Memorizing Poems

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by wendy 31, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. wendy 31

    wendy 31 Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2009

    I would like my students to memorize and present one poem a month to help with fluency. I would pick the poem(s). Do you have some suggestions about expectations...length, specific poems, choice? Does the recitation need to be perfect? Can it be optional?
     
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  3. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Jun 22, 2009

    We do a poem a week, but I don't require the students to memorize them. Despite that, I find many of them DO memorize them, and that really helps my lower readers identify words (they know the next word is "apple," so they can associate the spoken word with the written one).

    I do mine thematically, and get a lot from www.jmeacham.com. But if you're doing one a month, you'll probably want to select yours a little differently.
     
  4. laura22

    laura22 Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2009

    I agree with snickydog. In fifth grade we had a guided reading fluency station. The students would practice reading the text or poem or whatever with a partner, normally, with different accents, intonations, and anything to make it different and a little more entertaining. At the end of the week, each group would read the text (more like reciting in a way) to the rest of the class. Most of the time, they had a lot of it memorized.
     
  5. wendy 31

    wendy 31 Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2009

    I failed to mention that I teach 5th grade. Thanks for the input and the site.
     
  6. wendy 31

    wendy 31 Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2009

    Laura

    Do they recite as a group to the whole class or individually to a small group?
     
  7. laura22

    laura22 Rookie

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    Jun 22, 2009

    During the week they would recite to each other, but at the end of the week they would recite to the whole class
     
  8. Lotte

    Lotte Companion

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    Jun 22, 2009

    We did about once every one or two weeks.
    We started out by writitng the poem down, using their best joined handwriitng. We also choral read in class.
    The focus wasn't that much on length but rather on the type of poem. I started out with some of the classic nursery rhymes and quickly seeked higher levelled poems.
    The first times I let the students say the poems together as a small group of 3-4 students in front of the class. Later I varied between doing a solo or small group.

    I still remember som of the poems I had to memorise when I went to school (We did it a few times...)
     
  9. MissNikki

    MissNikki Comrade

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    Jun 22, 2009

    I have taught fifth grade reading and language arts for almost seven years. Having students memorize text does not help build fluency skills. That comes from repeated readings focusing on the characteristics of fluent readings...expression, tone, volume, accuracy, etc. When I do reader's theater, I make sure they understand that they are not acting, but doing a dramatic reading. They always have the script in front of them. Consider doing it this way with your kids and their poems. See books by Pressley, Rasinski, and Beers for more information.
     
  10. wendy 31

    wendy 31 Rookie

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    Jun 23, 2009

    Thanks for your suggestions regarding time line and the authors to read about dramatic reading.
     
  11. **Mrs.A**

    **Mrs.A** Comrade

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    Jun 23, 2009

    I'm going to be doing a poetry club this year.. The kids will pick out poems they like and practice reading them all week and then I will have them read them in front of the class. I did a book study on Good-bye Round Robin:25 Oral Reading Strategies by Michael Opitz and Timothy Rasinski...This was one of their strategies for fluency. I would also love to do readers theater. I agree that they shouldn't memorize it, but have something in front of them.

    I'm excited about this since I wasn't able to get to poetry last year and this is a great way to do it.
     
  12. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Jun 24, 2009

    Even now, the many poems mean ol' Miz Roberts made us memorize in 7th grade help me focus, give meaning to all manner of literature, entertain me when I have no book and am waiting in line, etc, and make me feel smart. At the time we all loathed that teacher, but now, whenever my friends and I get together, somebody always brings it up and we thank our lucky stars that we have that poetry in our heads.

    Our culture has lost so much unifying literature; memorizing poems will give our students a foundation to build later literary discoveries on.

    It's even better when a young child memorizes a poem that has complicated language and vocabulary in it. "Growing into" a book or poem or piece of knowledge is one of the most wonderful discoveries anyone of any age can make. Imagery,symbolism. . . . don't underestimate what even young children can handle!
     

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