Monthly Archives: April 2018

“Never” Poems, Second Grade and National Poetry Month

We celebrated National Poetry Month with all grade levels. Second grade students wrote a “Never” poem which features repetition and alliteration.   We used a template I found on WriteShop.com (https://writeshop.com/writing-a-never-poem).  The students used dictionaries & thesauri to find words if they got stuck for ideas.

 

Recorded Poems on Flipgrid

I used Flipgrid so the students could record themselves reading their poem. This gives them an authentic audience and practice reading aloud.  I also shared this on the school’s Facebook page to further widen the audience and let parents see what their children are doing.

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Check us out!  https://flipgrid.com/876d05

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Kindergarten Poem in My Pocket

I have been celebrating National Poetry Month for several years with our students with most grade levels writing different types of poems.  I wanted to do something with the kindergarten students this year, but couldn’t figure out how to have them write poetry.  I came across the idea of Poem in Your Pocket Day.  That was it!!!

First I read several poems to the students and we talked about poetry (what it was, etc.) . I created a template for a pocket, labeled “Poem in My Pocket” and had the students decorate it. There was a place for them to write their name.

Choosing Poems for Their Pockets

Before their next library visit I glued a back onto their pocket front and punched holes into the top.  I tied yarn onto it forming a loop.  I copied a variety of poems for them to choose from.  They got to choose four different poems and fit them into their pockets.pockets

 

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Choosing her 4 poems.

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Fitting their poems into their pockets.

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Modelling the Give!

When I first told the students they would be giving away their poems, several of them said, “No, we want to keep them!”  We decided they could keep one or two but should share the rest.  I took a couple of students from each class and we went in search of someone to share our poems with.  Success!

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Giving a poem (and reading it) to one of our custodians.

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The art teacher receiving a poem.

 

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Our Assistant Head of School, who then read her poem aloud with lots of expression and enthusiasm.

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Our Head of School who after reading the poem, dated it and added the names of the students as she put it on her bulletin board.

The first day I did this last week, one of the students asked to give our Head of School a poem, but she was in a meeting.  After dismissal duty while chatting on the sidewalk, she said a “little fellow” gave her a poem as he got on the bus and I explained about Poem in Your Pocket Day.  Yessssss, success!  I love when a plan comes together!

I will definitely do this again next year.

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Blackout Poetry with Fourth Graders

I decided to be a risk taker and try blackout poetry with my fourth grade classes.  I saw this several years ago but wasn’t sure how it would work and whether they would “get it”. Previous examples used newspaper or magazine articles and I just didn’t think this would excite our students.  But I think it was a success with most of them really enjoying it and excited by the process.

Finding the Right “Hook”

Somewhere I read about a librarian who used photocopies of the first page of chapter books for the basis of the poems (I would attribute this idea if I could remember where I saw it).  I browsed our fiction section to choose ones that really grabbed the readers attention.  This group also needs motivation to pick out chapter books and actually read them.  I thought this activity might inspire some of them to check out the books.  I didn’t reveal what books they came from until after the had completed the poems and they were excited when they recognized their page.

Introduction and Examples: Google Slides and YouTube

I created a brief Google Slides that contained examples of blackout poetry and then I showed the students a video about Austin Kleon, a writer who is well known for his newspaper blackout poetry.

Then I randomly gave out the copies of first pages along with pencils.

The Creative Process

Some students struggled a bit at first, but after they relaxed and were assured there really wasn’t a “right” way to do, they made progress.  This activity was completed over two library visits with instruction and creating taking about 20 to 30 minutes each time.

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Students in the initial stages circling words in pencil.

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Getting serious now!  Blackening in with crayons.

Sharing Using Padlet

I wanted a way for the students to be able to read each others poems so decided on Padlet.  After taking photos of each completed poem I uploaded them.  I emailed the classroom teachers the Padlet link and asked that they share with their students.  In the case of one of the teachers this will be her only opportunity to see her students’ work as she nearly always sends her para to the library while remaining in her classroom!

Here are the two links:

Made with Padlet

Made with Padlet

I will definitely do blackout poetry again next year for National Poetry Month!

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