Teaching poetry

Why should teachers include a poetry unit of study for 1 st grade students? The answer is simple. Poetry teaches language in an engaging manner. Poetry allows the reader to develop images of people, places and things through "word pictures. First graders are at the perfect stage of development to learn about and write poetry.

Many teachers have an innate fear of poetry. Often, their only exposure was in a high school English Literature class where the canon of old, Anglo male poets held court. How unfortunate that they never had the opportunity to laugh over the nonsense poems of Shel Silverstein, to linger in the imagery of Emily Dickinson or to resonate with the inspired words of Langston Hughes. A unit of poetry for beginners should be as much fun to teachas it is to learn. Keep things simple, allow for poetic license and enjoy!

Begin this unit by gathering various poetry books from this suggested bibliography as well as others by different authors for the students to read. Some poems, like "Stopping in the Woods on a Snowy Evening," have been made into children's books.

Other poets, like Dr. Seuss, simply write in rhyme. Remember to include books from other cultures so that students understand that poetry is an international language.

Objectives :. Lesson One: First graders love rhyme. Begin this lesson by picking a rhyming family with many members, for instance, the "at" family — hat, cat, sat, mat, etc.

Brainstorm with students all the words in this family, writing them on the board as the students respond. Once the students exhaust the options, demonstrate putting the words in sentences where the rhyming word comes last. Example: See the big, yellow cat. As the students come up with sentences, write them on the board.

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After everyone has had an opportunity to create a sentence, explain that together, you will put the sentences into three line poems. Ask them to pick the first sentence to start. Add to that sentence until you have three lines. He wears a green hat.

Poetry Out Loud

Did he see the rat? Once done, congratulate the students on writing their first poems. Lesson Two: After spending time listening to and reading rhymes, present students with the opportunity to write independently a rhyming poem.

Tell them that they will write a poem about a dog. With this poetry handoutthe students fill-in the blanks with rhyming words that describe a dog.

The first sentence helps them begin their rhyme.Teaching poetry has always been one of my favorite units! I especially love reading the amazing poems that students write.

Want more? Sign up for time-saving teaching tips, effective strategies, and awesome freebies right to your inbox! Look for a freebie in your very first email! What a fantastic resource for integrating poetry in the classroom. Thank you for listing so many easy to apply ideas. Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Get time-saving teaching tips, effective strategies, and awesome freebies right to your inbox!

First Name E-Mail Address. Bloglovin Facebook Instagram Pinterest Twitter. Before you begin a poetry unit, you may want to make sure your students are familiar with figurative languagesuch as alliteration, onomatopoeia, simile, metaphor, and personification. Fluency with a thesaurus is also a good skill to have. You may also want to use rhyming dictionaries ideally online. Consider creating a permanent poetry bulletin board in your classroom. Every few weeks, change the type of poem you display.

You could also include information about that poetry form and possibly some famous works. Another option is to feature a different poet each week with samples of their work. You can either do it like a Christmas tree and have students write poems and hang them on the tree like ornaments, or you can make a large tree on one of your walls and have students write their poems on leaf or apple-cut outs to put on the tree.

Create a class poetry blog, or use a page from your classroom blog, just for student poems. Older students could post their own poems, along with an image. Poetry patterns are an easy and effective way to bring poetry to your classroom.

The structured approach takes the fear out of the writing process and results in surprisingly good poems. Holidays are a great time to write poems. Similarly, students can write about whatever you are studying in science or social studies: space, dinosaurs, mammals, countries, pioneers, the flag, etc. Watercolors are particularly nice with many poem types. You could also have students research how to write the subject of their haiku with Japanese characters. Be sure to put a copy in your class library.

Have students keep poetry reflection journals. One way to do this is to have students copy their own poems into their journals and then write about the poem — where they got the idea, favorite words or phrases, how it makes them feel, etc.Do you feel the same way?

Maybe not -- and no surprise there! Often, we deny our students the experience of great content, such as poetry, because:. As April is National Poetry Montha few weeks ago on New Teacher ChatI choose the topic of sharing poetry teaching strategies for the simple reason that I wanted new pre-service teachers and their students to feel comfortable with experiencing poetry.

I wanted them to have not only resources to use with their students, but actual strategies to support them in making poetry come alive in their classrooms. A surprising number of new and veteran teachers showed up for this Poetry Chat with a big bag of tips and tricks! Today, I'm sharing five tips for teaching poetry, including some from the chat, that new and experienced teachers might benefit from using.

