Teaching poetry in fifth grade

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by elizak83, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. elizak83

    elizak83 Companion

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    Jan 20, 2008

    I need a little bit of assistance. (Sorry this is kind of long!)
    A little bit of background: This is my 2nd year teaching (first year in a new school.) At my old school we used HM in Reading and had to do everything by the book. In my new school I basically have the state standards and teach them in any way I see fit. This would normally be okay, except that I'm rather inexperienced in teaching reading, other than the HM way. I've done okay so far, but this week I'm running into trouble.
    I have in my plans that I'm going to be teaching poetry starting this week. This the indicator I'm using:

    Describe the characteristics of free verse , rhymed and patterned poetry

    I was going to start out doing rhymed this week (we have a 3 day week.) Then go into patterned next week.

    Growing up I wasn't a huge fan of poetry. I'm stuck as to how I'll teach it. Does anyone have any good ideas?????
    This is my weakness and I need some suggestions.

    Thanks!!!
     
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  3. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Jan 20, 2008

    We made a poetry book this year. I brought in lots of books, gave them a rubric that required certain types of poetry, wrote examples on chart paper and posted them, then told them to find examples, write them neatly, illustrate, find examples of literary devices in them, and write a short statement of what the poem was about. I threw in a rubric for a table of contents page and one for a glossary. I'd say it was successful, except I wouldn't include Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutski any more. I love them, but there wasn't much depth to them. It was hard to find metaphors, etc., and forget about using them for examples of hyperbole. That's all most of them were, and on a very superficial level.

    Kids really enjoyed it, and I see them pulling out the Random Book of Poetry for free reading.
     
  4. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Jan 20, 2008

    The above post sounds great to me! I wanted to add that Sharon Creech has a great book Love That Dog that has all kinds of poetry in it. The book is below your class level, but would make a great read a loud. It is from the point of view of a student as he has to write different types of poems. I would warn to read it yourself first, it's very sad. I read it in about 30 minutes to give you an idea of the length. It is wonderful though!
     
  5. michelb366

    michelb366 Comrade

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    Jan 20, 2008

    I do a similar project as shouldbeasleep each year. Each student chooses a broad topic and they make an anthology of poems that they like that fit the topic. They need to create a response to the poem that includes why they chose the poem, any connections they made, and any literary devices they found. They also illustrate them. I bind them into a nice keepsake book for them to keep. The parents loved them! I usually have most of them done by spring conference time so I can display them. The kids are also encouraged to write a few poems to include as well (they get bonus points).
     
  6. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Jan 20, 2008

    During my student teaching time in fifth grade, I came up with a unit for poetry. They had a blast!!! At the end of the unit, we had a Poetry Coffee House party. They came dressed in black and we all became beatniks. They had to pick one of their favorite poems that they wrote from the unit to share. I borrowed those conga drums from the music teacher. The students also brought in chocolate mix (that was the coffee)

    Each week, I focused on one type of poetry style. So, one week we did Haiku, limerick, acrostic, I can't remember the name of it, but it was where you start at a letter in the alphabet and write a poem in order..... like, Every Frog Gets Hungry, etc. We would study pattern and things like that with each poetry style.

    What's funny is that, growing up, I never cared for poetry. That's why, when I had to come up with a unit for student teaching, I chose poetry. I knew I had the freedom to come up with a fun unit and that this would be a fun way to make poetry fun for my kids, since I never had fun with it.

    It was a neat unit and I am going to do a shortened version of this this year in my class. I'm envious that you have a bit more freedom. Because of the reading program, I can't do quite what I did when I student taught. Have fun with it!!!!
     
  7. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Jan 20, 2008

    I just copied and pasted your ideas to my poetry Word document. Thanks...I like the idea of asking them for a "response to the poem" and "making their own poems for bonus points".
     
  8. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2008

    My 5th graders loved finding their favorite poems to read aloud to the class and looking for use of simile and metaphor in poems. One year, I had one student per day choose and read aloud a poem of the day. Also, find the book by Caroline Kennedy about her mother's favorite poems. She talks about their family's tradition of writing or copying poems for each other for birthdays.
     
  9. dumbdiety

    dumbdiety Comrade

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    Jan 21, 2008

    I choose a student each week who picks a poem to read on Friday to the class. They memorize it and perform in front of the class. I also (when I can fit them in....) teach a different kind of poem each week and then the next week a reading center is based on that poem, usually a worksheet to make a poem like it or a sheet with examples and writing prompts on the back.
     
  10. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Jan 21, 2008

    A great, great, great activity to do with a poem you are reading with your class, is to discuss the poem, and then talk about the words that mean the most to them... have them go back and circle 10 or so words, and create a poem of their own based on those words. What is great is the variety of poems you get with the words from one poem. It was amazing to me, because I recall last year we had poems about everything from annoying brothers, to pioneers, to dinosaurs, to thunder storms.

    I did this two years ago with my third graders, and a word in the poem we had to look up was "loam" (means dirt, or earth.) I was looking at the kids work recently as 5th graders (on the wall) and saw TWO of my kids use that word in their writing! (About agriculture.) I thought that was pretty funny!
     
  11. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jan 21, 2008

    I have some links on my school computer. I try to post them tomorrow. I have also found a great book published by Scholastic that is full of work by poets like Keats, Sandburg, Frost, and others. You should be able to find examples of many different kinds of poems and poetic devices there.
    http://shop.scholastic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay_34036_-1_10001_10002

    This is another book that may be helpful.
    http://shop.scholastic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay_14172_-1_10001_10002
     
  12. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Jan 21, 2008

    You guys totally rock! Again, I've cut and pasted a couple of ideas.
     
  13. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Jan 21, 2008

    Remember that songs are merely poems set to music. Ask them to bring in the lyrics to their favorite songs and the class can find figurative language and do the rhyme schemes. (that's always fun.)

    Be prepared to have kids find out that a song they really liked is actually an extremely crappy piece of poetry. Opens their eyes, it does.

    Warn them beforehand about trying to slip a dirty song into the classroom. And sometimes, until they analyze the lyrics as poetry, they don't even realize what they've been singing.

    I'm not a fan of extra credit, as everyone knows, but I love giving credit above and beyond to students to research the answers to questions like "Can anyone tell me why it really wasn't unusual at all for Poe's raven to keep saying "Nevermore"? Little kids have to look that stuff up.

    Or, "Look at the rhyme scheme for your Justin Timberlake song and for this Emily Dickonson poem. At what point do they stop being the same?"
     

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