Tag Archives: National Poetry Month

Cinquain Poetry with Third Grade

I tried something new this year with third grades for National Poetry Month. We tackled writing cinquain poems.  I read poetry to students during April, having all grades involved with poetry in some way.  April is also the time when third through fifth grades take part in state standardized testing, so I need flexible and fun activities for the students.  I think poetry doesn’t get enough time in the classroom (I heard somewhere that we value what we can test….) so I like putting the spotlight on poetry for all students.

Cinquain Poems-Shape Poetry

A cinquain poem is a type of shape poetry consisting of five lines which forms a symmetrical shape as the writer follows a formula of a certain number of words per line.  I was inspired by a post on the WriteShop website (writeshop.com/writing-a-cinquain-poem).  I created a graphic organizer so students could follow the directions, brainstorm and be successful.

After explaining what a cinquain poem was, I had a graphic organizer for each student and dictionaries and thesauri on hand at each table.  We worked on the poems for three library visits.  During the first two sessions the students used the graphic organizer to brainstorm and refine their writing.

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Final Product

At the last session they rewrote their poem on a new sheet of paper and added art work. They were proud of their poems!

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Found Poetry Using Magazines – Fifth Grade

 

During National Poetry Month in April I have each grade level write some type of poetry.  Our state standardized tests are also during April so things have to be flexible and not stressful!  This year I decided to try something different and had the fifth grade students create found poetry using cut out words from magazines.

I must admit, I got a little obsessive about cutting out words.  It was a great activity watching television at night hunting for words.  I almost couldn’t stop and now I have to make myself just recycle that magazine without searching for cool words!

Found Poetry-Words from Magazines

Found poems, according to the website, http://www.poets.org, take existing texts and refashion them, reorder them, and present them as poems.

Anyway…..I cut out a lot of words for the students.  I created a Google Slide with examples of found poems created using cut out words and showed the students.  We discussed what they thought poetry was and how found poems fit into that literary form.

Then I turned them loose with a sheet of copy paper, a glue stick and a whole bunch of words on the tables.  I told them to just start looking for interesting words or words they found exciting.  They were timid at first but after a couple of minutes they got into the hunt.  Then when I said they could get up from their table and walk around to other tables, it really got fun.

Fifth grade students in April can be so blase and cool, but boy, did they get excited. They really seemed to be having a good time. It was an opportunity to be creative, be free, no right or wrong answer and just have fun.  And they did.

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Sharing with Padlet

I took a photo of each one and uploaded each classes’ poems to Padlet.  I emailed the link to the teacher (or the students if they asked).  This way they could read their classmates’ poems.

Made with Padlet

Made with Padlet

Made with Padlet

Some of the poems were quite touching.  Some were funny and a few were head scratchers.  I will definitely do this again next year.  In the meantime, I think I see some magazines sitting on the coffee table…..

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Third Grade-Book Character Poems

Third grade students used picture book characters as inspiration for their poetry writing in celebration of National Poetry Month.  I selected picture books with strong characters and randomly assigned them to small groups of students.  Using a template, the students read the book and decided who would be the subject of their poem.

Book Character Poem

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We emphasized using text evidence for their writing.  If you are going to say the character “sees” something, be sure that you can point to the evidence.  This template could also be used as book report.

The second library visit was used to finish up with those groups who hadn’t filled in all the lines or who needed some help editing.

Recording the Poems and Uploading to YouTube

The third library visit I video taped the groups reading their poems and I used Windows Movie Maker to create a movie, which I uploaded to YouTube.  Shared the links with the teachers so that the students could view the finished product.

One more class needs to be taped and now that the craziness of state testing is over, I might get to it!

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Class watching their video of poems on YouTube.

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“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

Flipgrd

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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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Second Grade Writes “Never” Poems

Second grade students created poems for National Poetry Month using a template (https://writeshop.com/writing-a-never-poem)  for a “Never Poem” which emphasizes repetition and alliteration.  We discussed what poetry was and some of the characteristics of poems.  I modelled the writing using a white board and let the students help me think up words (all starting with the same consonant). Then we talked about adjectives and added adjectives to describe the nouns we had chosen.

Photos of never poems

Dictionary and Thesaurus Available

I had dictionaries and thesauri at the tables to help them find words if they were drawing a blank; this also served as a review for these reference sources.

Flipgrid for an Audience

One class had the chance to record themselves reading their poems on Flipgrid, but due to time restraints (state test prep, etc.) the others might not get to record.  I think it is important to give the students opportunities to record themselves.  It is a good learning experience and they love to see and hear themselves! flipgrid.com/3a42d1

screen capture of Flipgrid

 

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