An "I Am" poem is a good way to introduce poetry to children, because it allows them to focus on their own characteristics. The process is simple. The "I Am" poem is made up of three stanzas that are six lines each. It follows a specific format with the intention of describing something, often a person or an object. The beginning of each line is already written, and the writer fills in the end of the line by inserting a specific word or words. A simple strategy that all kids will find interesting, it's easy enough to implement and a great process for student self-expression.

As you read their "I Am" poems, you might get to know your kids on a deeper level. Explain the process for shape poems, which entails starting with a shape and building a poem from there. Some examples of shape poems are haikudiamantes and acrostics. Shape poetry has to do with the physical form of the words on the paper.

While the words, writing style and literary devices all impact the poem's meaning, the physical shape that the poem takes is significant. Combining content and form creates a powerful poem.

Five Poetry Teaching Tips for New Teachers

This is a simple and fun way to get started with poetry in the classroom, and kids of all grade levels will enjoy it. Have students select a favorite poem and illustrate it. This can be done on paper, digitally, on a large sheet of butcher paper on the ground, or on the sidewalk by your classroom.

You can use crayons, markers, paint or chalk. Get the kids talking about their poems while illustrating, or just let them draw. After this activity invite the class to do a "poetry walk" around the room or drawing space to share their impressions of the illustrated poems. Invite others to see the poetry-art. Consider pairing up with a colleague who might want to do this activity with you. Take photos of the poetry art to archive for later discussion.

This is a great, easy way to start exploring poems and poets while mixing the medium of art in the process. Have students pick a favorite song.

You may have to do a little screening here. Next, have them share the song lyrics by reading them as they would a poem. Engage them in conversation about the similarities they note between song lyrics and poetry.Some kids love poetry. Their eyes light up when they get the chance to compose their own verses. But for others, poems are met with groans and grumbles. Kids will be surprised at how accessible and meaningful poetry can be, no matter their age or interests. Before you start, check out our favorite poems for sharing with elementary students and middle and high school students!

A lot of these activities can be adapted to work across a wide range of ages and skill levels, depending on the poems you choose. We receive a few cents if you purchase using our links, at no cost to you. Thanks for your support! Write words on building blocks try this set of Giant Cardboard Blocks from Amazonthen stack them up to build a wall. Kids will get a kick out of knocking the wall down and then building it up again!

Learn more: Toddler Approved.

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Introduce poetry to little ones with a paper bag filled with several items of different sizes, shapes, textures, etc. Kids reach into the bag without looking and describe what they feel in a few words. These words make their first poem. Learn more: Bulldog Readers and Bobcats Blog. This is a cool way to introduce older readers to a poetry unit.

Gather up all the poetry books you can find, and invite students to bring their favorites too. Encourage them to make notes of their favorites for further reading. Teaching online right now? This activity can be adapted by providing students with a list of links to different poets and their work.

teaching poetry

Learn more: Nouvelle ELA. Experiment with that idea by having kids read poems out loud in a variety of ways. How does it change the experience when you read a sad poem in a silly voice or a funny poem in a scared voice? Learn more: The Classroom Nook. This is easily one of the most popular poetry games, and for good reason.

Colors are so easy to relate to, and evoke lots of feelings and memories. Paint chip poetry works for every age group, too, and makes for a neat classroom display.

Learn more: Fabulous in Fifth. Feeling a little guilty about furtively stuffing paint chips in your pocket at the store? These printable paint chip poetry games are here to help. They include multiple ways to use paint chips for poetic inspiration too!

Learn more: Building Book Love. Nursery rhyme poems were just made to be acted out! Learn more: All Kids Network. Acrostics are simple enough for beginning poets, but even Edgar Allan Poe used this style to create beautiful works.

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Writing one is almost like putting together a puzzle! Learn more: My Poetic Side. Rhyming poetry games are a lot of fun, and this one starts with some DIY dominoes made from sentence strips.By Regie Routman. A renowned language arts teacher shares the joy of teaching young children to write — and love — poetry.

Of all the writing I have done with students in elementary school, teaching poetry writing has been the most exhilarating and successful. Kids love it; they are energized by the myriad of possibilities and the total writing freedom. Teachers love it too; it's fun and easy to teach, and all kids thrive. Several years ago, when I began teaching young children how to write free-verse poetry, I was amazed at how creative and insightful all kids became.

