Thursday, March 28, 2013

Week 30

We are rolling into Week 30 and looking at a theme that specifically targets poetry elements: Rhyme, Repetition, and Rhythm. Our sample poem this week comes from Kindergarten and it's almost like a chant full of fun animal names! Here's an excerpt.

Loose Tooth, Whose Tooth?
by Carole Boston Weatherford

Loose tooth, whose tooth?
Bat’s tooth, rat’s tooth.
Loose tooth, whose tooth?
Snail’s tooth, whale’s tooth.


Loose tooth, whose tooth?
Piranha’s tooth, iguana’s tooth.
Loose tooth, whose tooth?
Boar’s tooth, your tooth.

[You'll find the whole poem on p. 56 in The Poetry Friday Anthology.]

Take 5 Strategies
1. Before reading the poem aloud, survey students on how many of them have a loose tooth.

2. Read the poem aloud again and this time students can say the repeated line Loose tooth, whose tooth? each time it occurs.

3. For discussion: Which of these animals is new to you? If possible, look up images of unfamiliar animals on the Internet.

4. Poems usually rhyme at the end of lines, but sometimes they rhyme in the middle too—called internal rhyme. Challenge the students to find the pairs of words that rhyme (bat/rat, snail/whale, aardvark/shark, etc.).

5. Revisit a previous “list” poem about animals, “Animal Talk” by Charles Ghigna (Week 27).

Join the whole Poetry Friday crew at A Year of Reading hosted by our very own fabulous PFA poet, Mary Lee Hahn. See you there!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Week 29

Here we are at Week 29 in our year of sharing poetry every Friday. Our theme focuses on poetry itself, with "Poetry Poems." It's always fun to use the form of poetry to celebrate poetry itself. Our example this week comes from third grade and compares poetry to the sea. Check it out! Here's an excerpt.

Poem Like the Sea
by Patricia Hubbell

Like the sea
A poem
Can be
Wild and wavy
Or smooth and calm


Like the night
A poem
Can be
Cozy or scary


Like the stars
A poem
Glitter and shine


[Get your copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology to read the poem in its entirety on p. 175.]

Take 5 Strategies

1. Tuck a copy of this poem into a can and label it, “A POEM CAN.” Show the can before taking the poem out and reading it and challenge students to listen for the repeated phrase "a poem can" as you read the poem aloud.

2. Then follow up by inviting students to say the words "A poem can" as you read the rest of the poem aloud. (You also may want to explain the pun or double meaning in using the phrase "a poem can" two ways.)

3. Talk with students about any poems they have read or heard that were cozy or scary like the night.

4. Discuss with students how poets can create poems in many different ways. Here the poet combines several features in the poem: the repetition of key words (Like the phrase, "a poem can"), the four-line stanza, and a lyrical description in each stanza (in the form of a simile). Yet, the poem does not rhyme. Then read the poem aloud together once again.

5. Connect this poem with another about poems, “Recipe for a Poem” by Kristy Dempsey (2nd Grade, Week 29).

Now scoot on over to Gottabook where Greg is hosting Poetry Friday.  See you there!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Week 28

What time is it? It's time to share a Poetry Friday poem from The Poetry Friday Anthology! We're in Week 28 of our weekly sharing of poetry every Friday all year long. What is the theme? Books! This week's sample poem comes from second grade and is a fun poem written in two voices. Here's how it begins and ends. You'll have to look in the book on p. 134 to read the WHOLE poem. [If you haven't already, get your copy of the book here.]

I Might Go to Mars
by Juanita Havill

Me: “See you later, Mom.
I’m going to the moon.”

Mom: “And I’m fixing lunch.
Be back by noon.”


Mom shrugs and frowns,
gives me that look.

So I tell her my secret:
I travel by book.

Take 5 Strategies
1. Double-check that students know that Mars is in outer space, a detail that makes a big difference in this poem. Then read the poem aloud, using a high pitched youthful voice for the lines for Me and a lower, authoritative voice for the lines for Mom and your normal voice for the final stanza.

2. Invite students to read the Me lines in unison. If possible, display the words of the poem to assist students.

3. For discussion: Where would you like to go if you could go absolutely anywhere?

4. This is a poem written for two voices or characters as if it were a conversation. Consider how the ending rhymes (moon/noon; so/go; look/book) help make what could be simply dialogue a rhyming poem.

5. For another poem for two voices, look for “The Way You Sound To You / To Me” by John Grandits (4th Grade, Week 13).

For Poetry Friday, go to Check It Out where Jone is hosting our weekly gathering. See you there!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Week 27

It is Week 27 and time to focus our attention on words themselves, with our theme, "World of Words." Here, our poets incorporate wordplay in fun and interesting ways. Our sample for the blog this week is by Children's Poet Laureate, J. Patrick Lewis. It's his poem for first grade-- here's just a taste.

Gnat and Flea
by J. Patrick Lewis

If it jumps, it’s a flea,
If it flies, it’s a gnat.


A bunch of fleas—a swarm,
A batch of gnats—a cloud,
A bunch of dogs
With munchy fleas
Cries out loud.

[Look for the whole poem on p. 93 in The Poetry Friday Anthology.]

Take 5 Strategies

1. Read this poem aloud using a high-pitched voice for the lines related to fleas (lines 1, 5), a low-pitched voice for the lines about gnats (lines 2, 3, 4, 6), and a normal voice for the lines about dogs (lines 7, 8, 9). (You may need to alert students to the silent g in gnat.)

2. Then invite students to jump during the flea lines, make flying motions during the gnat lines, and make scratching motions during the dog lines while you read the whole poem aloud. Use your voice (high, low, normal) to cue them to the correct motions. Read and perform it several times to get it all right!

3. For discussion: Which is more annoying, a gnat or a flea?

4. Sometimes poets weave facts into their poems; use this poem to discuss collective names for groups of animals.

5. For another poem by J. Patrick Lewis that compares two animals, read “Frog and Toad”  
(Kindergarten, Week 21) or look for more insect poems in Hey There, Stink Bug! by Leslie Bulion.

Don't miss out on the Poetry Friday fun hosted by PFA poet Heidi Mordhorst at My Juicy Little Universe. See you there!