme "Time Together" is for second grade and is written by Betsy Franco. Enjoy this nugget from her vivid poem.

After Sledding
by Betsy Franco

The kettle sings.
Wheee, heee.
A cocoa treat
fills all our cups.    

Shivery cold,
we grab a quilt
and huddle close,
all bundled up.


Crackle, spit,
the fire glows.
We sip and giggle,
cozy warm.

[Find the poem in its entirety in The Poetry Friday Anthology on p. 123.]

Take 5 Activities
1. As you read this poem, hold a mug and sip (or pretend to sip) as if the beverage were very hot. Add shivering and huddling motions while reading the poem aloud.

2. Next, read the poem aloud again and invite students to say the “sound” words in the poem (Wheee, heee; Whooo, whooo; crackle, spit) while you read the rest aloud. Cue them by holding up your mug when it’s their turn.

3. For discussion: What are some of your favorite things to do on a cold day?

4. Challenge the students to see if they recognize the sound words in this poem (Wheee, heee; Whooo, whooo; crackle, spit) and talk about what other words the poet might have chosen. Then read the poem aloud again with students chiming in to highlight the sound words again.

5. Share another poem about waiting out a storm, “Stormy Day” by Rebecca Kai Dotlich (Kindergarten, Week 17) or selections from Winter Trees by Carole Gerber.

Look for the whole Poetry Friday crowd hosted by Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Week 16

Are you ready for Week 16 in our school year of celebrating Poetry Fridays? Our theme this week is Holidays and we have a fun and playful poem for second grade written by George Ella Lyon. Here is just an excerpt.

Christmas Is
by George Ella Lyon

Mamaw, Papaw,
Aunt Pepperlou,

Cousin Susan
and Uncle Froggie, too


Best china
shining on the cloth

Dinner slower
than a three-toed sloth!

[You'll find the whole poem in The Poetry Friday Anthology on p. 122.]

Take 5 Activities

1. Add a bit of fun to sharing this poem with poetry props—bring a simple placemat (or table cloth), a few dishes, silverware, napkin and cup or glass and dramatize setting the table before you read this poem aloud. Afterward, talk about the family names in the poem and what a three-toed sloth might be.

2. Next, invite students to echo read the poem, repeating each line after you read each line aloud.

3. For discussion: What are some of your family’s favorite holiday traditions?

4. Help students find the (rhyming) pairs of words that sound alike (Pepperlou/too; street/meat; cloth/sloth). Display the poem, then read it aloud again and point to the rhyming word as students chime in to complete each rhyme.

5. Connect this poem with another about food, family, and neighbors, “Mrs. Betty” by Rebecca Kai Dotlich (Kindergarten, Week 14).

Join the whole Poetry Friday crew hosted by Jama at Jama's Alphabet soup. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Week 15

We're moving on to Week 15 and our theme is "Stuff We Love!" Our featured poem is from third grade and is written by Constance Levy. Here is an excerpt from her clever poem.

Lucky Penny
by Constance Levy

Any penny
I spy on the ground
beckons me
like the wink
of an eye.


When it whispers to me:  
“I’m your good luck ticket;
quick, pick me up!”

then UP I pick it!

[You'll find the whole poem in The Poetry Friday Anthology on p. 161.]

Take 5 Activities
1. What is the perfect prop for this poem? A penny, of course. Put a penny on the floor, read the poem aloud, and pick the penny up when you reach the final line.

2. Read the poem aloud again and invite students to BE the penny, speaking the lines attributed to the penny: “I’m your good luck ticket: / quick, pick me up!” while you read the rest of the poem.

3. For discussion: What is your favorite lucky token or item?

4. Poets give their poems shape in many ways. Talk with students about each stanza (including the one-line stanza at the end) and what it adds to the poem. Consider the poet’s use of rhyme (eye/by; ticket/ pick it) and dialogue, too.

5. Pair this with another poem by Constance Levy, “Bird Alert: Storm Warning!” (4th Grade, Week 8), or poems from Knock on Wood: Poems about Superstitions by Janet Wong.

Don't forget to check out the rest of the Poetry Friday postings at Read, Write, Howl hosted by one of our PFA poets, Robyn Hood Black.

And there are just a few days left to enter our drawing for a free poetry e-book. See the details below.