Students who struggled with forming letters and words and with writing sentences, and who found writing in school burdensome, blossomed in this genre. Free from restrictions in content, form, space, length, conventions, and rhyme, they could let their imaginations soar.

Proficient writers also shone. For all children, their choice of words improved, and their joy in innovating surfaced. For some students who felt constricted by the requirements of school writing journals, letters, and assignmentspoetry writing freed them up. Kenneth, a first grader, was one such student. The act of writing was physically difficult for him, and the traditional process was unsuccessful. Adult expectations for good handwriting also contributed to his dislike of writing.

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His teacher, Kevin Hill, commented on the impact of poetry writing: "With poetry, Kenneth was unleashed, and his talents were all over the page. Poetry writing gave him a creative outlet for his mature understanding of nature in a way that made him feel comfortable, assured, and successful. See "Spring" below. Other children also wrote easily and confidently, about sports, school, friends, pets, nature, likes and dislikes, their families, and what was on their minds.

Their poems displayed energy, rhythm, passion, shape, and keen observation. What's more, the voices of individual students were evident in their poems and convinced teachers that young students could indeed write with "voice" — a personal and unique style.

Kevin Hill comments, "I could actually hear individual students' voices. Even without the child's name on the paper, I would often know who wrote the poem. Teaching poetry writing so that all kids are successful requires an in-depth introduction, including exposure to lots of poetry. While the initial session will last about one hour, follow-up sessions, including student writing, may be shorter as less demonstrating becomes necessary.

Typically, the whole class session includes demonstrating poetry writing through one or two of the following:.

Teaching Poetry Online

During our introductory session, I limit the demonstration to sharing and discussing kids' poems. It is these poems most of all that will provide the confidence and models that spur budding poets into confident action. Sharing poems written by other children sends a clear message: "Kids just like you wrote these poems.

You can write poems too.Using poetry in a classroom is a great way to expose students to imagery, rhythm, rhyme, metaphors, personification, and a variety of other literary devices. Some teachers and students shy away from poetry because they are unsure how to use it or what it should look like, but the joy of poetry is the ability to express yourself in a creative way.

While some poetic forms have specific rules to follow, poetry is much more than a formula. Below are some poems from Family Friend Poems that can be used as mentor texts. These poems were used as inspiration to create templates for others to use to create their own similar poem.

teaching poetry

Using these examples can be a springboard for classroom as Read Complete Article. A mentor text is a text that is used as an example of good writing. Many times these texts can be springboards for you to use to ignite your own creativity and write a piece that has been inspired by someone else's writing. We've created these printable poem templates to help you write a poem. Structured poems are poems that provide a specific format to follow. They are perfect for those who need a little more help forming a poem.

They can eas Maybe it's the theme that catches your attention. Maybe it's the structure. Maybe it's the humor. Whatever it is, don't b Menu Search Login Loving.


Keep me logged in. Teaching Poetry Email Share. Related Categories.How to teach poetry in the classroom. Poetry Teaching Lessons and resources. Poetry is a broad area of literature offering teachers and students the opportunity to both dip their toe or completely dive into creative writing.

With over fifty acknowledged styles of poetry there is plenty on offer to students of all ages and ability. We are going to look at eight different styles of poetry and strategies for teaching it in the classroom.

This pack includes nineteen styles of poetry, printable, templates, lesson plans and multimedia to share on your digital classroom display. You can find out more here. Cadence - The patterning of rhythm in natural speech, or in poetry without a distinct meter.

Meter - The rhythmical pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in verse. Refrain - A phrase or line repeated at intervals within a poem, especially at the end of a stanza. Rhyme - The repetition of syllables, typically at the end of a verse line.

Stanza - a group of lines forming the basic recurring metrical unit in a poem; a verse. Verse - writing arranged with a metrical rhythm, typically having a rhyme. Be sure to get some quick wins with acrostic poetry and shape poetry before exploring more complex poetry such as sonnets and palindromes. Limericks are a great starting point for rhyming poetry as it requires only a moderate vocabulary for students. Be sure to share your poetry with students. As long as they are understanding the rhyming sound pattern such as AA BB A found in a limerick is of far greater importance than if the limerick makes sense.

They are supposed to be nonsensical. My final point on teaching poetry is mix it up.

teaching poetry

Maybe throw in some shape poetry to mix it up and bounce between the two areas. When the concept of poetry is introduced to students their first thoughts are usually around beautiful rhyming language that is catchy, emotional, friendly to the ear and easy to remember.

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