Saturday, March 17, 2012


Is the weather just as nice where you live as it is here in Virginia?! Who knew it would be 80 degrees in March!! I was hoping for some fun snow days this winter but I'll take sunny and 80 degrees!

For Writers' Workshop this week we wrote about poetry. We began by having a poetry picnic where the students got a "taste" of poetry by exploring different poems. I got the idea to have a poetry picnic from A Year of Reading.  I first asked the students what they knew about poetry. Only two students had something to said sometimes it rhymes and the other said it expresses feelings (impressive answer!). Then I told them we were going to have a poetry picnic, and I passed out the poetry picnic bags to each group. The poetry picnic bags I gave them were: "Get a taste of Jack Prelutsky's poems", "Get a taste of Shel Silverstein's poems", and "Get a taste of an assortment of poems". I also had a station at the SMART Board where they did Poetry Splatter. At Poetry Splatter, the students choose a poem and fill in the blanks with words to create a poem (similar ides to Mad Libs). We did the poetry picnic for 20 minutes (5 minute rotations). They loved it! As a closure to our picnic, I asked the students what they learned about poetry. Lots of hands went up this time! Some of their responses were, "It's funny!", "There are poems about nature.", "You can write a poem about anything!" etc.
I love when I see them sharing a book together!
Poetry Splatter: The students took turns choosing a word.

The rest of the week they were poets and wrote two poems- acrostic poems and riddles. For acrostic poems, I showed them examples and then we did an interactive one together for Leprechaun. Next, they each wrote one for their name.

For riddles, I read a few of the poems from If Not for the Cat by Jack Prelutsky and the students had to guess what animal the poem was talking about. They loved guessing! Then they brainstormed and wrote their own riddle poems about an animal. I needed to remind a few students to pick an animal they knew about. I have uploaded the brainstorm graphic organizer (each bubble coordinates to a line on the poem template) and the poem template that I created to Google Docs for you!

Here is a student sample of the riddle poem:
Translation: My animal slides on it's belly. Has white paws, a cute face. My animal lives in Antarctica.

Too cute! A baby polar bear!
I cut out the "Take a guess!" opening ahead of time and taped a piece of construction paper on the back to fit the opening for them to draw their animal. 

What do you and your students do for writing poetry?

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