Thursday, February 28, 2013

Week 26

It is Week 26 and time to share a silly poem from our theme, "Nonsense." This one comes from fifth grade and is hilarious to act out. We have permission to share the whole poem, so enjoy!

How to Open the Attic Door
   by April Halprin Wayland

To open up the attic door,
(to find that old cartoon you drew),
you have to sing a silly tune,
you have to sing it backwards, too
and play it on the noodle flute
while putting on your bathing suit.
And always wear blue cowboy boots!

[From The Poetry Friday Anthology, p. 252]

Take 5 Activities
1. If possible, stand by a door while reading this poem aloud.

2. Share this humorous poem again and invite students to choose their favorite line from lines 3-7 and chime in when that line appears while you read the whole poem aloud.

3. For discussion: What is the secret in giving clear directions?

4. This poem is another good example of using both end rhyme and rhyme in the middle too—called internal rhyme. Challenge the students to find the words that rhyme, including slant or “almost” rhymes (cartoon, drew, you, tune, too, noodle, flute, suit, blue, boots). Read the poem aloud again emphasizing those words in particular.

5. Link this poem with the nonsensical “Eight-year-old Uncle” by X. J. Kennedy (3rd Grade, Week 26) or share selections from If You Were a Chocolate Mustache by J. Patrick Lewis.

Join the Poetry Friday round up hosted by poet Julie Larios at The Drift Record.

And if you're enjoying our weekly segments from The Poetry Friday Anthology for grades Kindergarten through Grade 6, we're excited to announce that a new edition for middle school is being released Friday, March 1! Same idea-- a poem a week for grades 6, 7, and 8, with Take 5 teaching activities for every poem. Check it out here!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Week 25

It is Week 25 in our year-long sharing of poetry every Friday. If you're using selections from The Poetry Friday Anthology, one of your choices for this week's theme, "Song and Dance," is this fun poem by Jaime Adoff for Fifth Grade. You really need to check out the whole poem to get the full-- musical-- effect, but here is an excerpt to get you started.

Beats on Top of Your Head
by Jaime Adoff

I've got my
and it's time to
another beat
on top of your head.
Rhythms fall like rain
Rhythms call my name.


I've got my
hop— don't wanna stop
but I've come to the end of this poem
my friend.

[Look for the complete poem on p. 251 in The Poetry Friday Anthology.]

Take 5 Activities
1. Tap a regular rhythm (“drop” or play a beat) while you read this poem aloud.

2. Invite students to join you by chanting the hip / hop lines with a pause in between the two words while you read the rest of the poem aloud.

3. For discussion: What are your favorite kinds of music?

4. Poets give their poems shape and structure in many ways. Talk with students about how the short lines and line breaks give this poem a distinctive rhythm. Then read the whole poem aloud together again.

5. Follow up with “Your Chance to Dance,” a poem by Brod Bagert (1st Grade, Week 25), with Jaime Adoff’s book The Song Shoots Out of My Mouth: A Celebration of Music, or with selections from Hip Hop Speaks to Children, edited by Nikki Giovanni.

Now scoot on over to Sheri Doyle's place for our Poetry Friday gathering. See you there!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Week 24

It is Week 24 in our weekly sharing of poems every Friday in grades K through 5. This week our theme is Science and Technology. We are so pleased to include a science/technology-themed poem for every grade level since it's not your typical topic for poetry. But our poets provided several fun and thoughtful examples. Here is Stephanie Calmenson's poem for Kindergarten.

They Call It “Science”
   by Stephanie Calmenson

They call it science.
I call it why-ence.
Why is the sky blue?
Why do I look like me and not like you?


I like to ask "WHY?"!

[Go to p. 50 for the poem in its entirety in The Poetry Friday Anthology.]

Take 5 Strategies

1. Create a simple sign or card with the word why on it. Show it each time the word appears as you read the poem aloud. Pause dramatically before each line.

2. Read the poem aloud again and invite students to say the final “WHY?” in the poem. Cue them by holding up the why card.

3. Challenge the students to think of two more “why” questions.

4. Sometimes poets make up words to make their poems even more interesting. Help students find the “made up” word in this poem (why-ence).

5. Follow up with another poem full of questions: “Dreamland” by Carole Boston Weatherford
(2nd Grade, Week 19).

Look for the Poetry Friday gathering this week hosted by Linda over at TeacherDance. See you there!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Week 23

Our year of poetry is rolling along and we are now in Week 23 with the theme of Exploring. Our sample poem excerpt comes from Fourth Grade. It is by British poet Graham Denton and here's just a taste.

Give Me Wings
by Graham Denton

Give me wings
so I may know
the world above
the earth below,
those endless oceans
of the sky
where I can float
and I can fly.


Give me wings
so I may be
a bird at last –
unbound and free,
a bird whose heart
forever sings,
unburdened by
this gift of wings.

[For the whole poem, go to p. 209 in The Poetry Friday Anthology.]

Take 5 Activities
1. Before sharing the poem aloud, pause to encourage students to close their eyes and imagine being able to fly; imagine wings; imagine sky. Then continue by reading this poem aloud.

2. Next, invite students to join together on the first line of each stanza, Give me wings (also the title of the poem).

3. For discussion: Where would you go if you had wings to fly?

4. In this lyrical poem, the poet uses alliteration to repeat the same sound(s) in the beginning of several words for greater emphasis. Help students in locating examples of this (for example, swoop/sweep; whirl/wheel; beneath/breast).

5. Link this poem with “Explorer” by Joan Bransfield Graham (3rd Grade, Week 23) or selections from Give Me Wings, edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins.

Now head on over to A Teaching Life where Tara is hosting the Poetry Friday gathering. See you there!